If my makeup is neat and my clothes are clean, does my depression lessen? If I interview well, does it mean I’m not anxious? If my hair isn’t yet grey, am I less tired?
My Mother has always said that I look great, even when I’m sick as a dog. People often say they never would have guessed I have a mental illness, especially when they first meet me. There are so many assumptions built into our appearance and our age.
All around me I see my peers struggling with many of the same doubts and fears that I do.
What comes next?
How can that class clown from high school have possibly afforded that wedding?
And the most terrifying:
Did I just hear my biological clock tick?!
However, I see them making strides, too. I see them getting new jobs, renting nicer apartments, and checking a few things off of society’s to-do list while I feel sick and stuck.
What does it mean to be young, presentable, friendly… and ill? What does it mean to have a chronic, serious illness that no one can see?
It means I feel like I am constantly justifying myself. I feel like I have to explain that actually, yeah, it is that bad. Just because I don’t have a pox or a fever doesn’t mean I’m not struggling to cope.
I have to remind myself though that it also means that if I feel this way, so do others. Nothing is what it seems. Especially on social media – no one is truly that touched up #selfie they present to the world.
The gal with the new job is terrified and in over her head.
And Girl… I dunno… Press snooze. The class clown is in debt to his ears.
P.S. Check out my new website, www.sarahsmoods.com !
About Sarah Lindsay
Sarah Lindsay is in her mid-twenties and lives in Toronto with her boyfriend and their dog (who also has some anxiety issues). Sarah was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2005 at the age of 16 and is still trying to figure it out. Follow Sarah’s story on HMC’s Supportive Minds Blog, or additionally you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook or check out her new website: SarahsMoods.com