“How are you?”
I’m a little down today. My anxiety is up, which shrinks my temper. I want to do things, but don’t want to do them, too. I want to be around people, but the people annoy me, which makes me feel anxious and irritated. For their sake, I isolate myself. It’s not the best way of handling things, I know, but it’s what I know to do. I want to be held but don’t want to be touched. I want to be productive, but to be productive I’ll have to be around people. I could try to find something ‘fun’ to do, but right now everything irritates me anyway, so why try?
“Are you sure? You look like you’re mad or something.”
I am mad, but not about anything I can put a name to. Everything I try to think about I see only the dark, cynical, hopeless side.
“No, I’m okay. How are you?”
“Oh, I’m good… (insert attempt at conversation here)”
I would love to listen to what you say and take an interest, but any response I have is a struggle to get out. I wish I could be in your head for a little while, to know what it’s like not to overthink everything, to not be in this space. To have access to simple emotional responses without having to run them through the filters of ‘Is this reasonable or not?’. I look at you while you talk, and have no idea how to respond. I guess I’ll go with…
“Oh yeah? That’s nice.”
“Um, well, I have to go do something else. Bye!”
Now I’ll spend some time berating myself for failing to interact in a reasonable way, for driving you away. I didn’t mean to do it, didn’t want to do it, but without some kind of telepathic mind-link or something, I simply can’t say the things that are going on inside of me right now. I have no idea why I’m feeling this way right now, and if I did tell you, you would want to help me. You’d ask that question: How can I help? I would respond: I have no idea. The conversation would end and we’d all stand around feeling awkward. You don’t deserve to go through it. I would really rather you think I’m an ass hole or being moody or a jerk than have you in this weird space.
Down days suck. No pithy advice here, just an experience. Go read something upbeat or look at lolcats or something now. Smile for me. Don’t worry, this will pass.