This is hard for me to share, but I do so in the hopes that it will help someone. Anyone. There is a part of being me that I just don’t talk about. It hurts. A lot.
Living with Bip, Pots and the twins is exhausting. Not knowing how I will feel from moment to moment is frustrating. Knowing that the anger of feeling helpless will erupt without warning is terrifying. Knowing that I have hurt those closest to me is heart breaking. Knowing that no one wants to be around someone who is volatile, unpredictable and always depressed is lonely. Trying to hold it all together is overwhelming.
I have become very adept at lying to myself and others about how I feel and the constant turmoil inside. The mask is a creation of my own that has allowed me to survive. It is the face of how I should or want to feel. With careful placement it will cover most of the pain of being me. With time it grows a part of me and I can almost believe it. Almost.
The problem is that the mask only allows for survival, not life. It becomes a self-imposed prison. While it is exquisitely painful, it is also comfortable. I may not know when in my cave, but at least I know what. It is a pain and turmoil that I know and understand.
Anything outside of my dark little cave is frightening because it is so foreign. Not only do I not know what, I don’t always know when.
Into the Light
I’m tired of survival. I want my life back. The problem is that when I take off the mask, it feels like I’m peeling all live skin off my head. It spawns feelings of anxiety and panic. It forces me out of my comfort zone. This is usually when the tears start.
I puts me in a position to interact with people face to face. I have nothing to hide behind. It opens me up to being rejected. It is easier to be alone by choice than because people don’t want to be around you.
Removing the mask uncovers all the heartache, disappointment, sadness and fatigue I’ve hidden under the mask. It shines light into the darkness I’ve grown accustomed to.
Why I Put It On
You may wonder why I keep putting it back on if it is so painful to take it off. I’ve yet to find a comfort zone outside of the mask. It is difficult to live in a constant state of uncertainty and discomfort. When my stress levels begin to raise I yearn for safety and comfort. It dulls the heart ache. I can hide behind it. Putting the mask on is easy.
I’m Not Afraid
The most interesting part is that I’m not afraid. Not really. Just tired. I yearn for the light, but it comes with a price. My emotions are no longer dulled. I feel. Intensely. Painfully. Wonderfully. Joyfully.
In some ways, it is more exhausting than wearing the mask. I have to be more careful about the level of emotion required to participate in any activity. I can actually have too much fun. If I have an absolute let my hair down blast, it will be followed by an absolutely debilitating down. This is the gravity effect. What goes up . . . . Unfortunately the opposite is not true. What goes down tends to stay down.
I think I’m done. Please forgive the lack of illustration. I’m absolutely exhausted from trying to put how I feel into words. I hope that it is at least coherent and not totally depressing. A nap is definitely going to be in order.
Oh, one more thing. Don’t stay out of trouble. Life is too short.