Sometimes, it’s me. Sometimes, it’s you. Sometimes, it’s everything.

Sincerely, from a pessimist.

By Antti Pääkkönen, source: Unsplash

To be honest, I really like to think I am a realist: it’s safer. It sounds neutral, positive and healthy. But I know that for me, somehow, it became a fancy word to disguise my pessimism. It happens very innocently, unconsciously, with a simple question: “What if…?”

Then it starts. I get swallowed by thousands of worst-case-scenarios, bad possibilities and wrong ends. When once in a while, a bright option appears, my first thought is always “how fortunate is that person that will get to live that”…because in my mind, it can never be me. It’s impossible.

And it’s a horrible misconception to think it predetermines oneself. Well, at least in my case, it doesn’t. I just learn to live with it and I deal: I tell myself to ignore it, and I overcome myself. I become an optimist by will and most of the time, I am functional and fine; marvelous, even. But it is still there. It doesn’t go away. I have whole instances in which it just becomes too much. It’s once in a while, but it is part of my personality, it’s intrinsic.

Sometimes it’s me, because I think too much, because I take it too seriously, because I am easily dissapointed: I have the tendency to be an idealist at the most hopeless cases and unfortunately, I always realize that some dreams are fated to be such, forever. Too much expectations, I guess. Also, usually it’s me, just because I am weird.

Sometimes, it’s you: it can be just a word, a random joke. A small, tiny little insult that wasn’t meant to hurt makes you the worst person ever in my hyper sensitive state. But it’s not always your fault. Usually, it’s because you don’t get it: it hasn’t happened to you, so you don’t know nor do you understand. And that’s alright. Again, most of the time, it’s me.

However, sometimes it’s everything. If it’s raining, the world wants to make my life impossible. If it’s sunny, the world is laughing at me. If I get a hundred in a test, I feel pressured to keep it. If i get a 99, I hate myself because I could have done better. In short, everything annoys me.

It just happens: I can’t control it.

I can embrace it. But it’s impossible to stop it altogether. Because as I said, it’s part of me… and I am trying to accept it. If you’re like me, I just have one advice: learn to embrace it. The more you hate it, the more you’ll hate yourself. Don’t. Love it. It’s not a fault: you can still become your best person. It doesn’t define everything you are.

If you know someone like me, please don’t say things like “there you go again”, “stop” or “you’re ruining the mood”. It makes us feel so little and incapable of doing anything. Because it sounds easy: just stop thinking. But I can’t. Logic and irrationality coexist in this chaotic instances: I know you’re not replying my text because you’re busy (because it happens to me too!)…but my heart just feels like you’re angry or ignoring me. That’s all it could take to make me fall “in a mood”. And I know its exasperating… and I am sorry.

It is terribly scary and I don’t want it. I feel abnormal and weird; I get frustrated with myself and I feel like an outcast. In a way, I am: it feels like I am the only one. Even though I know I am not. Even when I am surrounded by friends and love. When I’m like this, I need you to reach out first, because those first steps is like asking me to run when I can barely stand. It is leaping too far away when I can’t see ahead. And somehow, it feels like nobody would care so it will be worthless. That’s why I stay there. Because not doing anything seems safer. It’s not because I’m lazy nor because I’m looking for attention. Pessimism and depression paralyzes you when it hits.

I may look okay: sometimes, nothing is.

I am highly functional when I am in this state. I read, memorize French vocabulary or practice my Chinese writing: I do everything to think of nothing. I clean my room, paint my nails, play the piano. And I look wonderful. I achieve every result you expect of me and if you don’t look closely, I may look like the happiest person in the world.

Nevertheless, sometimes, everything is breaking apart. I try too hard. Always. There are two reasons: firstly, they are all my shadows, my ghosts and my luggage to carry: I don’t want to impose them on you. But also, because they’re all mine, they’re private. It’s my pain, my anxiety and my concerns: who are you to enter my world and break my walls? It’s complicated. I want help. But sometimes I am not ready to embrace it. I need time. Lots of it. Please don’t give up on me.

Sometimes you help, sometimes… I wish you could leave me alone: Please be patient.

Don’t treat me as if I was made of glass. That makes me over-conscious. It puts me in an unwanted, awkward spotlight and it makes me cringe. It makes me distrust you, because it feels fake, sudden…and it makes me want to step back. Because it’s too much, too close.

Treat me as you would treat anybody in the street and do not think so much of my silence or frowns. I am listening to you, just under another spectrum. I may be a little bit unfocused and distracted, but it’s still me. It’s another side of me that I want to show you, because I need you to know all of me. If you stay, you’ll become a friend. If you don’t, I’ll just slowly disappear from your life. I make this choices unconsciously and I perfectly understand if you don’t want to deal with so much complications….

I need space. It is overwhelming: I may disappear sometimes. Most of the time, I need to find the answers in myself. I need to drown in my thoughts for a while, and I’ll come around. I promise you. Please don’t say stuff like “You are not letting me in”, “This is why you are like this” or “Don’t overreact”. It’s a protective mechanism. I cover myself in walls and find refuge in a shell so I can handle it.

It makes me paranoid, anxious and sensitive: I know, and I’m trying to deal with it. Don’t remind me, I realize I am being irrational. If you try too hard to change me, I’ll just send you away. And most of the time, you should know I don’t want that. I want you to stay close to me, because I care for you. I’m not antisocial. It’s just that sometimes I am too much of a mess to engage in a conversation or any other interaction. I don’t want to give you my fears and stress you with my paranoia. Sometimes, when I say it aloud, it becomes too overwhelming and real. And once in a while, it’s a relief. But I need time to identify which one it is. Again, talk to me as if it was any other day.

Speak to me of your problems and I shall not fade away. For I will realize that I’m not the only one suffering and you’ll comfort me. Don’t expect helpful advices, because I may not be in the right state of mind. But I want you to know that we’re struggling together and I care. I care so much. I want us both to walk through this and I know we can do it. Always.

I know that asking for understanding can be a little bit too much. But I do need to ask for respect. Not only for me, but for everybody that’s struggling with this kind of moments. Like I said, it doesn’t define us: but it feels like one’s whole person is a misfit in a bright, happy society…when we start to generalize and think of “depression” or“pessimism” as synonyms of “negative”, then somehow, some of us lose a place in the status quo. And we don’t want that. Even if it doesn't seems like it, we care and we want to be alive.

We need that place to return to when we get better. It’s just for a little while, once, twice or multiple times in a lifetime. I believe we can all be patient enough to keep that place. What about you?

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