On Being a High-Functioning Mess: Pros and Cons

I am a high-functioning mess. If you heard me list the happenings in my mental and emotional life during troubling times, and then the happenings in my activity or productivity, the equation would seem to not compute. This has its advantages, and its disadvantages.


  • I can pretty reliably get shit done, rain or shine. I can be like a machine in this respect.
  • If I want to misrepresent my troubled state, and say, Yeah . . . I'm good, everyone will believe me.
  • My ego gets to be all, Yeah. I get shit done.
  • Sometimes work gets me through hard times, like Tom Hank's character in Sleepless in Seattle when he says, Work will save you. It's something to keep me getting out of bed and the tiniest bit hopeful.


  • When I'm really not making it, practically no one can tell.
  • It makes it hard to be true, because it's not easy to say, I'm having a hard time, or I need support. Sometimes these things are hard to even know myself. Am I? Do I?
  • Sometimes when I do try to say these things, my high-functioning-ness makes it hard to believe.
  • It can feel like Really Falling Apart is an option I'm somehow excluded from.
  • It's hard to discern what taking care of myself in hard times should look like. (Keep going? Take a break?)
  • It makes it hard to be true. (Did I mention that one yet?)