I have a friend who thought for an entire year that I was the happiest person alive- that I was some kind of robot, with only a happy switch. When in reality, I don’t remember the last time I felt 'happy'. And it's not like she was the only one.
The reality, is that I wanted people to think that of me – I still do. I didn’t want them to know that the night before I wanted to hold my breath as long as it took for me to pass out. I didn’t want them to know that I couldn’t sleep most nights.
I thought if people assumed I'm happy then they can never hurt me. They couldn’t hurt me with saying the things they think help but never do.
The things people say to ' help you' or 'make you feel better' or even just random comments they say so often no one notices it's wrong. More importantly no one notices how much it hurts some people and affects them.
Like when someone tells a person with depression to " get over it " or to " be thankful for what you have." I promise you we'd 'get over it ' if that was possible and we know everything we have. You just made them feel more guilt than they already do.That’s why many of us with depression or any other mental health problem keep it to ourselves and try to draw a smile on our faces every morning.
Another difficult challenge to deal with is if you have insomnia and can't sleep and a parent or anyone finds you awake and starts saying stuff like " of course you don’t care that you have school tomorrow" or "all you want to do is stay on your phone all night". When in reality I'm on my phone hoping that somehow its screen light might make me fall asleep.
And instead of dealing with this almost every night or getting told that I'm lying and just want an excuse for not sleeping, I act like I'm asleep.
It's hard to know if what you're saying is hurting someone. But most of these things people say is a result of misjudging people or even just normal judging.
So please don’t judge me or anyone else. Trust me I know what I'm doing more than you do. The only difference is I know my reasons for them and you don't.
Nada Abojaradeh is a Sixteen Year old on the mission to change the world for the better. She'd like to be a race car driver but thinks she'll probably end up an Engineer.