I’m Fine…


“I’m fine.” The only possible way to respond when someone asks you how you are doing. Everybody says that, even if they are not fine. It’s just the easy way. It’s the way out of explaining how you are really feeling inside because you don’t want people to judge you or think you are crazy for having those types of emotions. You keep saying that, hoping one day you will wake up and find yourself feeling fine. But after a while, you get used to not being fine. It becomes part of your daily routine. Without even noticing it, you put on a mask everyday to pretend that everything is going just the way it’s supposed to. You put on a fake smile and dress nice so nobody could ever imagine that something is wrong with you. 

Seems like mental disorders are very popular nowadays. When technology was not a thing, people thought that having any type of mental disorder meant that you were mentally deranged, dangerous or someone whom you would warn your kids to stay away from. Nobody knew what depression was and even anxiety was just a myth. Now it’s the 21st Century and a teenager takes their own life every one hundred minutes. Your mind controls your entire body; if something is not working quite well, your thoughts can make you feel like you are living in hell. 

People who suffer from any type of mental disorders are likely to know what it feels like to be alive but not actually living; breathing but choking with your own thoughts and not being able to control yourself. It is so hard to live with a “monster” inside of you, controlling your every move, thought and desire. Not knowing what is wrong with you may be one of the leading reasons behind a teen suicide. Imagine having to deal with those feelings and on top of that, you’re all alone with no one to guide you to make the right choice. 

In every five Americans, one has a mental disorder, but more than seventy percent do not seek help, why? Because we’ve created a stigma about mental health which makes suffering even worse. On top of struggling with all those symptoms and disabilities that result from the disease, people with mental disorders have to deal with stereotypes and prejudice, which makes them feel even worse about themselves.

Our society is so messed up. It makes us believe that everything we do, think and say has to be perfect. There’s no in between; it’s either perfect or failure. “You are too skinny,” “too fat.” “Cover your face.” “You don’t need makeup.” “Aren’t you going to get married?” “You don’t need a man to be happy.” “Stop caring about what other people think.” “What is everyone going to think about you?” “Be yourself.” “Why can’t you be more like her?” 

From very early on we are subconsciously making a list of what’s right and what’s wrong. We like to put labels to everything, especially ourselves. We live in a complete lie. We want to please everyone, but in reality the real reason behind everything we do is to please our selfish selves. We want to fit in the box our society has made for us, we want to be unique, but then again we follow the crowd. We set high expectations for every little thing we do to get closer to the “perfect life” we want to live in or maybe where we think we’ll be happy, but in reality it only leads to disappointment, frustration and low self esteem.

I’m thinking about the people who should read this article, and to be honest I don’t have a particular audience. The truth is, anyone can develop a mental disorder; there isn’t a specific target group. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how much money you make or how many followers you have. Even little kids can be diagnosed with a mental illness. In fact, mental health disorders are the most common diseases of childhood. A great example proving that mental diseases have no eyes is Robin Williams. He was very successful, had an estimated net worth of 100 million dollars, had a loving family and basically a “flawless” life. At the end, nevertheless he committed suicide. Apparently, his life was hidden behind a mask, just like everyone else’s.

There’s a moment in life when you realize that Albert Einstein was right not only in physics but in life. He once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” There are two paths when it comes to overcoming anything: the first path is the most reasonable one but the hardest and longest to get through. If you decide to follow this track you will have to fight and never give up because one day you’ll realize that all you have been through has made you the person you are now- a beautiful fighter who has scars showing that you have won the war. On the other hand, the second path is the easiest and most painful one, which is pretty much giving up. It would make sense not to choose this path if you want to keep living, but when we find ourselves in a vulnerable and unstable situation where our decisions are being compromised by our thoughts, it is really hard to listen to our brain, so we just go for the simple way out. This is the reason why help is essential, to guide everyone who needs just a little push to a better life.

If you are feeling as if life does not have a purpose anymore, if you are feeling unhappy seven days a week, if suicide thoughts have crossed your mind, please seek help. Let me assure you, it does get better, but it only will if you try. The best things in life take a lot of time, but they are worth waiting for. There’s a quote I remember reading months ago that felt like a wake-up call back then, telling me to get my life together because there is a motive behind it: “Place your hand over your heart; can you feel it? That is called purpose. You’re alive for a reason, so don’t ever give up.”

If you or a fello student needs help, the Peekskill City School District has established a phone number you cn call/text. There is also the Westchester County Crisis Prevention & Response Team number which is available 24/7.

PCSD “Warm-Line” (daily 9AM-9PM, call or text; You will be connected to a member of Peekskill support staff): (914) 522-0624

Westchester County Crisis Prevention & Response Team at St. Vincent’s Hospital (available 24/7): (914) 925-5959

In these challenging times, let us also remember to work together as a community and support each other.