I don’t want to tell you what is wrong with me.
I don’t want to tell you because you will roll your eyes.
Tell me I am crazy.
That it is all in my head.
I don’t want to tell you because you will say ‘everyone gets tired’
Or, and most frustratingly, the Pain Olympics will commence.
And I don’t want to compete.
I don’t want to tell you because of the stigma.
Your words will bite.
When you mock me.
I don’t want to tell you because stupid people say stupid things and sometimes they become ‘facts’.
And those ‘facts’ could not be further from the truth.
Years ago Autism was just a case of bad parenting.
Depression something you could just snap out of.
The only treatment for BPD and Schizophrenia, a padded room.
Thankfully now these conditions are recognised for what they are and widely accepted.
But I bet that no one came out and said that their kid had Autism in the 70’s without getting a side eye.
Few men admitted depression before the footballers made it OK.
Many people you know would have a mental illness and you would never know.
Still I don’t want to tell you what is wrong with me.
The name feels foreign and catches in my throat.
I told my friend and she laughed.
‘That is that hypochondria thing isn’t it?’
I changed the subject.
It’s bad enough that I get incredulous looks when I mention PTSD; the precursor to what I deal with now.
‘You haven’t been in a war, silly’
No, no I haven’t. But my body thinks it has.
And years of chronic stress, sleep deprivation, yada yada yada have fucked it all up.
Not that you can see.
I don’t have a certificate from my specialist, no matter how much I would like one to make it easier to explain.
To throw in your face when you tell me to just get over it.
That I will feel better if I just lose weight/exercise/eat these berries/see your shaman/take these magic fucking beans.
But to be honest, really honest,
I don’t want to tell you what is wrong with me because I am ashamed.
Ashamed that I couldn’t hide it any longer.