What I can’t tell you

I can’t tell you that the reason I haven’t returned your calls or responded to your messages is that just the idea of human interaction is overwhelming and exhausting. It is not a reflection on you or how much I care about you.

I can’t explain why some days I can go out and some days I can’t even get up. I take the good moments as they come. It’s not an indication of my feelings about you that you just happen to catch me on the bad days.

I can’t tell you that sometimes I spend more than half the day in bed because just opening my eyes is an acknowledgment of the world that I can’t handle.

I can’t tell you how hard it is to walk through my day smiling and pretending like everything is okay.

I can’t tell you that I’m not okay because I don’t know how to handle your reaction. It doesn’t matter what your reaction is. I am more worried about making you uncomfortable than getting help when things are bad.

I can’t tell you that I am terrified of being someone else’s joke, that I question everyone’s motives when they’re being nice to me. I can’t explain my paranoia.

I can’t tell you that the best part of my day is when I first wake up and I’m in that semi-conscious state because I’m still asleep enough to feel relaxed but awake enough to experience it. I don’t want to get out of bed because I want to savor that moment as long as possible. I try going back to sleep, even if only for 10 minutes, just to get another one of those moments.

I can’t tell you how uncomfortable it makes me when you compliment me. I still don’t know how to just say ‘thank you.’

I can’t tell you that I don’t share how I’m feeling because I don’t know how to handle the look of pity in your eyes. I don’t want nor have I ever wanted your pity.

I can’t tell you that I just need someone to listen, give me a hug, and tell me that it’s okay to feel how I feel, even when those feelings are ugly. I can’t handle you trying to make me better.

I can’t tell you that I don’t need you to fix me. I don’t need you to clean up my mess. I can’t tell you that because you always try, I’m no longer comfortable opening up.

I can’t tell you that I’m terrified of never being the person I want to be.

I can’t explain how I can be both incredibly confident and crushingly insecure all in the same moment.

I can’t explain how much I enjoy getting out, having fun, and spending time with friends . . . but that afterwards I need a period of recovery because those experiences, as wonderful as they are, drain me.

I can’t tell you how I fight through every single day and how no matter how much I want to give up, I keep pushing and moving forward.

I can’t tell you that I don’t want a pat on the back for fighting my battles . . . I just want acknowledgment that those battles exist.

I cannot make you understand what it’s like to live with anxiety and depression. I can’t make you realize that they’re as real as cancer and diabetes and broken bones. I can’t make you understand the difference between depression and laziness or between anxiety and rudeness. But if you really do want to help, this would be a great place to start.

Photo Credit


Green ribbonETA 9/21/14 — I wrote this about a year ago and left it sit for a little while. I wasn’t sure if I was going to share it . . . . then World Mental Health Day came around and I decided to take the plunge and put it out there. . . . . The words here were not written for anyone in particular . . . . just to the world in general.


6 responses to this post.

  1. Well written. Definitely gives an insight of how you feel. Don’t think it could’ve been better explained.


  2. Posted by Chris on October 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Been there, done that, and it’s not easy. Want a virtual hug?


  3. Posted by Kat 28 on August 28, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Reading this made me cry so damn hard and I couldn’t stop. I have been wanting to reach out again to my friends to say things very similar to what you have said and it’s just too hard to do so. It’s been a year since I’ve seen a friend and I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to let anyone in to my chaos, my emptiness, my darkness, my pain. I don’t want to hurt anyone else or create attention towards myself. I just want people to understand, I mean REALLY understand that these mental illnesses are real and nothing that we would ever want to have experienced. The judgement, the paranoia, the feeling like others are criticizing me, the shame, the guilt, the hopelessness, the despair, it’s all just too much…and to think that these things are all felt in just dealing with the STIGMA. Thank you Dayle Lynne for posting this!!


    • I apologize for taking so long to approve and respond to your comment! I’ve been a bit horrible about keeping with this blog . . .. . and then you were buried under some spam :/

      I don’t have the words to adequately explain just how much your comment means to me. YOU are the reason I published this. I am terrified every single time I publish someone personal like this, but I continue to do it in the hopes that someone out there will find a connection and possibly feel a little less alone. And I thank you for feeling comfortable enough to share a little piece of yourself here . . . . which helps *me* feel a little less alone!

      Things have gotten a bit better for me since I posted this.almost a year ago. I’ve been in therapy consistently. I’ve been taking my anxiety meds consistently. And I started an antidepressant last month that’s actually working. I feel better than I have in years. I feel like myself! It’s taken me a very long time to get here (in and out of therapy, on and off meds, in and out of even the motivation to get better) . . . . and I know the road ahead is still not a smooth one. But things feel more positive than they have in a long time. . . . I share this because I hope you know, no matter where you are in your journey, that it can get better. I think a lot of people are even beginning to understand more, at least from my perspective. I hope you have some people in your life who can understand. . . . Either way, I’m offering myself! Please, feel free to get in touch any time (all of my info is on the “Where to find me” page).

      Wish you the absolute best! . . . . And thank YOU from taking the time and energy to comment!


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