This Is What ‘Not Being Okay’ Looks Like Because It’s Not Always About Oversleeping And Isolation

A girl who is not okay
Unsplash / Alfonso Scarpa

I am not okay, but you can’t tell that by looking at me. I’m wearing black, but I always wear black. I’m complaining about being tired, but I’m always tired. I’m making jokes about my pain, but I always make jokes about my pain. Nothing is different. Nothing looks off to the outside eye. No one can tell how hard it has been for me to make it through these past few weeks.

No one can tell because I’m still working. I’m still hanging out with friends. I’m still smiling. I’m still laughing. I’m still making something of my life.

I haven’t been acting the way sad people are supposed to act. I haven’t been isolating myself. I have been meeting up with friends, but while I’m with them, my mind wanders. I’m easily distracted. And no matter how good of a time we have together, the second I get home, the numbness sets in again. I go right back to feeling the way I felt earlier.

I still go to work and try my hardest, but while I’m there, I’m counting down the hours until I am finished, until I can clock off and relax for a change. Then, as soon as work is over, I feel lost. I feel like I should be doing something productive. I feel like I am wasting my time. Suddenly I wish that I was back at work so at least my mind would be occupied. At least I’d have something to think about other than my problems.

I’m not okay and I wish I could just sleep it off, but every morning I feel exactly the same as the day before. Besides, even though I want to spend twelve hours in bed, the reality is that I haven’t been getting nearly enough sleep lately. I have trouble turning my brain off at night. It’s the time when I think about all of the things that could go wrong in the future. All of the things that have already gone wrong in the past. And all of the things that I wish were different in the present.

Even after I drift off, I struggle to stay asleep for a full night. I have bad dreams. I wake up. I struggle to slip back into slumber, even if I am utterly exhausted, even if I know I’m going to be dragging the next day.

I am not okay, but it’s barely noticeable, because the red flags are so small. Lately, I have been forgetting simple things. Forgetting to set my alarm before climbing under the covers at night. Forgetting to send texts back after reading them and thinking of a reply in my head. Forgetting to eat enough. Forgetting to sleep enough.

I have also been moody lately. The smallest thing feels like the end of the world. I freak out when I am inconvenienced by something or talked down to by someone, but everyone ignores my attitude. They think it will go away on its own. They don’t realize that I’m so quick to snap because everything feels like it has been going wrong lately and when one more thing is added to the list, however small, it pushes me closer to insanity.

They don’t realize how difficult surviving has been for me lately. They don’t realize how badly my chest hurts and my stomach hurts because the emotional pain is so bad it’s turning physical. They don’t realize I’m not okay and sometimes I wish they would open their eyes to see it. TC mark

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