The Masks We Wear

Happy Halloween! I love this holiday! I am a huge fan of costumes and dressing up. I enjoy flirting with the darkness, the scary and spooky. I love seeing people express their humor in creative ways. I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of Halloween.

It’s this time of year that begins my hectic holiday season. I get swept up in a whirlwind of birthdays, parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. Sometimes the holidays can be rough for me and I have been more prone to isolate myself in recent years. I try to surround myself with friends and family but sometimes it can be difficult.

I think the draw to isolate, which is a symptom of depression, comes from the lack of energy to put on one’s mask. You know the one, the “everything is totally fine” mask. You smile and play the role of Content Person so as not to harsh anyone else’s chill. But deep down you hate everything and everyone, including yourself, and that’s not an acceptable thing to say to people so you don’t, and it rots away any joy you might have had left. So you pretend it’s all good, everyone has problems but you’re getting by. You know, that mask.

I try to be honest with myself in all ways. When people say that you should be your own best friend, it’s not narcissism, it’s about treating yourself right. I’ve been trying to learn self- compassion recently as I tend to be so wrapped up in myself, thinking over every mistake I’ve ever made. I’m very critical of myself and I hate feeling so self-involved all the time.

By being self-compassionate, I’m learning to accept that I am flawed, that I make mistakes, and that I don’t have to let those mistakes define who I am. I also have realized that self-compassion is liberating because it reminds me that I’m not that special.

Other people have dealt with similar things in life. Other people have felt my pain. Other people have sat up wondering if they fucked up by making the wrong choice. Other people have cried over a broken heart. Other people have wished it would all just end.

And I remember that other people have risen above the hurt. Other people have picked themselves back up to face another day. Other people have lived full lives, with happiness and sadness, pleasure and pain, lessons and regret. And I am comforted. I may be a special person in my uniqueness. But I’m not so special that I can’t try to be a part of my world as much as I can, because even if I didn’t want to be around y’all, you people are everywhere.

Wow, every one of these snowflakes is unique! Isn’t that special?

I’m not so special that I deserve my own personal brand of punishment, which is picking at every single thing I’ve ever said or done or felt or assumed and reliving it over and over. I got other shit I need to be doing. So, I tell myself that it’s okay, mistakes were made, time to move forward.

It’s surprising how easy it is for me to find joy again in simple things. I’ve been more motivated to take care of myself, my dog, my apartment. I’m taking pride in my days being productive. And all because I decided to treat myself how I would my best friend, honest and caring (with a dash of tough love, had to realize how lazy I’d gotten).

And I’m learning who I truly am again, through my behaviors toward others and myself. Because who we are isn’t what we think and say we are, but what we prove ourselves to be. And fuck what other people think about you. If they aren’t in your life long enough to know you through your actions, does their opinion matter?

Even if my neighbors think I don’t pick up my dog’s shit, I do it anyways

So, pull out your “everything is fine” mask and ask yourself if you ever want to have to wear it again. If the answer is no, smash that motherfucker with a sledgehammer and proclaim yourself victorious! And give yourself a fucking high five for the accomplishment, bruh!

Be your own best friend, forgive your mistakes and encourage growth. And maybe spend time with your actual best friend, too (canine or human, you choose). Couldn’t hurt.

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I would love to hear your comments!

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