I’ve discovered a new favorite song. Have you ever heard the song “Easy” by Rascal Flatts? Not only do they have amazing voices—the lyrics fit my feelings about my illness quite well.
“It’s easy going out on Friday night
Easy every time I see her out
I can smile, live it up the way a single guy does
But what she, what she don’t know
Is how hard it is to make it look so easy”
Now—I realize this song applies to a breakup. I can only wish that I had broken up with my illness (I’ve tried, but it just won’t accept it. Restraining orders don’t work either—believe me, I’ve tried).
Anyways to the point–how it reminds me of my illness. Until you get to know me really well, my disorder is often not visible. I make it look like I’m ok. I go out with friends to the bar, watch movies, make jokes, dance (not well or to the beat but dance none the less), and play games. I’m often even the “life of the party”. I make it look ‘so easy’.
And you’ll never know just how hard it is for me to make it look so easy.
It’s a balance I’m struggling to find. How much do I pretend? And when do I share how hard it is?
The case for pretending: One, I want people to think I’m normal (but really, who am I fooling? I doubt I’d be normal even without my disorder). Two, I don’t want to burden those around me. And three, alot of times I don’t know if they could do anything to make it better, so why share?
The case for sharing: One: those who care about me want to be involved in my life. Do I have the right to make that choice for them? Two: How can I fight the stigma of mental illness if I hide my experiences?
And three, most complicated of all, sometimes I fear that if I pretend so well and for so long, people won’t believe my disease is real. When I do finally share, they’ll think I’m making it up. That they won’t realize how hard being healthy, happy, and calm is for me EACH day. And selfishly—I like some sympathy once in a while (preferably with some flowers, chocolate, or a slushie!)
It’s one of those questions related to my disorder I’m still working through. I spent the first 22 years of my life on the extreme pretending section. Now, I’m slowly learning to open up and let people in.
I’m sure I’ll figure it out, after all the song is being played about once an hour or so.