Which Mask Today?

Normal days are often few and far between for those with bipolar disorder. In my case the majority are down days, some normal days and then some days that are a little too good because I’m hypomanic. However your days measure out, there is a gap to fill in. You have to fill in the positive and negative gaps to get back to normal. So what mask are you wearing today?

It seems like depression is what requires the most covering up. There are days that the only mask that will fit is the one that barely gets you through the day. Other days, you only feel like a shell of yourselves and the mask you put on helps you fake it the rest of the way to happy. When you’re irritable you have to put on the mask that makes you somewhat pleasant and makes you seem like not too much is bothering you. Hypomania/mania has its share of masks too.  You may try to mask that your operating at hyperspeed or that you are close to spinning out of control.

You may be faking it when you put on your mask but the masks themselves aren’t. They’re still you, they just aren’t the you at that particular moment. Putting on the mask is a way of coping and compensating. It enables you to play a character that best helps you get through the day. It’s a tool of sorts. One that comes to our aid when we mentally cant do it.

The days of normal, when the masks aren’t needed are the best. Your personality is at 100% and your genuinely happy. For the days that aren’t like that I’m grateful that I have my masks. No, faking it isn’t ideal but I can still go through the day and actually live instead of just function. What about you? Do you have masks?

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10 responses to “Which Mask Today?

  • Ruby Tuesday

    I dropped masking long ago. Partially because my moods are too severe and uncontrolled – it isn’t an option. Also, though, because I’ve stopped referring to my moods as “moods.” They aren’t moods, they’re pieces of my personality, what makes me me. I’m not going to try to hide them any more than I hide my love for great books or my sense of style. That just isn’t me.

    I also think that the more we hide, the more we contribute to belief that what we experience is something to be ashamed of. I’m not ashamed, and anyone who tries to make me feel like I should be should reevaluate their judgment and ignorance.

    • acrazybeautifulmind

      Hi! I think I was slightly misunderstood with this post but I can totally see where you are coming from. I am by no means trying to hide and contribute to the shame factor. I’m working on a follow-up post that should clarify and take this subject into the direction I originally wanted it to go in. We’ll see!

  • ManicMuses

    Except when I am at family gathering, I quit using my masks when I left the workforce. But I’ll tell ya, it was very hard sometimes, being in a leadership role and having to wear the mask *all the time.* One thing I did notice, though. On the days I needed the heavy duty mask, I tended to apply too much makeup. Woah, deep, eh? LOL

  • Ryan Fanucchi

    Hi,

    I don’t wear masks – I just hide and isolate. I find that every day functioning with this illness is a challenge. Most of the time my speech is out. I’m on maxed out doses of medications and they keep me out of the hospital, but it’s very difficult to learn and adapt. I slur words, so most of the time I keep quiet.

    I’m 34 and have been struggling getting through school because of this illness. I’m just trying to get my Associates Degree in Science. I’d like a job that doesn’t require too much people interaction.

    I have family helping me out, but when I’m done with my schooling, I’m terrified what could happen. Medication and ECT has my IQ lowered a lot.

    Thanks for letting me vent,

    Ryan

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  • misstattoo83

    I use masks. Sometimes it’s terrifying to admit that i am not coping. I can say it to myself but friends and family freak out because they don’t understand. They try so hard to “get” me but when “moods” change change as fast as mine can its hard for them to keep up.

    I took have makeup masks. When i have to go some place or do something i am not 100% comfortable with (like walk into a crowded restaurant for my best friends birthday ALONE) my eye liner becomes thicker and its not until i look at photos afterwards you can actually tell in my makeup that i wasn’t coping.

    I can relate to this post. :):

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