At this point, we all have a mask for every occasion. There is the mask for work, the one that stays in your purse or in your car, the one you wear after exercising and the one that always seems to be lost. I feel like I should probably frame my Artifact mask. I wore it so often and it meant so much to me in the early months of COVID.
But what about the everyday mask we wore before COVID? Just like our COVID masks, our mental health masks are a safety feature. A security blanket. The thing that protects us from other people knowing we are hurting or sad or living in an abusive situation. It’s the human mask of “I’m fine”.
With more talk than ever before about mental health (though not enough in my opinion) can we also start shedding our other mask? Is this going to be the turning point for mental health? To have the stigma decrease and services increase would be a huge step in the right direction. I want going to therapy to be as “cool” as seeing a plastic surgeon. After all of this, all that has happened, all that is still happening, we all need to touch in with our emotional selves. We all need to identify people, places and times we can be vulnerable and lower our mask. Let’s start the healing process. Let’s start the emotional process. Let’s start the human process.
Pick your mask wisely. Know when to take it off. It’s okay to not be okay.