Coming out

You probably clicked on this because you think I came out as gay. Not so I’m afraid, although I called it ‘coming out’ in my mind because I feel like there is nothing else that I could liken it to.

I’ve lived my entire 19, almost 20 year old life bottling everything up inside, and although that didn’t neccessarily stop me from doing all the things I ever set my heart on, it also didn’t make it easy, and ment I had a lot of low points when I felt totally alone and misunderstood. I’m a very deep thinker, and sometimes I can get lost inside my head, sometimes I wish I could stay lost in there forever, because it often feels harder to face realty than what goes on up there. I think the main thing that I struggled with, and soemtimes still do, is that I feel very different to everyone else, a bit of an outsider. I struggled with how I’ve always seemed to see the world from a very different angle than my friends, even from a young age, and it made me think perhaps there was something wrong with me, and it made me question why anyone would want to be friends with me, because I wasn’t like everyone else. I overthought every small interaction, and that led to me being insecure, and prone to depressive thoughts.

For the majority of my life I never told anyone how I felt, not even my family. Until I finally got the courage to sit my Mum down and tell her how I was really feeling. I’m going to preface this by saying that I have very loving and supportive parents, I didn’t say anything to them because I didn’t want them to feel guilty, and I was also afraid that it would be like I had somehow failed.

It is perhaps an understatement though to say that my mother was shocked, and she said some things that she probably regrets now, because she does love me and support me in everything. The one comment that sticks in my head, is she told me ‘I think you want to be depressed.’

See, it’s not always plain sailing when you tell someone you love, something shocking, sometimes they don’t know how to react, and so they react in the worst possible way, initially. Emphasis on initially, because after a long chat, my Mum began to understand where I was coming from, and immediately started to list roads we could take to help me, just like Mums do.

I don’t blame her for reacting the way she did, I know it’s confusing to hear someone tell you that there not as okay as you thought they were. She later wrote me a message to tell me that she would always be there for me, even if she didn’t fully understand, because I was her daughter, and nothing would ever change that.

I think I’m writing this entry because it’s important to know that sometimes we have to be prepared for people to misunderstand, but we have to be patient and make them listen until they do.

Although it’s scary, it’s also such a weight off my shoulders to know I have my parents there for me now, in a way they couldn’t have been before. Family is one of the most important things in my life, and I know that now more than ever.

The Struggle of Truth

A part of me believes that if I continue to pretend that nothing is wrong, then nothing needs to change.  As if willing something to be a certain way would ever actually make it happen, but fear of the alternative makes us hope for something we realistically know can never be. 

You see, I am scared, and I’m not afraid to admit it anymore, because the prospect of telling the people you care about, your family, that you are having mental health issues involving depression and anxiety has every right to fill you with dread. 

I know that what I really need to do, is to stop pretending, to stop hiding, and to start talking.  I know that because it’s what I really want to do, so that I can be absolutely me, rather than having to put on a façade of fake smiles on my bad days, and rather have people surrounding me that actually understand.  The difficulty of this is, I have no idea how I’m supposed to tell my parents, because how do you tell the people that you love most in the world that the daughter they thought was so strong, is struggling, and has been struggling for a really long time?

How do you tell them that without hurting them?  Without making them feel guilt that they have absolutely no right to feel?

It is for this reason I have stayed silent for so long, and every person I do open up to about this side of me, and every conversation I have about these feelings only serves to deepen my own guilt that my parents weren’t the first people that I went to when I started feeling this way, that I favoured talking to strangers over them.  I know to my Mum this would seem like betrayal. 

So, where do we go from here?  It seems inconceivable to me, I’ve gotten myself stuck in a place where I started to seek help, where I took a step in the right direction only to be held back by the paralysing fear of having my relationship with my family irreversibly change because they might not fully understand what I’m trying to tell them. 

Perhaps this is an issue that a lot of people struggling with their mental health face, because what really holds us back is the fear and shame of having the people we most want to make proud realise that you’re not quite managing things as well as they thought. 

Perhaps, really all this is, is my self-doubt that makes me worry so much about my family’s reaction, perhaps if I simply sat them down and had a truthful conversation then everything would be fine. 

The problem with that is, we can never really know until we bite the bullet and tell them, but what happens if that bullet becomes familial suicide that I’ll never be able to rectify?   I guess the only way to find out is to get a grip and fire.