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Welcome to the Masquerade of Mental Illness


We live in an endless masquerade, dancing to the same song in the same clothes, but we change one thing. We change our masks after every song and we hide our true identity, our true self from the other guests at this masquerade. We hide ourselves from our friends and we hide ourselves from our family.

We often hide ourselves from the most important people at this masquerade: ourselves. Every time we put on a different mask, we become someone we’re really not because we want to be that person or because everyone will like us if we are that person and not our true selves. We change masks to hide the scars of our past and the pain we feel now. We might feel like people will only like us if we only show the good and not the bad because the bad hurts not only us, but others.

We may have been bullied when we were younger by our “friends” in school or at the park. They called us names that made us feel depressed or they pushed us down the stairs. They pushed us into lockers or they called us fat because we are not “skinny.” They called us names because they think they know us, but they really don’t because we wear masks at this masquerade, even when we are bullied to hide our true emotions. We probably wear these masks because of these scars.

We sometimes change our masks because we do not want everyone to know what we do or how we act or the type of person we are when we are home with our family or friends. In the masquerade, we are friendly and nice, but at home, we might abuse our spouses or our kids or our friends or ourselves. We might abuse them because of the stress. We scream at the top of our lungs because that is the only way we know how to relax. That is us when we are not at the masquerade.

Our world is an endless masquerade. It is a masquerade without an end as we dance the dance of hiding our true identity, our true selves from everyone we see with every change of the masks; however, the song and dance are still the same. It is the song of heartbreak, because in this masquerade, all we feel is pain and sadness. We lose our true selves with every mask unless we, with the help of someone, remove our masks and put an end to the masquerade so we can live our lives the way we want to — as ourselves. Until then, we dance the dance to the same song and change the masks.

Welcome to the Masquerade.

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Thinkstock photo via maselkoo99