Masking Tendencies

It’s curious to be an introvert and depressed.  I’m sure there are many who think these two simply go hand in hand with each other.  From my point of view, it does seem more likely for introverts to be depressed than extroverts, of course that’s certainly not how mental illnesses work.

I digress.

As an introvert, I get my energy, my.. motivational/action energy, one might say, from being alone.  It is often wearing to be out in public, surrounded by other people.  Better to say, it is always wearing to be out in public, and, for myself, it is often a trial as well.

At the same time, as someone who has moderate to severe depression, if I don’t go out, if I do simply stay home, my affliction swiftly amplifies.  I must go out to help balance my depression; I must be alone to re-charge.  Dichotomy.

For my mental health, I have become involved in a few groups so that every day I have a way to connect with others and, generally, the meetings max out at a few hours, thus [supposedly] providing the opportunity to also go home and recharge directly afterwards.

What I’ve noticed as of late is an increase in my general level of depression as well as a near constant weariness or fatigue.  It’s so frustrating to have these feelings again, to have so much hopelessness when I have both tools and skills to offset–or at least hold at bay–depression.

After several weeks, after the definitive increase of depression, after being unable to truly rest, after becoming more and more exhausted by each passing day, after talking around the edge of this with my therapist, finally it occurs to me that I have returned to wearing masks.

I’m trying to live up to expectations that other people most likely don’t even have for me.  I’m trying to focus only on helping others, of being optimistic for others, of trying to fix things for others.  I am hiding me beneath this need to make other people happy at the cost of my own peace and happiness.

I am hiding from the world.

I am hiding from myself.

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