5 Things I Say That Are Code for ‘I’m Struggling With My Mental Health’

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Emma Gray

I don’t want to be grim or negative. I want to keep situations as light as possible so that no one is uncomfortable with things I say. I’m really good at superficial conversations. It’s like being in a hurry to be nowhere important, and don’t want to get stuck in an honest dialogue. So, I’ve created a decoding system so that when I say one thing, you’ll know I mean another.

1. “I’m fine.”

This means, I’m definitely struggling today. I probably had a lot of anxiety on the way to school or work. I don’t want to talk to people I don’t know.

2. “Haha, I’m here.” 

I stayed in bed as long as I could today. I grabbed clothes from a pile on the floor. I’ve been having flashbacks again.

3. “Meh..” 

I honestly don’t think this one needs a translation.

4. “I can’t adult today, lol.” 

Just my funny way of saying I feel like a failure, nothing is ever done how I’d like it to be done. I feel like I eat poorly, and don’t make good decisions.

5. “Oh, I’m just tired.” 

I didn’t sleep. I’m done with this lack of motivation, bags under my eyes, coffee isn’t strong enough… I’m tired of fighting this seemingly unending battle with myself.

Bonus codes: I have a lot of physical symptoms that could tell you how I’m actually doing, contrary to what I may say.

Raw spot on my lip. 

There’s no one around to take my hand away from my lip. I’m fidgeting. I’m worried.

Reopened scab(s) on my arms. 

Plain and simple, I had an anxiety attack. It was scary.

Cracking my fingers. 

I get really tight joints and muscles after an anxiety attack and nothing feels right until I’ve cracked every possible joint in my body.

Covering my chest with my right arm.

There’s too much going on. I think there’s an anxiety attack happening soon. Don’t talk to me. I can’t breathe. I need to get out of wherever I am into a quiet spot with my playlist.

These are real. These are my symptoms, which means there are hundreds more for everyone else who struggles with their mental health on a daily basis. The next time you talk to your sibling, classmate or co-worker, pay attention to them. Let them know that you’re there for them, and ask them if they need a hug or a coffee. Honestly, sometimes we are just waiting for someone to listen or help us get through a tough day.

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