Disguising The Pain

For several weeks, I drank vodka in my orange juice before setting off for school in the mornings, and I thought obsessively about killing myself. It was a tribute to my ability to present an image so at variance with what I felt that few noticed I was in any way different. Certainly no one in my family did. Two friends were concerned, but I swore them to secrecy when they asked to talk with my parents. One teacher noticed, and the parent of a friend called me aside to ask if something was wrong. I lied readily: I’m fine, but thank you for asking.

I have no idea how I managed to pass as normal in school, except that other people are generally caught up in their own lives and seldom notice despair in others if those despairing make an effort to disguise the pain. I made not just an effort, but an enormous effort not to be noticed.

  • Pg. 39, An Unquiet Mind, ISBN – 978-0-679-76330-7, Kay Redfield Jamison
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