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Personality Chameleon

Personality chameleon

Guest Author: Jenn

This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

I’ve become so seasoned at camouflaging myself over the years.

I am a personality chameleon.

I will wave and smile at you, even if we’ve never met. I smile to create smiles, they can be contagious you know.

I love to raise spirits and be cheerful. I love to talk, A LOT but I also love to listen. I’m polite and pleasant (more often than not). I’m a hopeless romantic and I’m a bit of a social butterfly.

How do they know when I need help?

This is who you will meet.

Or see across the room or street. This is who you’ll talk to when you call or when we are out together. Because frankly, I’m afraid to EVER be the girl hiding behind the one you see. And that scares the crap out of me! If nobody ever really gets to know the girl hiding away then how does anyone who loves me or cares, how do they know when I need help? How will they ever know or be able to tell if I’m not okay? And it’s a reality I’m going to be not okay! Well reality is, they won’t! And it’s the stigma, that feeling of shame and fear of judgement that keeps that girl hiding. Leaving me completely alone!

But does it have to be that way? Should it still be that way?And shouldn’t those I love and that care for me have the opportunity to help to try to understand? I mean I’m the one taking it away, by being whoever they want me to be at that moment I take it away by not being genuine and why? Purely out of fear. Fear created from a misunderstanding, a mis-education so to speak of a mental illness I hide. Vicious cycle.

My illness dictates who I’m with or what I do.

I suffer from an illness. A mental illness – yes – but still an illness. It affects my everyday life and takes from my personal relationships. It consumes me and chooses for me when I’m able to function normally and when I can’t even get out of bed.

My illness dictates who I’m with or what I do. Medicine helps, it can ease symptoms and bring comfort. But it involves a lot of trial and error and years of doctors visits and repeating your story over and over. And let’s be honest more than a few times my illness has been misdiagnosed. In some cases blown off all together. I have an illness. It creates chaos in my mind and a negative and dark way of thinking. It’s a mental illness, so we can’t see it other than in my irrational and immature actions. I’m scared to tell anyone the way I feel, the things I think. I irrationally stereotype all humans to be unsupportive with no compassion. Like I said irrational.

I shouldn’t have to pretend to be okay when I’m not.

I have an illness. A misunderstood, invisible illness and I shouldn’t have to pretend to be okay when I’m not just because 87 percent of the people I’ll come across won’t believe me or won’t care. And yet because of my illness I will and do pretend to be okay. Vicious cycle.

So where do I go from here? I want to be able to have someone notice, anyone notice, if I’m not ok. Because I’ve been in that dark place. I’ve attempted to end my life, I know  that space, that hole. And I know I’d want help, I’d want to be helped. But I’m scared to be genuinely me. I’m too used to hiding my feelings my thoughts, my reality. I’ve been doing it so long it comes naturally.
It becomes up to me! In order to be that girl that can share her story. That can walk you through her journey. If I want to be that girl that helps others feel not alone, I need to step WAY out of my routine. My comfort zone! I need to be me, the real, raw, honest and unapologetic me. It won’t happen overnight and it won’t be easy

I have an illness, a mental illness. And as scared as I am to be myself, I’m learning it’s scarier to live a life as someone else.

Comments

barbara
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Please share your feelings with a loved one. You will be amazed how they will respond. My son suffered from anxiety and depression. He kept it hidden. Hidden far too long. Until it escalated. How I wish I could have helped him. Please, as Michael Landsburg, puts it…..stop wearing the mask. Share your feelings with a loved one. The sooner you reach for help…the better. Speaking from experience.

Anna
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Holy Crap! You took the words right out of my mouth! Thank you. I’ve been thinking this for the last few days as I tried to gather the courage to reach out to friends or family. I still haven’t found the courage. I love the image of a chameleon. The problem is, I’m not even sure if I know who the “real me” is anymore. Thanks for sharing.

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