Daily prompt: Masks off

We’re less than a week away from Halloween! If you had to design a costume that channeled your true, innermost self, what would that costume look like? Would you dare to wear it?

Like all clinically depressed people, I have a persona that I wear that is sociable and friendly. As my shrink has pointed out more than once, I fake it to make it. When my depression is not bad (which is not to say that I am not depressed), I can actually enjoy and profit from interactions under this facade. When my depression is worse, I am barely able to maintain the mask. When it is at its worst, I don’t tend to go out, since I cannot maintain the mask. I cancel engagements, and don’t show up outside.

So would I dare to wear the worst me outside? No, and why should I? One doesn’t expect a cancer patient to parade around in her hospital johnny with tubes sticking out of her arms. Why should someone suffering from a mental illness be expected to do anything like that? Treat major illnesses the same. Depression, as some comedians would tell you, is not a joke. Nor is any form of mental illness. Nor is any illness that is real and treatable in any way.

I have written about this before. The tendency to blame the victim of mental illness, whether a suicide or not, is inconsistent with who we are as a people. It is cruel and inhumane. It is not treating another as we would be treated ourselves. It is unChristian, and unBuddhist and probably all of the other great religions. People who say suicides are selfish are so out of tune with the facts as seen by the suicide that the lack of charity is stunning.

Sorry to rant and rave on a daily prompt, but I was only following the instructions. Do you really know what’s behind your mask?


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