I recently read an article about a boy and his dog. The boy’s name is Noah and I felt he had made a profound comment. It was, “It’s just so hard pretending to be normal.” You can read the whole article here. That single comment made me stop reading and sit back in my chair. I sat there for a moment thinking that comment is exactly how I feel every day. I wanted to share about my mask and why it’s so hard for me…
When I am alone, there are no issues because I am ok with however I am at that moment. I could be sad or happy, motivate or depressed, in a daze or focused and perfectly content because I understand why I am at that moment. Plus if I want to change my mood, I know what it will take to make that happen. This is how I am the majority of the time. The true issue is when I am interacting with others
When I am interacting with one person or a small group, I slap on my mask and bury whatever thoughts and emotions that I may be having. I have to bury them because everyone doesn’t know about my struggles. It is simple to bury it though since I know that the interaction will be over soon and will be able to “recharge” myself. I have to “recharge” myself after every interaction just in case one of them last longer than expected. I have become strong enough to hold it together even if it does last longer than intended. The biggest challenge I have is when I am in a large group for a long period of time.
Large groups make it difficult because it causes the most havoc on my anxiety. This situation causes me to stand outside of the group or, if I can, hide behind my sunglasses. This way I can pick and choose the conversations I want to be part of. I really do not like unintentional attention even though the stigma for mental illness says otherwise. I do my best to fight off the thoughts whether I am grilling food for a family gathering or I am the center of attention at my own birthday party.
Large groups are so draining, mentally and emotionally. It usually takes me about 24hrs of alone time to fully “recharge” and return to the person that I am. Yes this sucks but its necessary so that I don’t bring any more attention than I want or can handle. I also force myself out of the comfort zone of invisibility so that I can actually spend time with wonderful people and not have any regrets once they leave.
There is the main reason why I and everyone else puts on a mask that is so heavy and exhausting. It’s because the majority of people don’t want to or enjoy being with someone sad, depressed, or quiet. They would rather be with someone laughing, funny, happy, or talkative. I can be that person. I am that person. It just takes a lot for me to push my true self through the pain and darkness. Until my next post… Share. Inspire. Conquer.