- Mental Health
The many masks of LaurieDawn.
“We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.” ~François Duc de La Rochefoucauld~
I was perusing the pages of Hub and I found a very interesting concept, not everyone follows but many do. They bring avatars and alter egos to the forefront, to conceal their true self. There are so many that do not want to be discovered, they just want a place that they can go and write what they will, write what moves them, what comes from their past and their present, and wish to remain anonymous. They don the masks of their persona that they have created upon these pages. Just as we do in life at times, hiding behind those masks.
This is what prompted me to write, or should I say gave me the inspiration to think, and write about how I find my life at times. I wear many masks in my life, giving the time, the place, the people, the social interactions, or at times even sitting here in my own world. I wear the masks of many colors, and many varieties. I wear the masks to conceal what I feel at times, as not to offend anyone. Do I always care what they think, or is it perhaps more of my own embarrassment? I would have to say both. There are times I care what people think, and there are times I just don’t want people to know what I am thinking.
Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I don’t care about people, certain people and what they think of me, it is just that at times I do not want to put more burden upon loved ones. Or that I do not want people to see me, upset, panic, crying, on the brink of that nervous breakdown and a myriad of other emotions. I do not put myself out there so to speak; I would rather hide in my own seclusion. I would rather be snuggled up with my own insecurities, instead of putting them out for the entire world to see. This is one of the largest hurdles I have faced in my life. The many masks I wear and not wanting to take them off to let them see the “true” me.
No, it is not a healthy take on life, nor one I would ever recommend taking upon yourself and hiding away from the world. I have set a goal for myself this coming up year, or years, or however long it takes. As you can see I am in no hurry. I am going to try and remove some of the masks to enhance my relationships with family and friends. To try and put more of myself out there, kind of a self-help experience I hope. It is to learn to slowly take off the disguise from myself and expose myself to a different approach than I have used in the past.
Some people talk about all the baggage they carry around from their past, and I not only have the baggage, but also they are filled with masks. I have one for every occasion, fear, panic, insecurity, love, anger, like, and every other emotion that you could put in the list. I have learned that in order to have it all, you must risk it all, and how could you possibly risk it if you are wearing a mask. You can’t! Do I enjoy the concept of being exposed, do I like the thought of being stripped bare and having the emotions play across my face. Not at all! But it is time to shatter those delusions, it is time to break off those masks and toss them into the timeless void.
I have came to the realization if I want to help myself get over certain issues in my life, I must peel back the mask and expose myself to myself. Peeling back layer upon layer, and reading each one, reading between the lines upon my soul, to pry apart those inner layers and come to grips what really lays beneath. I want to leave those masks behind, I truly do. I have found that I do not like myself at times; I do not like what ravages my mind. I am tired of carrying the burdens of not knowing myself enough to know what will help rid myself of all the excess stuff that rattles around in my head.
I could buy all the self-help books in the world, I could read all that materials I could get my hands on, I could try every single tip I have ever learned on how to gain that power back, but if I refuse to throw off those masks, how will I ever succeed.
It is time to do something different.
I could lose myself in a bottle of pills, and by that I don’t mean anything other than take this or take that, it will help your panic, your stress, alleviate your pain. I could stay locked up in my world, never leaving it to venture outside of myself, and then I look in the mirror and I see that mask that I myself have placed there, and it is time, time to yank it off and shatter it against that very same mirror. Not literal, but perhaps in a figurative or metaphorical type way.
I want to be healed; I know that the scars shall always be in their place, but who cares anymore. Without the mask, I shall wear those scars proud. In all the glorious beauty of how they were earned, it is time to put away the masks, and don the face of reality. Exposed, vulnerable, and all the barriers gone, and then perhaps I can buy a brand new mirror and I just might like the image I see reflecting back at me.
“All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions, which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself.” ~Ralph Ellison~