Masks

I only cry, when the rain blends with my tears as I am reminded of everything I have ever done wrong.  

I wear baggy clothes so I don’t have to confront the truth. I am reminded of everything wrong with me.

I avoid the mirror because the minutes of trying to find the best angle, contorting my body, sucking in my cheeks, leaves my ego shattered and deflated. I am reminded of everything I have ever done wrong.

I never stop moving, never stop talking, never stop doing because the silence speaks – of everything I have ever done wrong.

I drown my thoughts with music because the voices are too loud, screaming everything I have ever done wrong.

I fear going to sleep, my brain is too loud, the darkness reminds me of everything I have ever done wrong.

I tell everyone that I’m good, everyone says I am a happy person. The mask shrouds it all. If only they knew everything I’d done wrong.

Everyday, people wake up, press snooze on their alarm, roll out of bed and put on their clothes. But the most tragic and ineffably ghastly thing they need to dress is their soul. In an attempt to navigate a world of categorisation and pathologizing, would you not want to wear a mask? Is a self-inflicted mask not better than a forcefully induced label?

The society in which we find ourselves in during 2018 is still in need of drastic change. I want to feel. Rather, I want to feel allowed to feel. I want to be able to express, to understand my emotions, and to be able to say I am a depressed person – and not be treated as a flaky, unstable being. Life’s biggest illusion is that your experience isn’t significant enough to be validated. We all struggle. We all want to cry. We all experience hard days. So why is it that we still face a stigmatic beast which is as large and looming as an unscalable mountain?  Why is it that we still see over 3000 people (just within Australia) take their lives each year? A person, a soul, a mother, a brother, a father, a sister, a son, a daughter, a love, is ripped from the world once every three hours. The only way to describe it realistically, is fucked. That the people closest to us can feel so alienated – trapped within their own masks and their own illness that they don’t feel worthy of living, of receiving help, of being happy – is fucked.

So, to all the brothers and sisters we have lost to suicide. We miss you and we love you. We will never forget you. And we will forever be fighting to lose the chains of irreplaceable loss that is amassed from suicide.

 

Words By Darcy Nitschke

Illustration by Grace Plunkett

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