I’m really good at this invisible illness thing. I don’t wear my diagnosis on my sleeve. Actually, most people don’t even know until I tell them, and they’re generally pretty shocked. They have no idea, and that’s part of why I feel what I’m doing is so important. It’s not just putting it down somewhere, getting it out of my system, but it’s something I can point to and say “This! This is exactly why I’m the way I am! This is where the problem is!”
The reality is much more strange. I don’t know my official diagnosis. My counselor doesn’t believe telling people their diagnosis helps them. Her opinion is that most people will use that as a limiting factor in their life. I suppose I could ask, but I never do. I’m just not comfortable with that and I’m not sure it would help anyway. I know she put general anxiety on my service dog letter, but beyond that I’ve been diagnosed with depression and PTSD before.
The frustrating part of all of this is the variation. Most people expect when you’re depressed, you must be depressed all the time. That’s not so. For me, I have my moments of absolute crazy, but they’re not constant. I’ll be fine for days, then suddenly something goes and pushes me over the edge. I can keep it together on the outside for a month or two, but eventually the mask cracks and it all comes pouring through. That’s the reality of it. Some days truly are better than others. Some days are the stuff of nightmares. When I wake up every morning, I never know which one it will be.