the masquerade

I saw this illustration today on Washingtonpost.com‘s  “Opinion on Success” section, and it just reminded me of what it’s like to be depressed but stuck in the real world. I think we end up holding up this happy face for so long that pretty much no one would even figure out that there’s something going on underneath that surface—or that there’s even a mask that hides the truth. It’s such a tiring process to look perfectly pleasant, but it’s also not easy to have to show your true self and then explain why you seem upset. The thing is, you don’t even know how to explain it because what you’re upset about isn’t over just one single event or a thing. It’s hard to express to someone that your whole soul is trapped in a darkness and you don’t even know how to get out.

Maybe we put on this mask not for others but for ourselves. That way, we don’t have to confront the truth about how we really feel. Sometimes, it is easier if we just had to deal with that smile.

I used to have ‘the mask’ on practically all the time, including at my doctors’ appointments.  I’m still very good at pulling out this smiley face mask, but as tiring as it is to come face-to-face with yourself and your feelings, I’d like to think that I’ve gotten better at being able to leave that disguise alone.

Though I’m not very familiar with the Bible, there’s the quote, “Truth shall set you free.” Maybe it applies in this case. The truer you are to yourself, you become freer, not just physically, but also in an emotional sense.

One Comment to “the masquerade”

  1. Oh, how I long for the mask. I lost it somehow. Now, my feelings are always obvious. Scared to go to the store…I’ll start crying etc.. So, far the truth hasn’t set me free. But, I’m also not on the “right” meds. Once on the right meds., will the truth set me free? :-)

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