The Mask


(photo credit: unknown)

“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.” 
― Jim Morrison

It certainly isn’t easy living with mental illness, although at times I see it as a gift, there are other times when I wish I could just pretend it isn’t there. These days, I tend to be swirling in my head, and it takes a lot of effort to even remind myself to feel and breathe, no longer wishing to go back to that numb feeling which entraps me in an almost catatonic state of feeling lost.

Then there is the guilt. The guilt of relapse, as if I did something wrong. I mean, unlike a recovering alcoholic who falls off the band wagon, I didn’t choose to take a «letsgetdepressed » pill. I am still in therapy, still working on healing, still moving forward. So why is my head starting to feel numb again? Why are my panic attacks creeping up on me? How come it is becoming a huge chore just to take a shower? So many whys when I never stopped moving towards Mental Wellness.

“I thought by masking the depression with silence, the feelings might disappear.”
― Sharon E. Rainey, Making a Pearl from the Grit of Life

The mask

releaseThe other day, in therapy, my therapist said after she asked me a few questions: « oh! I see the mask coming on, what is behind it? » This made me think about how the mask mysteriously appears when I am getting frustrated, or if I am not ready to talk about something. Usually, it pops on in anger, and lately, being truthful with myself has not been an easy task.

Because there is so much going on inside me, I do not know exactly where to look first!

I am the type of person who needs to deal with one thing at a time. Right now, what I am dealing with is accepting where I am at this moment. This is all I want to look at. Taking a break from visiting the past feels good to me. I know, in time, whatever needs to be healed will resurface, when I am spiritually ready to heal. Looking at the truthaches (Jeff Brown) feeling them and nurturing them takes clarity. My mind is boggled with so much bullshit.. it overwhelms me.

I need to sift through the clutter in order to see what is really there.

Even writing this post today is a challenge. I have hit the backspace more than once trying to remain clear and authentic with you and myself. There is nothing more annoying than a mask trying to get on my face. When depression starts playing tricks on you, well it reminds me of Jim Carry in his movie the Mask, however, the only person I am tricking in myself.

I really think the hardest part for me to accept is : One minute I am fine, smiling and joyful, the next I am in total darkness, then the next I am content, then the next I am in total confusion.

There doesn’t seem to be a balance lately.

I think that is the most truthful I have been in a long time.

Mask be gone!

kim signature

“Keep your heart clear
And transparent,
And you will
Never be bound.
A single disturbed thought
Creates ten thousand distractions.” 
― Ryokan

Each year, Canadians from all across the country come together in support of Bell Let’s Talk. On February 8th, 2011, 5¢ for every text message and long-distance call you made generated an additional $3,303,961.80 for mental health initiatives. Please share, spread the word and let’s make January 28th our most successful Bell Let’s Talk Day yet. #BellLetsTalk
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  1. AmishZombieDude

    January 15, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Kim, really well written piece! I totally understand and feel where you’re coming from. I’m in and out if the same boat and glad to hear that I’m in good company. Hang in there, Spring will come again.

  2. Exposing oneself to the world is the hardest thing to do and you know all of us at one time or another put on a mask it’s often a form of self protection. But one thing we can not do is face ourselves with a mask in therapy. We all have difficulty to let our ego at the door in front of everybody even when entering the therapeutic area. So don’t be to hard on yourself and on garde le cap Kim. I really don’t know where you find the courage to share your experience with mental illness publicly but let me tell you that helping others not to feel so alone with their own illness is something you need to be proud of. Take care this to shall pass….Carolexx

  3. Dear darling Kim!
    I have been meaning to write this to you for a while… so here goes…
    Thank you for your courage and for your beauty.
    Thank you for nurturing…
    I have emerged from a period of depression, recently.
    For three years, no one, least of all I, would allow the possibility. Then for the next two, it was all downhill.
    Only, it wasn’t. Sometime, unnoticed, it had turned and I had climbed.
    I had wanted to. I was where I was, and it was needed. I am where I am now, and this too, is as much a part of me.
    Thank you, again.
    Much love and blessings…

    • Kim

      January 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      Much love to you Mohini! Your kind words go deep into my heart. Wishing you much love and sweet nurturing.


  4. Hi Kim, first of all I tried to hit the vote button and it entered my number before I got all the buttons hit! Once again, you are so brave to be writing all of this down and sharing it with us. Thank you! You are an inspiration to us all! xxx

    • Kim

      January 13, 2014 at 11:26 am

      🙂 I needed to write this but it was hard pressing post this morning.

      Thank you for your lovely comment. 🙂

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