I had a mask that I would wear,
to cover my pain,
to make me feel in control.
It hid all of my problems,
let me feel normal,
let other people never notice.
I don't want you to get the wrong impression,
I was happy somedays,
and being with my friends helped so much,
they made me forget about my messed up mind,
and for a little why,
my mask would become translucent,
not quite clear,
yet I would shine through a bit.
But then I would get home,
and it would all crash back in,
the worry and self-consciousness of the world,
the feeling of never living up to an expectation.
I would put the mask on,
not even take it off when I was alone,
because if I could lie to myself,
I could neglect the pain.
Having this mask gave me control,
A false sense of power that I didn't deserve,
it corrupted my mind,
and soon I really did believe I was happy when I put on that mask,
that I was normal, that starving myself to look skinny was fine,
that everything was under control,
nothing to worry about.
Then one day,
I don't know when,
the masked slipped and broke.
This sense of realization came over me,
this wasn't right, I had to stop,
I couldn't keep living like this.
"No, with me you can have power and control, with me,
everything is happy and great." said the mask, in pieces on the floor.
I picked up the scraps and put them back together,
Yet it would never be the same.
Through the cracks in the mask, I could see everything wrong with this,
I could finally see all the faults.
I tried to take it off,
but it had stuck to my face,
clinging on for dear life,
Yet slowly, very slowly,
I pried it off,
one part at a time,
until it laid in remnants around me.
Still, something was off,
the shattered remains whispered to me,
telling me just to put them back on
"With me, everything will be great."
"With me, you can pretty!"
I stomped on them as hard as I could,
yet I only reduced them into finer shards,
still muttering the everlasting lure of habit.
All I could do was sit there,
plugging my ears, trying to drown it out.
It felt like it would go on and on forever,
that this was just my life,
trying to ignore these tantalizing whispers coming in from all around me.
But it didn't go on forever,
it eventually started to fade,
the mask losing it's power.
Sure, it calls out every now and then,
tells me it can make me beautiful,
yet I know better now,
I know how to let it go,
to leave it alone,
and now I may have lost my mask,
but I have gained back my life.
I wrote this about my eating disorder, but it can apply to so many different things. Whatever this means to you, I hope it gives you strength to keep moving on. I feel like it accurately describes how mental illnesses aren't just cured overnight, they take time, and sometimes it feels hopeless, but it does get better.