Words that are open and raw and honest are words that never fail to leave a mark on those reading them, to resonate within the recesses of their often concealed thoughts, to find a place in their souls and make a home there. In this eloquently expressed anonymous piece, we find ourselves lost in the masks we wear and the fading line between them and who we truly are. An insightful read, one that we sincerely hope you’ll enjoy.
Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought, ‘I don’t want to be the person that stands in the mirror?’ Has the person staring back ever terrified you? As humans we are always trying to do what we think is right and always afraid to what we might become if we lose our humanity. But we fear the unknown even more. Have you ever looked in the mirror and not recognized who was watching you back? Have you felt afraid to lose yourself in the midst of the masks you have created?
It’s been one year since I saw the symptoms of depression sink in. Since then I have created many masks. Love, fun, confidence, vulnerability, anger, hate. I no longer know which my true face is or if there is even a true face. Are all of them combined to be just me as a person? Then why do all of them seem so fake? Why do all of these masks seem dishonest? When I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t see me. I see a person trying to fit in with the norms that society has made for me.
Society has a checklist for happiness. If you haven’t completed your checklist, you are unhappy or unsatisfied according to the norm. You need good education, a loving family, friends to fall back on, a house, a wife, kids, a car, a good paying job and an occasional vacation to keep the mind at peace. Congratulations, if you checked all the items, I pronounce you happy. I am studying at a good university, I have the best parents and brothers, I have friends who are there for me and I have a perfect room for university. I should feel a little happiness. Why am I not happy? Will the house, kids, car, job eventually make me happy? Should I just wait? What if it does not? What if this is my life? I will wait, but what if the masks takeover?
You know what the best thing about parents is? They always know what is wrong with you without you even telling them. I remember this summer break I went home. I was sitting with my parents watching TV when my mom asked, ‘what’s wrong?’ For a second I did not know what she meant. She asked me if I was worried about something. I told her I was feeling down, that for a year now I have been battling with depression, that I just want to hug her and cry for just one minute, that I don’t want this intense pressure to rule my life, I just wanted to quit. Well, that was what I wished I had told her. Instead, I smiled and said everything was perfect and not to worry. I didn’t want to but the mask took over. Is it more powerful than I thought? Has he become the real me? Am I lost?
I have told my family and friends I love them. I worry about them when they are out. I listen to them when they need someone to talk to. I am happy for them when they succeed. I am sad when they are in pain. Then why do I feel nothing for myself? When I show all these emotions, is that really me? Or is it the responses society has taught me for each certain situation? Am I a free person or someone society has made up to uphold its laws and nature?
Indeed, I hope I am a good person. But what is a good person? Is it what society has told me to be? If so, then why do I feel so depressed when I follow its norms? Everyone is facing their own monsters in some way. For now my monster is the masks I have created. There are a lot of questions that I don’t know the answers to. Maybe someday I will. Till then the battle goes on. But, for now, I am afraid of the person in the mirror.