Whenever the holiday season descends on us, I have a hard time. In fact, it’s not really just the holiday season but any time I have to spend an extended amount of time with family or relatives is a hard time for me.
The reason it’s hard is because not only is it already exhausting just dealing with people, it’s also exhausting to put on a mask and pretend to be someone I’m not. I often have to pretend like I don’t have depression, anxiety or ADHD. I often have to pretend like everything’s fine.
It’s exhausting because it’s hard to keep up with lies and it’s really hard to act okay when you’re not. And if I don’t keep up the pretenses, then everyone will be uncomfortable because who wants to talk about mental illnesses on a holiday?
People already get uncomfortable enough when I mention the very words “mental illness”. What more if we discussed it at length.
I have relatives and family members on my Facebook – they know full well how I’m struggling with my daily life. Yet, no one has ever reached out. I assume it’s because it makes them feel uncomfortable, not knowing what to say or maybe not knowing how not to be insulting when asking questions. The stigma of mental illnesses is very strong in my family…
I don’t know about you guys but I really feel like the holiday season just sucks. I feel like I have no freedom to be who I need to be and that I have to put on my best fake smile – the kind I put on when I go to work.
Anyway, that’s just my take on the holidays. Tomorrow, my in-laws will be coming over to celebrate Thanksgiving and I’ll have to once again, pretend to be a-okay.