I thought I removed my mask when I had a nervous breakdown. As serious as a “nervous breakdown” sounds, and it is, it was not unexpected.
- Numerous sleepless nights turned into not sleeping at all
- The anxiety that turned into heightened fear taking over my mind and body
The signs, though overlooked, were the perfect recipe for disaster.
I can hear myself thinking: So now what? What do I do? I wanted to scream like one of those sirens in the middle of the sea that you see in those Hercules and Xena the Warrior Princess movies. But every time I opened my mouth nothing came out. Nothing. No sound, no voice, nothing but darkness surrounded my thoughts and my world seemed altered between what was real and what was my reality.
I would stare into the mirror and the face staring back was unrecognizable. How could this be? I was a speaker, author, visionary and founder, not to mention my domestic roles as a wife, mother, grandmother and older sister. Those roles seemed so far away and I still couldn’t recognize the face staring back at me.
Who was I? Had I masked for so long that my real identity became lost? “What a lovely smile you have!” They would say which led me to continually smile. I tried to smile my pain away but the PAIN was still there! Smiling was my way of masking. Who would have thunk it? Medical professionals have called this type of masking “smiling depression.”
So with 265 million people estimated to have depression (according to The World Health Organization-March 2020) are you one of them? Are you masking? Are you smiling through your depression or do you maybe know someone who is?
Just when will you take off your mask? Don’t you think it’s time?