- Mental Health
Hiding behind the mask
We all wear masks at some points in our life. It isn’t always a bad thing. Hiding our true feelings for others, to protect them or protect ourselves. Just putting on a happy face when we don’t feel very happy. Acting confident and pretending nothing can hurt you. Until the mask starts hurting. Then it’s time to take it down. Even when it is for a little while. And then, when we take it down, we feel, truly feel what’s inside.
Hiding behind the mask
Today I saw a friend of mine. She isn’t doing well lately. A lot of things happened to her the last year and she feels quite bad about everything, including herself. She blames herself for getting sick, so she couldn’t do the things she wanted and she’s convinced that if that didn’t happen, she would not have been left alone, left with debts and alone in a strange town a few months later, everything taken away from her. Her dignity, pride, trust, confidence gone, still confused and filled with questions unanswered that I can’t answer for her either, but at least I can listen to her, since she has no one left that will.
She needs some time to relax. But how and where? She tried going out alone, she met the people she knew before but they turned around after they promised to come over to her new home soon. They still have to come to visit. Also the party she tried to organize failed. She send everyone an invitation but nobody responded. So she stays at home.
She looks tired too, lost a lot of weight and because she got worried she went to the doctor and told him everything. Got her blood checked her blood pressure and so on, but the only thing he could tell her was that she probably had too many stress factors in her life. Really one to be exactly, but this one causes all the others. So she has to cope with it and try to get the little pieces back together.
She started crying and I didn’t know a thing to say. I just sat there and watched her face get wet. Looked in my purse for some tissues for her and gave them to her. Without a word from me I let her do all the talking. Let her feelings get out.
She feels stupid, hates herself for getting into this. The anger makes it only worse and more tears come rolling down. Not really anger, more disappointment I guess. Disappointments hurt and grieve. I miss the old her. A woman full of life and hopes, dreams and trust. Now she seems to have lost it all.
She wipes away her tears and puts her mask on when the phone rings. Telling the person on the other end of the line that everything is fine. She even starts laughing. She puts the phone down, still smiling and says”I just have to survive that’s all” leaving her mask on for as long as it takes.
I finish my coffee while she gets ready for work, puts a little make up on to make her mask complete. Going to take care of others , forgetting herself, forgetting her problems for a little while. Surviving, surviving the day.
Until next time girl, when you can’t hide yourself, don’t wanna hide yourself.
At first it can be hard to take down a mask and the feelings can be overwelming and confronting but hopefully during time it will get less, until one day you can leave the mask of and try a different hat;)