“I’m ok”, “I’m fine”, “nothings up”.
Don’t know about you guys but I use those phrases a lot when I don’t want people to know how I’m really feeling. I say it with the biggest smile on my face, and keep talking like everything’s ok. Laughing at everyone’s jokes when I actually want to sit down in the corner and have a really good cry instead. “I’m fine”, the response used when I’m actually feeling crap.
“Don’t worry about it, I’ll figure it out” is what I say but I actually don’t even know how I’m going to figure this out.
The art of pretending is something I’m actually quite good at, and let’s face it majority of us are experts in the art of pretending. I call it an art because to be able to hide your true feelings, laugh and joke about and be ‘yourself’ is an art and it’s something you have to practice a lot.
People who are good at the art of pretending often tend to have depression. In the UK alone 1 in 6 people report that they have a mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety etc, (Mind, 2017) and that’s only from people who have not gone to the doctors and have gotten it clinically diagnosed. Imagine how many more have felt ‘down’ all the time and have not gone to the doctors.
Using the words from World Metal Health Awareness Day (10.10.18) it’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to want to cry. It’s ok to want to talk to someone about your problem. You don’t have to be the master artist in pretending.
In 2017 there was a total of 5,821 suicides within the UK (Office of National Statistics, 2017). People who commit suicide majority of the time know the art of pretending very well. You’ll hear family and friends say “they were fine, happy and smiling, I don’t understand why they would do this. I wish they had spoken to me about it”. It’s a shame because I wish they were open about it and found someone to talk to about their problems. What’s a bigger shame is sometimes they had spoken to people about their problems but the pressure of whatever they were dealing with was too much for them.
No one wants to lose a loved one, especially by any sort of unexpected death, such as suicide.
From a master in the art of pretending I urge you to be open and to not pretend anymore because it’s killing us from the inside.
Remember you’re not alone.
It’s ok to not be ok and to be open …
F A R I E L L E . N