Anxiety · Cancer · Depression · Friendship

Pants on fire

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I’m a dirty, rotten, no-good liar. I’m neither proud of it nor do I expect to change it any time soon. It’s how I’m getting through every day. 

People with depression and anxiety get used to telling lies. They often say that things don’t bother them or that they’re not depressed or even upset. They tell people not to worry. I have become very good at this myself in the past few years. Now, though, I’m on a whole new level. 

I am extremely fortunate and have several amazing friends, a couple near and many in various stages of far, who ask me (some daily, weekly, or occasionally) how I’m doing. They say things like, “How’s the processing today?” and “Are you feeling almost ok?” They expect me to be a mess not knowing that I’ve watched my mom go through this twice, and I’ve never seen anything more powerful. I want to be like her. These incredible friends don’t know that I will not show any vulnerability to my doctors, who have all said I am handling everything with strength and grace.  So I lie. I say I’m fine. I make a joke. I talk about playing with “foobs”- a portmanteau for fake boobs that I’ve just learned- and try to show excitement at the prospect of these perfect forms. I tell every one “please, don’t worry. I’m going to be ok.” 

Very few people have seen that I am shaking in my proverbial boots every minute of every day. I try to hide it all behind humor or anger. I put on my armor and get ready to fight the fear demons. But at the end of every day I find myself exhausted. I peel off my mask and slink into bed exhausted from the lies. Pretending is hard work, and even though there’s always an element of logical truth to everything I say, especially about how I’m going to be ok, the falsehood wears me out. Still, I lie and I have no intention of stopping. But if you’re one of the people who happens to glance a little truth, thanks for sticking around. 

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