Sunday, June 2, 2013

Phantom of the Opera: What I hide behind the mask.

June is Migraine Awareness Month, and there are blogging prompts for each day of the month.  The prompts for this year are based on a movie.  The first prompt is "Phantom of the Opera:  What do you hide behind your Migraine/Headache Disorders mask?  What do you let people see?"  

What do I hide behind the mask?  I hide everything!  I hide when I am in pain.  I hid depression.  I hide tears, frustration, and fear.  You see, I am a people pleaser. It's a fault.  Even when I am not being a people pleaser, when I am standing up to someone or something or being assertive or whatever--I'm doing it in a way that I think people like.  They think "Oh, look at Julie standing up for people's rights or being strong, or whatever.  That's our Julie."  So, I can't let people see the bad stuff, the stuff that they won't like.  The me that is in horrid pain that makes me wonder how I'm not going to die from it.  The me that is so depressed I wonder how I will ever get out of bed again.  The me that cries so hard I can hardly breathe.  The me that is so frustrated, I just don't want to deal with people, I don't even want to put effort into my health or friendships or family.  And I definitely can't let people see the me that is so scared that I will always be this way, that there is nothing that will ever make me better, and that for the rest of my life, my head will torture me and depression, frustration, tears, and fear are just my lot in life.  

What DO I let people see?  There are a handful of people I let see the things mentioned above.  A very small handful.  But mostly, people see a smiling, happy Julie.  They see the mask.  I tell them about migraines, but I don't let them SEE the pain and tears and fear and frustration.  If the tears ever start, they don't stop.  If I show pain, I'm not sure I can control it, so it's best just to not show it.  Like Dori said to "Just keep swimming"  in Finding Nemo--I  have to "Just Keep Smiling" or who knows what hell will break loose that I can't control. The mask is safe.  The mask fits.  It's been on for so long it doesn't even feel like a mask anymore.   

How about you?  What do you hide behind your mask?  

June, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders.  The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is issued by

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