Do you hide behind a "Mask of False Bravado"?

@mari61960 (4895)
United States
February 9, 2007 6:10pm CST
I do, most people that know me, even my closest friends have no idea. They know I am sometimes depressed but they really don't know just how depressed I get. None of them know that sometimes I struggle just to make it through the day. Do you let people know the "real you" or do you hide too?
4 people like this
18 responses
@camar_lyn (1028)
• Singapore
10 Feb 07
Like you, i know that i do hide behind that mask as well. I try to hold on to it for as long as i can before exploding like a volcano. I have been relapsing in and out of depression since i gave birth to my first baby. I can still remember that period vividly. I would cry for no particular reason, upset with myself for not watching my diet during the pregnancy ( my waist was 24 and now its 32inches), angry with the stretch marks, accumulated cellulite, the list just goes on and on. I started reading motivational books, befriending new people, people that can give me ,moral support and don't judge me. I have to do it because no one else can change me. I have to change myself. On hindsight, i think my period of depression is is more a test of my endurence, perseverence and mental toughness. It will take a lot to get out of it. But i don't let strangers know because hey they are strangers! lol
2 people like this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
10 Feb 07
Yes I try to see it as a test of endurance myself. That's what keeps me going, I refuse to let it win. I've been struggling with depression since I was very young but never knew it, until after getting flesh eating bacteria. This past Christmas was an all time low and it took everything I had to make it through. I found mylot just after that at the end of December...it helped and still does...lol God Bless us all, I'm sure we need it.
1 person likes this
• Brazil
10 Feb 07
Oh, Mari... I just foun out what is the flech eating bacteria by reading it in wikipedia! Oh, my God! What a terrible thing! I mean, you must be a hero to survive it! Please, accept my deepest respect.
@camar_lyn (1028)
• Singapore
19 Feb 07
Hi mari, i do hope you feel better now. And it was a pleasant surprise for me when i saw you selected my comment as the best response. I'm still new at mylot as you can see my number is only 40. But i do try to help and i hope i helped you. God Bless!!
• Philippines
10 Feb 07
most of the time, yes i do have a mask. i think i'm only starting to get out of this mask little by little. all of my life, i haven't told anyone about my depression. people at school just think i'm strange and quiet. none of them knew that there was a violent storm raging inside of me. it's only now that i'm trying to be more truthful about myself. i find it liberating in a way. it's difficult though, because a lot of times i find myself hiding again.
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I do the same thing..I think we hold our masks dear to our hearts. Much like a child that can't part with a favorite teddy or blankie. We just can't let go for some reason it's a security blanket for us I think. I'm sure we'd be better off without hiding....but it's just not as easy as people think.
1 person likes this
@raijin (10373)
• Philippines
10 Feb 07
I try to hide to it from my fro=iends as far as I can. But when it's starting to get obvious and friends start to question me about my feelings, I simply ignore them and would stay at home until I know I can handle it already. Sometimes, problems which are more delicate and complicated cannot be easily discussed to some friends. We sometimes have to deal with it ourselves..
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
10 Feb 07
Oh, raijin I do the same thing. I either say I'm fine or just change the subject. I know what you mean about problems being delicate or complicated. Sometimes it just seems like it would make it worse to talk about it. Strange bunch we all are...lol
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (99193)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I think very few people know the real me. I am an actress at heart. I act as if all is right with the world. I act as if I can do or survive anything. At the end of the day, I would really like someone else to take over, and be the brave person, and take care of me.
2 people like this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
10 Feb 07
Oh yes wouldn't that be nice for a change..lol
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 07
No I don't what you see is the real me. It was must so hard trying to hide behind false front. I would imagine that you make you even more depressed
2 people like this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
10 Feb 07
You know actually sometimes I think it does make it worse. But I don't like to hear how I should "just get over it" or "oh poor you" etc. So I just suffer in silence.
1 person likes this
@simplejoy (359)
• China
10 Feb 07
I don't hide a real me behind the mask,i'm afraid to say so.If i am depressed,i won't pretend that i am okay.And if i am angry,you can see the anger from my face.So when i don't talk to anyone my friends will know that i am angry.But my rage won't last long by the way.
@xParanoiax (6999)
• United States
19 Feb 07
Heh, yeah. I've probably crafted a very good mask over the years. Especially with my family. To be honest no one but my three best friends have seen the real me, everyone else has never seen it. My readers might have a glimpse through my books and other writing works..but that's just another filtered form of me, it's still not the true me. I'm very open about my lifestyle, to the world that is, but I'm less open about my emotions, my heart it what I hide the most from people. Since it IS my achilles heal heh.
1 person likes this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
19 Feb 07
Sometimes I wish I didn't hide my true feelings from everyone. But then again I don't really think anyone I know really wants to see what I really feel. It's too much of a burden for them, they can't be bothered with it. You know I'm sure that we should just "snap out of it" I'm so done with that phrase. Thanks for responding.
@mtdewgurl74 (18118)
• United States
17 Feb 07
I know what yor saying because I go through it all the time and when they do know I am depressed they seem to leave me alone more like they are affraid to catch it or something. I hide mostly because it is the only way to be able to make it through the day. Nobody has actually taken the time to know the real true me not even my husband I jave no true friends. I guess they think I have to much emotional baggage to become and stay friends with they come to me and leave their baggage but I am not aloud to do that they always have something that suddenly just popped up or something some excuse. So I am myself my own true friends and yet my own enemy.
1 person likes this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
17 Feb 07
I hear you there...we are quite a bunch...lol At least we have each other here at mylot.
@devideddi (1437)
• United States
11 Feb 07
I got so much to say here, I'm afraid to even start. I didn't realize I was doing it at the time but I moved 200 miles away from my family ...to hide. Between my family and my husband's family and our friends...I was not strong enough to wear the face all the time and deal with ..with...everyone and everything. That was 12 years ago. Now I am torchered inside because I so miss my family and sisters and mother who is now almost 80 and won't be around much longer and then I can really be haunted because I am a terrible person. Gotta stop talking now, can't open up to very much I might have to feel that mess and I'm not going to. Now that being said........I want to tell you guys about my website. No its not about making money.(tho I do have a few links on there) Its about figuring things out, problems, uncomfortable feelings, advice, fitting in...anything this world throws at ya. I have one page dedicated to depression that I am just starting. The site is open but not finished and still gotta work out alot of kinks out. I thought it would be great if you guys could go there and maybe post or help a person that posted and kinda help it get going. Especially keep check on the depression page. I am putting a link named "What it's like for me" or something like that and I would be honored if some of you that have spoken up here would say a little there. So many people have no idea what we go through!! And there are so many of us going through it!! Thanks either way and sorry so long. Thanks also mari61960 for the topic! http://thankyousue.bravehost.com/
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
15 Feb 07
Thank you, I'm going to check it out now. I've been slow responding to this discussion.. I think it got buried but I'm back..lol
@AskAlly (3627)
• Canada
10 Feb 07
I may have the odd day where I really miss my kids and the good old days when they were little. It does not take me long to get over it once I start to count my blessings. But I do not need to hide behind a mask. This must be very difficult for you. What advice can I give when I do not experience these feelings? I cannot imagine what depression is like. I don't want to be one of those people that say, oh come on get over it. Or you should get out more. If you go outside for a walk you get natural endorphines from the sun and exercise. Go see a doctor etc etc I hope that some day you are able to feel something other than depression. Simply because there is so much to enjoy in life.
1 person likes this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
10 Feb 07
Well thank you for your kind words. I know it is very hard for people to understand. I too didn't understand the depths of depression until I suffered from it. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. It can be so debilitating. Even though you can say to yourself ..oh grow up, get over it ..etc. it doesn't really work that way. There are times I can distract myself by doing things I enjoy but the sadness and darkness is always lurking just around the corner. Again thank you for at least trying to understand.
• United States
11 Feb 07
I think we all wear masks to some degree. I have spent a large portion of my life hiding behind them myself. I am trying to learn that what I have kept hidden behind the mask can only heal if I bring it out into the light. I think I understand what you mean and I hope you find peace within.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
11 Feb 07
I am who I am and let people see the real me...but when I have problems..I don't usually show people when I am sad especially at work because I don't want my work to be affected.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 07
I think all of us have different responses to different people and situations. When I am in a large crowd I seek out a quiet corner. I try to be pleasent to everyone, and I usually seek out the person who looks most uncomfortable, and make a few general remarks to see if they will talk. I am pretty out going and up beat with people I know.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
10 Feb 07
mostly I hide, cause sometimes what I said most of the time is used against me. Ü
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 07
I use to be so depressed that I would pray every night, Please don't make me have to wake up again. And every morning I would wake up and cry because I was going to have to do this again. No one knew how very much I wanted to die or how much time I spent trying to think of the best way to end it all. I told no one. I didn't want to hear that I just needed to pull myself together and stop feeling sorry for myself. I also knew that depression is a mental illness and I certainly didn't want anyone to know that I had a mental Illness. Now I don't care. An illness is an illness and you don't get to choose it or refuse it. I suffer from depression. I got a prescription and now if I feel it creeping back in -- I tell the doc to up the dosage. Don't hide. Don't let anyone make you hide. You didn't hide when you had that flesh eating bacteria. Don't hide now. Your friends will stay your friends and if they don't -- they never were.
@Jshean20 (14373)
• Canada
19 Feb 07
Unfortunately I'm a hider too. I think that I hide because I know deep down that anyone who doesn't suffer from depresison doesn't really know what it's like and could think bad things about me (that I'm a snob, lazy, self-centered, etc). I know that I really need to get over caring about what other people think of me, but sometimes it can't be helped.
@gotbot (46)
• United States
15 Feb 07
I used to, but I don't much anymore unless the situation absolutely forces me to. For example, if I'm interacting with peers or customers at work, I'll put on the best face I can, which isn't actually that convinces. When I'm depressed, I'm really bad and that's not alot I can do to look well. Pretty much everybody knows to stay clear of me until it passes. Do you have anybody that you can talk to on a regular basis to let them know the "real" you? I think it's so important to have somebody in your life you can do that with.
@spangle (88)
12 Feb 07
Unfortunately, I'm hiding all the time. Some days are really ok, but others are really gruesome. You just have to paint on that smile, and carry on! You know, if you act out the happy little soul often enough, you find that even you believe that you truly are! Keep smiling!