The Mask I Can’t Take Off

Today is the day for masks and capes, wizards robes and wands, and black polyester demon’s wings, which were attached to a young women on the train this morning and blocking my ability to get past her. (Also you’d really think demon’s wings would be made of material that doesn’t tend to melt once ignited, given how hot it is down there. And, who knew demons wear purple wigs and tutus, but I digress.)

Halloween was always a holiday I enjoyed as a kid, but not just for the candy. I enjoyed pretending to be someone or something else because I was so well practiced at it. Everyday I feel as though I wear a mask that hides my depression and anxiety, but which also hides who I am and who I want to be. There are no treats however, only the cruel trick that this mask doesn’t come off as easily as a Halloween costume. I wear it everyday.

I still wear it, but thanks to years of therapy and the support of those around me I am slowly learning to take it off. I am slowly, ever so cautiously learning to peak out from behind the mask and discover that the world is not as scary as I think it is for someone struggling with mental illness.

 

And if you feel like you’re wearing a mask too because of your mental illness, let me just say that I promise you it is worth the risk of taking it off.

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