On paper, my life is seemingly perfect.
I live in a foreign country, a city that can only be described as truly breathtaking. I have a career that I absolutely love, a wonderful family and a handful of close friends.
I couldn't be more thankful for the experiences I've had and the life that I have built for myself.
But, things are never really "perfect," are they? Most of us are guilty of creating an online facade, including myself.
The truth is, I am so lost that I feel like I am falling, desperately hoping someone will catch me.
All I can think about is how quickly time is moving. There are too many things I want to do, see, feel and be, and I won't ever have enough time for it all.
But then, why is it so easy for me to spend days on end sitting in my apartment, not doing a damn thing?
People think I am brave when I tell them I can move countries, cities, jobs or apartments at the drop of a hat. I guess that shows you just how diverse this illness is.
Moving countries doesn't scare me, but a moving bus full of strangers does.
They get tired of my excuses. They no longer want to invite me out because they know I will say no.
And I am sorry. The guilt that I feel for that is punishment enough. They think there's something wrong with me, and maybe there is.
Even though I want every second of every day to be meaningful, not everyone can fit into the small social crevices that make up the puzzle pieces of life.
I want to put the copious amounts of love that I have into a constructive connection with other human beings, and I want to be the life of the party without being sincerely intoxicated.
But, those things just don't come easily.
I'll agree that my mind is untidy. Thoughts float around and contradict each other at a rate that makes me dizzy and tired.
I want to make new friends, but welcoming new people into my life only increases the chance of me disappointing them.
It's not that I don't want to meet my friends for coffee next week or go out for dinner tomorrow evening. I just don't know how I will be feeling that day.
Will the train be so full that my breath becomes shallow and fast? Will the windows be open so I can steal pockets of fresh air?
Or, will I begin to feel my body pulsate the second I see a crowd? Will the thought of having to go out in one hour, two days or one week create such panic within me that it makes every single second leading up to the day feel like a torturous and devious hand churning my stomach?
Please promise to stick with me through my "excuses," through my phone calls that might last longer than you had anticipated because my head is so full of thoughts that need to be let out and through the times when I don't seem as interested in your life as you had hoped.
And I promise that I will try my best to be there for you whenever you need me because, despite my somewhat irrational behavior, I really do love you.
And at times, this illness makes me feel powerless and lonely. I'm so sorry, and thank you for standing by me.