Damned mask-wearing camels!

I don’t exactly know where to start this post, but I need to get a few things off my chest. That seems to be this month’s theme, doesn’t it. It seems that I have been wearing the mask too often, as people seem think to that I am ‘coping’. Well, guess what? I am not.

Oh, I’ve been managing to drag myself to work every single day. I’ve been managing to smile and be witty at the Reception desk all day. I’ve managed to come home and deal with as much housework as I can make myself do (although according to John it is still not enough). I’ve been managing to pretend that things are OK.

All of that has been a struggle. Work is the worst. It seems like every single little bit of my energy goes into gathering enough energy to get up and go, and then to make it through the day. Is it any wonder I don’t have any energy left over to have a proper relationship with my partner? That would be difficult at the best of times, given that John works nights and I work days, but as I am feeling now, it’s impossible. I just don’t have the energy to cope.

The fact of the matter is that one more straw won’t break the camel’s back; its back has been broken for a long time now, but it’s just been plodding along, in a great deal of pain, trying to carry its burden.

Do I really need to list everything that I am going through? Shouldn’t it be enough that I let people know that I am in a great deal of pain and am having difficulty coping? Hell, I’ve done that enough over the past month or so, more in the last week, but there is still no support.

Do you want it spelled out?

Well, whether you want it or not, here it is.

Each and every day of my life is full of pain.

My depression has not ever really lifted; not much, not fully. People forget that. Right now, leading up to Christmas, with the news about The Prick and 300,000 other stressors on my shoulders, it is just about as bad as it ever has been.

Some days I can conceal my pain better than others. Most of the time, the mask slides in place without me realising it. It’s a defence mechanism that conceals the fact that I feel suicidal nearly every day. People don’t like dealing with Melanie-in-pain. They want Melanie-with-smiles.

Sometimes the mask slips; sustaining the concealment 24 hours a day is impossible. Mostly it happens at home, when I have exhausted my scarce reserves at work. Me-minus-the-mask, is the real me. Deal with it. Minus the mask, I can’t dissemble, I can’t pretend not to be in pain. I can’t be reasonable; that is beyond me. I can’t give you the attention you deserve; that requires mental, physical, spiritual and emotional resources that I don’t have right now.

A peice of advice that is given to me regularly is to “fake it until you make it.” Well, I’m faking, but there’s no making.

I am not coping. I am putting every effort into getting well, but it is not working. Pretending that everything is fine, and searching for positives does not work, either. If anything, I just feel more removed and depressed because I know that, theoretically, it should make a difference

I don’t know how much longer I can sustain… anything. I need help and support that seems to have been withdrawn from me. My own fault I know. The mask has fooled people.

I once saw with my own eyes the Sibyl of Cumae hanging in a jar, and when the children asked 
her, ëSibyl, what do you want?, she answered, ëI want to 
TS Eliot. The Wasteland


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