It is so good to be feeling better. 

So, so good.

But I feel like I’ve forgotten how to be normal.

Like I have to overcompensate for my past months of misery by being relentlessly ‘up.’

I feel like people are watching me, waiting for me to slip again. Thinking it’s all an act.

And that makes me worry that it *is* all an act.

If I’m feeling a bit ratty – and don’t we all? – I feel I have to consciously stamp out those feelings. Put on a smile. Be chirpy chirpy cheep cheep.

If I’m feeling snappy hormonal – and yes, it *is* that time of the month – I feel like my husband is watching me, waiting for me to flip out. Overreacting when I rant at the kids. 

It all feels fake.

I feel like I’m being too perky, too ditzy, too Pollyanna. Slightly manic. Slightly fake. And I feel like people are watching me and judging me for that, thinking it’s a sign that I’m going mental again.

Maybe I am. But I don’t feel like I am. I don’t feel sad or desperate or desolate. I don’t want to hurt myself. I just feel like I need to put on this show, this big show that I’m okay. And I don’t know how to do it. I’ve lost touch with how I usually am. What I am like when I am being me. So I’m being this exaggerated version of me. Which is stupid, because I’ve never been super-confident and witty and outgoing and flippant and silly. It’s not me.

And the other dilemma – hot weather. Hot weather that means I am melting in a cardigan. My supposedly well-placed cutting, placed so no one would see it, didn’t factor in summer. So what do I do? Keep my cardi on? Be uncomfortable, and have people wonder why I’m not stripping off? Strip off, and keep my arms artificially pressed to my sides so no one sees what I did to myself? Put a plaster on the worst bits and pretend I’ve had a mole removed? Throw caution to the wind and just let it all hang out, so to speak?

I think I will do the latter on holiday, with my own little family, among people I don’t know and who I will never see again. I think I could even do that with a few close friends who knew what I was doing. But in front of my parents? The playground? That’s where I flounder. Is it better to be honest? Part of me wants to be. But a bigger part knows I will be judged, talked about. The kid gloves treatment will extend even further. And actually, I don’t *want* everyone of my acquaintance to know I’ve been unwell – just as I wouldn’t if I’d had piles. It feels just as shameful. More so, perhaps.

I am so thankful to be so much better, but I’m just beginning to realise that my recovery is only just beginning. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to navigate it.