You Can’t Say That

Personal disclaimer: I do not have clinical depression or generalized anxiety and instead have depressive episodes and anxiety as side effects of other mental conditions. My behavioral health recovery is informed by my personal traumas, generational trauma, BPD, and ADHD. Nothing said in this post is intended to instruct another in their own mental health journey.

Recovery is obviously the ideal and I am quite satisfied with how far along I’ve come and the many new avenues opened up to me because of a successful treatment. I am in the process of training to become a certified peer support counselor in my new stomping grounds. A large foundational practice in peer support is to transition your language to abandon stigma and the dialogue of the medical model.

Which led me to think of all the language I’ve had to abandon on my own mental health journey. While I would never speak to a peer with anything but understanding, compassion, and an open heart, long-time readers of the blog will know that personally nihilism and mockery works for my own mental health recovery.

Let’s pour one out all the phrases I’ve had to cull from my vernacular, shall we?

“Back on my bullshit”

Nowadays when I mention I’m “back on my bullshit,” I’m probably referring to unicorns and glitter stickers which doesn’t even makes sense since I was clearly never off that bullshit. Let’s be real. Previously this phrase was engaged when I made poor life decisions that had little chance of providing long term satisfaction, but I impulsively did it anyway. Understanding my impulses better led to impulse control and an utter lack of bullshit to get back to. Rude.

“Black like my soul”

Previously, a beloved mentor snapped at me for calling my soul black one too many times and we agreed that my soul was really more of a pewter or another dark metallic color that catches the light just right and looks shiny, but was still very dark. My humor might have gotten darker, but it is safe to say my soul was squeegeed within an inch of it’s life. It’s not a clean soul, by any stretch of the imagination. More like a threadbare soul. Fishnet soul? I’ll sort it out eventually…

“Dead inside” jokes

Losing jokes in this category is the most confusing. Some aspect of my interior life has felt dead since middle school. That’s a long time to live with a festering rot inside yourself. While I am happy (I guess) about this development it does feel like losing a part of myself in the process.

“Hot Mess Express”

A few years back a friend referred to me as a lukewarm mess instead of a hot mess in an effort to make me feel better about my messy self. Recently a different friend referred to me as room temperature clutter to inform me of my personal growth. As more and more of my ADHD is under control, the less in common I have with this phrase. Sad face.


At the end of the day, I am quite glad to be rid of these phrases. It is a weird process to figure out. My only real course of action is to say them and immediately make a face that they no longer apply to my life. This recoil is immediately followed by relief flooding through my chest that it is not for me anymore.

If reading this list stirred anything inside of you, please contact the appropriate mental health professionals in your network to discuss. If you do not have a behavioral health team in place, please reach out for treatment referrals.

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