I am not okay, because I cry in front of my mirror more than I smile. The tears fall more often than I would ever admit. I can list off more reasons why I should be miserable than why I should be happy.
I am not okay, because I’ve been dying to talk about my problems, but I never do. I wouldn’t know where to start. I wouldn’t know who to talk to or what to say. So I remain silent. I suffer on my own time.
I am not okay, because I hate myself. I’m sick of my flaws, of all the things I see wrong when I look in the mirror. I want to be different. I want to be someone else.
I am not okay, because I listen to songs about death and destruction. I blast them in my car, in my room, in my headphones, hoping someone else will hear and get the message, understand that I’m upset, but they think they’re only lyrics. That they’re meaningless.
I am not okay, because when I walk across the street, I forget to check for cars. I’m not trying to get run over, but if it happens, it happens. If I die, I die.
I am not okay, because I think about suicide. I would never go through with it, but when I’m driving in my car, I think about swerving. When I’m taking my medication, I think about swallowing extra, a little too much. That’s all they are — thoughts. But I still have them.
I don’t pick up razors and rest them against my wrists, but I hurt myself in other ways. When I’m angry or upset, I dig my nails so deep into my skin that it draws blood. Or I get frustrated and accidentally pull out my own hair.
I am not okay — but I’m not depressed either. I feel like my problems aren’t bad enough to complain about. I feel like I’ll look like a drama queen, like a whiny little brat, if I ask for help.
So I suffer by myself. I convince myself that it could be worse, that I haven’t hit rock bottom yet, that I’m not even close.
I am not okay at all, but I act like I am, because I don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. So I fake smiles. And when a friend realizes I’m upset, I wave it off. I act like it isn’t a big deal. I pretend the things that are killing me are only minor inconveniences.
I am not okay, but I am not depressed either, so I don’t want to make a big deal out of my pain. I don’t want to overreact, exaggerate. I don’t want to bother other people with my problems.
But I should.
Because maybe I’m closer to depression than I thought. Because maybe my feelings — every single one of them — are valid. Because maybe it’s never too early to reach out for help.
Because maybe I deserve to be happy.