I've got depression in my body and I ain't afraid to show it.
I'm anxious and I know it.
For some time now, I stopped lying when I couldn't go out. I stopped saying I was busy, tired from work or pretending my dog was sick.
Instead I would say: "Sorry I can't make it, I'm having a bout of depression/had a panic attack/flashbacks/anxiety...etc."
I expected to be uninvited from all future outings with an eyeroll and a quip about getting over it.
Instead I've heard: "Thanks for being honest. I actually also have [Insert mental illness] too. Isn't it [adjective]? Hope you feel better."
Maybe I have a lot of nervous friends, but possibly, maybe, mental illness is more common than we think and no different than suffering from periodic migraines, frequent colds or having a deviated septum. Sometimes it gets bad and it's more like being diabetic, where you need constant self-care. But it's freaking normal.
The less we keep quiet about it, the less lame excuses we need to conjure up. Society and un-supportive "friends" will catch up and you'll just be left with being you. Scars and all.
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