The Mask I Wear — Part 1

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The story of a someone's daily struggle living with depression, anxiety and life's difficult challenges. Inspired partly by events and experiences in my own life.

Another day has dawned and I am thankful for that. Only because the night has passed away and so too have the painful nightmares with it. No, that's not accurate! If only they would pass away, silently or screaming, it would be a funeral I'd happily attend. Maybe then I would have some salvation. 

On following my daily routine, I stare at my reflection in the mirror. How I loathe the image that is presented before me, this ugly and sad loser, this nothing. I do what I can to paper over the cracks trying to make something of what little there is. Ensuring that what is visible on the outside is as acceptable is it can be in order to hide what is broken on the inside. Despite not being 100% satisfied, I take what there is and venture forward on my way to work. After a brief internal negotiation, I make the decision to travel via public transport. I cannot bring myself to drive, I'm too anxious and fearful that I may not actually arrive at my destination. So I leave my vehicle behind, abandoned and unused. However, I feel a sense of guilt and insignificance for making this decision. Not enough to change my mind though.

My mood whilst waiting for the bus is overwhelmingly negative and grey. It declines rapidly and in symmetry with the weather which has now meekly descended from encouraging mild blue calming sunshine into miserable grey cloud and cold rain. I almost convince myself that my demeanour has in someway influenced the environment, causing cruelly enforced dis-harmony for all. I doubt that this will make me any more popular. I actually do contemplate running back to the house in order to hide, fearful of reprisal. The notion is over-ruled on the grounds that it's unlikely that my mood has had anything to do with the weather and that home is definitely the last place in the world that I want to be right now!

Stepping forth onto the bus, I cautiously look around at the fellow passengers deliberately not making eye contact so that they cannot proceed to make a connection with me in any way. More importantly, they cannot judge me. I slither along the aisle irrelevantly and take my place at a spare seat without being noticed, It was as much as I had predicted and hoped for. I sit quietly and alone with my thoughts. It's only moments like this that I start wishing I could find a way and the courage to never return home. To find a way that I could disappear, to no longer be relevant or exist!

The bus journey from A to B is made in silence. Nobody makes a sound other than the occasional wheezy cough and sneeze. Covertly scanning around, I see a handful of passengers sat stationary with little or no emotion expressed. It's almost as if this the final journey of death row prisoners heading onwards to meet their executioner. There is a little part of me that wouldn't have an issue with that outcome if it were true. I doubt I'd put up much resistance right now. I've lead my mind into thinking too deeply about this and I'm almost oblivious to the fact I've almost reached the point where I need to get off the bus and that the rain is beating down hard to the rhythm of thunder. Man, I've really brought Mother Nature down big time. I'm sorry for that.

I exit the bus unequipped to deal with the current weather, thus poking the senses that wished they'd stayed hidden away. I hate this moment! I hate this life and wish it wasn't mine! I wish I didn't exist! Still, no point dwelling on it now. I'm almost at work and it's not an option to show this "true me". I need to remain hidden behind the mask I wear daily and keep my fear and emotions locked away. I don't want any one else to know, not that any one else will care I'm sure. It's been such a painful experience already this morning and an ordeal just getting this far today. I really do wish that I could simply curl up into a ball somewhere and be un-noticed. But I can't allow this. I'm here now, still stood outside the buildings entrance getting soaked to the skin by the heavy rain. I must prevail! I must be strong and smile nicely through this mask. I also need to bloody get inside and dry! Stupid dumb-ass! Standing outside contemplating my own lack of significance and soaked getting soaked in the process. Could have easily done it inside!

I'm already finding this day taxing and it's only two hours old. Wearily, I walk through the entrance, my mind and soul burdened by the process of mechanically operating me. With the mask on, I try to wear a smile that is sincere enough to convince all around that everything is cool with me and that I'm "content" and "happy to be here", which of course is a lie. A colleague passes me and bids me a "good morning" to which I reciprocate in kind. I doubt they'd be interested in knowing that it actually isn't. I reach my office after exchanging pleasantries twice more, one of which drew comments on how good I looked this morning. Guess the mask is doing it's duty and is fooling everyone. I sit at my desk and drink greedily from the mug containing the coffee I'd nuked only a minute earlier. At last, a satisfying experience and pleasing emotion, the first of the day. I hope it's not the only one!

I feel my eyes begin to bare a tear, which I quickly dismiss, as I consider what hope means to me. In short, it's all I have that is truly mine! I acknowledge the fact that I can appreciate this positive feeling and that I have belief in it. I give it thanks and enjoy the brighter mood in my head and my heart. Here's to this day, I hope it's a good one!

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