When I am around other people I smile and pretend to be happy. I don’t enjoy doing that, but I need to sometimes. It’s a relief from depression. Sometimes I am physically and emotionally spent and the way I cope with that is to smile. Is that weird? It’s kind of like in acting when they say “act as if.” You act happy for a while and eventually, you begin to feel happy. Unfortunately, that can only go so far with depression or any other mental illness. For me, it’s depression and I hate it. I hate every part of feeling sad. I wish I was “normal.” I wish my feelings were like someone who didn’t think about things so much or feel things so deeply. There are people who don’t think so much or over-analyze things. My face and my flat affect are like smoke and mirrors. I am a magician pretending and faking people out with my disguise. My face is a magic trick and if I keep it on long enough then maybe they’ll believe that I’m not sad.
Why do I want them to believe me? How does it help me to fake happiness?
I don’t get the questions. “Why are you sad?” “Are you okay?”
I’m obviously not “okay” if I have trouble making eye contact with you and I’m sitting there at the restaurant table barely touching my food. Please stop asking me those questions. But when I say that it doesn’t matter. The questions come like a barrage of words. I can’t keep up with how annoying and intrusive they are. I don’t want to answer you. I know you’re trying to help, but it isn’t helpful when you tell me what I “should be feeling.”
So that’s why I smile so you will stop asking me why I am sad. That’s why I pretend I’m okay. I do it so you’ll leave me alone. I know what you want from me; you want me to tell you everything is awesome like in the Lego Movie. Well, it isn’t awesome and I don’t want to talk to you about it. If you search deep within my smile you’ll see it isn’t genuine. I don’t even care anymore. My feelings are valid and I don’t have to justify them to you.
So let me fake it if I need to.
It’s what I have to do right now.
When I feel like I can let my “real feelings out” and I trust you to understand I will tell you.
Maybe I will talk to my therapist.
So stop asking me how I feel and let me be.
Are you feeling numb? Read more about that here: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/general/i-feel-empty-when-a-lack-of-meaning-is-something-more-serious/