Mask Be Gone

Today will be another 2 post day but I will leave the second one for later on. It is a fun filled one about T and me last night.
I need to give credit where credit is due with regards to the posts where I have a lightening strikes moment and insight happens.  All of them, at the very least 99.9% of the time they evolve out of conversations that I am having with friends. They will make a statement or ask a question and suddenly boom there it is. And I talk it out with whomever I am talking to at the moment. The vast majority of them are broken down between two people of whom K is one of.
Today she is going to make cold calls for the company that she is working for. Dropping off flyers/information packets at the business around the area. When in the office for the most part she can go casual. Today though, she was not sure if it would be okay to wear casual or make a better impression if she dressed up. What did I think. And I thought about it.
Sales Person=Professional look=suits/slacks w/dress shirt for men. Pantyhose/skirt/slip/blouse/dress pants/blazer/dress/heels/flats/purse
for women. Damn uncomfortable being dressed up like that all the time. I have done it in the past and best place I have ever worked was for a company that was in production. I was in Customer Service but could handle this because I dealt with the salesmen not actual customers and I  could wear jeans and sweatshrits to work. I was in my glory. (To be honest the first day I started I wore dress pants in and was told I was dressed up too much.)
I explained that that was my definition of a sales person’s dressware and K agreed. She is going to throw her flair into it though and come out looking awesome. I began to think though as we are talking about what facades we put on. We are programmed to think and feel about certain people and careers solely based on how they are dressed.
Ex: A meeting is taking place between 2 competitors with a company. Person A arrives for the meeting casually dressed because he/she knows that the product they are selling is exactly what the companny requires and at a fraction of the cost even with a few bells and whistles thrown in of their competitor. Person B arrives for the meeting in business attire. Their product essentially the same as Person A’s but with extras that the company does not need nor will they ever use. And it costs triple the price. In the end despite the fact that Person A’s product is what they need for a great cost the company choses to go with Person B.
We immediately disregard people if they do not fulfill our preconcieved notions of how they should look. How does one know that the lawyer who wears jeans and tee shirts to the office did not graduate at the top of his law class while the lawyer in the $1000 suits who charges hourly did not? We give so much creedence to how we present ourselves to the world, that we forget who we are.
At work I have a facade. Chipper. Always happy. Smile on my face. Flying around here there and everywhere. Stopping to talk to people. Helping customers find what they need. This is the face that I wear day in and day out, 40 hours a week whether or not I feel like it.
Before Dec. 23rd, my entire being was a facade. I smiled and pretended I was happy. I laughed and talked and tried to be the world’s best problem solver. As I type this I recalled a moment just before that saturday which made me realize how much my facade was me.
I had been helping a customer and chatting away with them. When done I went over to another till to bag for one of my cashiers and her customer. All of us are chatting away and both of them mention that I am always happy. My mask slipped for a brief moment when I admitted that I was not really 100% me. And both of them told me that they never would have known. That I certainly did not show that things were not quite right.
Maybe if I had not been so intent on presenting myself as a strong and capable woman who required no assistance someone might have noticed a little earlier as the cracks began to appear. Maybe if I had been willing to be truthful with myself, I could have, no there is no could have. My facade had become me. I had become my facade.
Now I can look in the mirror and see me. This morning after I put cream on my face and set my glasses on my nose I took a really good look at myself in the mirror. And I saw me. The real me. The one who’s eyes are sparkling, clear, not fogged and drug numbed. I no longer look haggard and tired. I am still sleeping the same but again, there are no drugs at play deadening my sleep. I feel good. My hair is not looking brittle and ready to crack. Nor is it falling out in handfuls any longer. My skin is clearer and smoother as well.
There is another part of me that fell beneath the illusion of my facade and the role I was playing. That was my brain. My brain has been fooled and stupified and drug numbed for so many years I am damn surprised that it still functions. But it is there. With ideas and knowledge and truths that I fought to hide from for so long. I am open to the changes that are tearing down the ugliness that I wore to fool the world and replacing it with me. The real me.
I began thinking this was going to be a random reflection based on what K and me were talking about. Instead it opened my eyes further to the changes that I have wrought both inside and out. I am not going to wear masks any longer. What you see is who I am. I want to be accepted for the person that I am, not the person that society expects me to present to the world at large.


***Mirabel Tiara found on internet***

One of the hardest things that I had forgotten about depression are the ups and downs. How one day I can feel great. I have energy to burn. I want to accomplish things. So I dive right in. Cleaning, organizing, exercising you name it. And I fly.

Than come the down days. Where I am lethargic. I have no desire to move. Eating is difficult. I stare at the t.v. or my phone or write in brief spurts, all so I do not have to think. And the tears. They keep coming. I feel nothing. It is easier that way. Because otherwise, all the pain and emotions that are swirling around inside of me needs to break free, and I can only handle so much.

I have been writing a lot. Little bits and pieces as I make realizations. As I begin to honestly look at my past and can see the consequences of my actions. And the actions of others. After I do something like that, I am exhausted. My poetry comes and goes. Part of me worries that as I am writing about the same thing over and over again, that it is going to sound the same. So I am struggling there. This blog, is the first one that I have written about my depression since Dec. 28th.

When I say I am exhausted, people look at me like what do you mean? How can you be exhausted? You are home all day, doing nothing more tiring than reading/writing/watching t.v., like seriously. Yes seriously, I am the Queen of pushing it all aside. Thrust it deep down inside of me and if I cover it up for long enough, eventually I will forget about it. Yet I do not. It festers within me, eating away at my confidence, my self-worth, my life. Than I begin to look for outlets to avoid dealing with the pain, hence the drinking and drugs. (As an aside, I have found giving up alcohol to be far easier than the pills.)

Now, I am reflecting. Not every hour of every day, but I do. I do not pick the topic, my voice starts talking and I listen. Write. Cry.

There are things that I have not looked at for years. The abuse by my dad. How it was dealt with. That right there is going to be a topic and a half. I do not want to spend a lot of time discussing this aspect because I am bringing that asshole back to life. I do not want to give him that luxury. I will though, as this is going to be the only way that I am ever going to be able to find peace with myself. To be able to let it fade into my past where it belongs. Rather than leaving it to poison me over and over again. Despite my beliefs, I envision my father standing on a tiny rock in the middle of a lave pit and it slowly, excruciatingly rises until he is covered. And throughout the whole thing he can feel the burning of the lava as it sears the bone from his flesh. Repeat. I hate that man so much and yet I love him because he is my dad.

The loss of my daughter when I was 21. Never ever dealt with it besides getting drunk every year on her birthday. So I did not have to deal with the pain. (Are you sensing a theme with me?)

The beginning of my addiction. With this one, I have so much to figure out.

My life in general. Obviously I need to make changes. Positive ones that reflect the direction I want to move in. This means examining every corner of myself and trimming away what no longer works and adding those things that do.

I am angry. I am sad. I can be happy for a time. What I no longer am is the Queen of Denial. (Remember also Queen of Deflection…..I give myself a lot of tiaras)

As painful and hard as this is going to be, I am in it to become better. To learn how to cope healthily when I become depressed/overwhelmed/stressed. I am not naive enough to believe that after this I will never be depressed again for that is not the nature of this disease. However, I will be better prepared and more able to help myself. I will become stronger, braver and more alive. I am going to trade in the denial tiara to become Queen of Acceptance. 🙂