With no way of gauging accuracy, I’d guestimate that 90 percent of my acquaintances don’t know I’ve struggled with major depression and acute anxiety for the last decade or so. On good days, of which I have many, I’m a tightly clenched fistful of bravado and a tinder keg full of opinions. I’m loud. I laugh a lot. I’ll ask (repeatedly) about your day and your marriage and your lousy boss—and I actually want to know what’s going on! I care deeply about the struggles of the people around me, even those I’ve only met briefly or in passing. I find comfort in listening to others and helping assuage their pain.
Which makes what I’m about to say rather off message.
Please, stop making me take care of you right now.
I literally can’t do it. Admitting to something as personal, shameful, and scary as contemplating suicide used every last bit of my own emotional reserves. Your texts and your calls and your love for me are wonderful and appreciated and I am grateful. But the thought of spending the next month reassuring everyone I’m okay is already draining my will to continue writing about the subject, one of the few things I’ve found helpful in the last couple of months.
I’m not okay. I’m working on it.