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Everyone thinks my life is perfect but they don't know the other side

When I meet people or catch up with people I haven't seen in a while I tell them about all the extra activities I'm doing at uni, how I'm involved in all these clubs and projects and friends I catch up with and people look at me like they're amazed but often also say that they wished they were more like me and as hard working and motivated. At this point I want to tell them I am not as perfect as I seem, that often I feel like I don't want to get out of bed in the morning or that I can't bring myself to study because my anxiety over my grades not being perfect. But how do you tell people that? I feel like I can't talk about it without bothering people and bringing them down, like I have lots of friends that know there is some stuff going on but I can't seem to discuss the exact details of how I feel. Why do I always feel inadequet and push myself to do more until I feel like I'm drowning in stress? How do I talk to my family and friends about this without feeling like a downer or that I've failed my amazing parents? Why do I feel guilty for feeling this way because I have so many opportunities and people who care about me but still feel so alone and hopeless and how do I overcome this?

P.S I am seeing a psycologist currently and she is a big help but the journey feels so long and slow

Re: Everyone thinks my life is perfect but they don't know the other side

Hi @PuppyLover welcome to the RO forums and thank you sharing what you've been going through. Anxiety is a hard thing to deal with, as we often can't tell from the outside who it's affecting and because of this people can feel isolated or alone in their struggle. However I think you'll find that by opening up about your own experience, like you have here on RO, others will relate to what you're going through and share their own story too Heart


It's fantastic your seeing someone about it, are you able to chat to your psych about you can approach the topic with friends and family?

Re: Everyone thinks my life is perfect but they don't know the other side

Hi @Erin-RO, yeah planning on tackling that in my next session, we've talked about it a bit but particuarly with my family I feel like it's hard to open up because there are lots of things happening in my family causing a struggle including my sisters aneroxia and parents divorce and I feel like they already have enough and bigger problems to deal with so I'm struggling to feel like my feelings are valid even though I have been told they are I still don't think they really are

Re: Everyone thinks my life is perfect but they don't know the other side

That's really challenging @PuppyLover because I can see how easily you might put your worries / anxiety last considering what's going on in your family but when we do that we are minimising our own struggles and worth, which in turn, can make our struggles intensify and our worth plummet. It's a bit of a vicious cycle. I think you'll find working with your psych on this will be really helpful, and hopefully once you feel comfortable in opening up it will provide you with a massive sense of relief that it's actually been said and that you've validated your experience Heart

Re: Everyone thinks my life is perfect but they don't know the other side

Hi @PuppyLover


I think one of the most difficult things about mental health and telling ourselves that it's okay to talk about it. Talking about your struggles doesn't make you a downer. Everyone has struggles. Like you said people think your life is perfect but it's not. You might see other's perfect life but they don't have it great either. 


Obviously the best way go about it is to talk to a psychologist who are trained to talk about tough issues. It is great to see that you are seeing one and it's working, at least some what. In terms of your friends or family, I guess it's all about timing. You would want to drop some depressive stuff when everyone is like hanging out and having a good time. Maybe at the end of night just dropped like a casual line here and there such as 'it's been a long week' or 'damn today was hard to get through'. Hopefully that will get the conversation started, trying to start it as light as possible so the people you're talking to doesn't get overwhelmed and not know how to respond. 

Re: Everyone thinks my life is perfect but they don't know the other side

Hi @PuppyLover, thanks for posting.


It sounds like there's a lot on your plate with the extra activities you're doing at uni. Are you enjoying the clubs and projects that you're involved in? 


I can relate to the feeling of wanting to do a lot of stuff because they're great opportunities but then when it happens, feeling stressed and overwhelmed if there's not enough time for myself or time for other things I value, like my studies.


I understand your feelings of not wanting to talk to others about something in your life because it feels trivial. It sounds like your friends know there's some stuff happening in your life. Everyone has things they're going through, and it can feel good to get things off your chest if they're bothering you. It's okay to not feel great all the time even when there's amazing opportunities and support around you - we're only human Smiley Happy


And that's great that you're finding seeing your psychologist helpful. The journey can feel long but keep in mind your goals and the changes you'd like to see eventually. Good luck!