I hate to admit this, but perhaps this will help me from acting stupidly. I don’t want to use my alternatives, I don’t want to fill out my logs, I don’t want to record and refute my negative thoughts. I don’t want to talk to anyone, journal, distract, color, draw, sew, read, exercise, commit to any sense of self-care. I don’t want to get better anymore. I don’t know how to not do it for everyone else. I don’t know how to not do it for school or my parents or my friends or the people who say they’ll help me. I don’t lie directly to treatment providers. I am a great minimalist. Of course I can handle my problems. Look, I’m taking care of myself, taking time off school and focusing on my health. Look, I’m interacting with friends, volunteering in the community, taking a fun kayaking class. Look, I have a project to do, a test to study for, a birthday party to plan. Look how functional I am and how much time I am taking for myself. I am getting sleep and eating 3 meals a day and dressing and going out and involving myself in others. I am reacquainting myself with new and old hobbies and giving myself lots of time to relax! Look at this perfect picture of health and recovery. Look at my neat logs, look at my challenges. Look at my goals, and the steps I’ve planned. Look, I’m so functional.

I always manage to convince myself that I really do want to recover this time. I am really going to put my effort into it. I am really going to do what others suggest and pour my heart and soul. For a time, it works. For a time, I convince myself that I can get better, that I can “beat this” that I can be stronger. That I am worthy.

And then, the negative thoughts slip in more and more. Convincing me that–there’s no way I can ever really recover. If I even make it back into school, it will be because I’ve fooled everyone, even myself, yet again. If I don’t make it back into school, I wasn’t motivated enough, I wasn’t strong enough, I wasn’t good enough, trying hard enough, talking enough, taking in feedback enough, being open enough.

And then I ask myself, “Will I ever be enough?” I ask silently to the world, the community, the parents, the teachers, the friends, “When is it enough?” Can’t I just be enough?

And I wonder, if I can really believe in these coping skills, these hours and years of research. Why can’t I just believe them? Follow them? Agree to them like a nice, obedient student? Why does taking in feedback automatically make me an obedient, mindless student-drone?

How do I mold myself into someone who is healthy both inside and out? How do I not make it a mold, but a reality? How do I drop the facade without completely making me vulnerable to everything? How does one become real?