Posted in Appearances

Behind the Mask

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne

We all wear masks to trick the outside world that’s just the way life is.  You portray yourself differently for different people.  You act innocent and respectful and sweet around your parents.  You act smart and hardworking in front of teachers and your boss.  You try to be your best most interesting self with romantic interests.  Even with friends, you probably don’t tell each one everything.  Maybe who we are is all of these masks combined and maybe it isn’t.

It’s hard to tell where you stop and the mask begins.  If you act a certain way for so long, it becomes a part of you.  We pick up different traits and actions.  We mimic others.  At some point, you have to stop and ask yourself who you are.  I know that I couldn’t come up with an answer for that question.  I might really be who I am when I’m alone, or I might be a combination of all the people I am in different settings.  But that still doesn’t answer which thoughts and traits and actions are entirely my own and not influenced in some way by an outside source.

When I read a book, I pick up ideas and see personality traits of characters that I admire.  Subconsciously, I feel that this alters who we are just a bit.  If I’m around people for long enough, I pick up mannerisms and habits like sayings from them, and subconsciously do them myself.  So how can I ever possibly determine where I stop and the mask begins?  Everything gets all muddled together.  We are constantly changing and putting on a mask.  Everyday you might be someone different.

“Don’t you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this?” ― Søren Kierkegaard

I think maybe the mask is a form of protection.  If I don’t know who I am, how can anyone else know who I am?  If they never see the real you, maybe it hurts less if they reject you.  I’m not sure that you can ever fully know someone, or that they can know you.  I think we do this as a survival mechanism to blend into our surroundings and do the best we can there.  I know that it really upsets me when I find out that people aren’t who I though they were, but at the same time maybe misrepresenting themselves wasn’t intentional.

I think we kind of act how we perceive the person we are around wants us to act.  We try to be the exact replica of what we think that for that person is ideal.  But even if it’s subconscious, different traits of ours that are less than ideal always break through at some point.  This is when people realize they don’t know you.  This is when relationships end.  This is when people leave.  I feel like it’d hurt a lot more if people rejected entirely who I am rather than just a faint shadow of it.  Maybe, we put on a mask just because we know that we aren’t yet who we want to be, and we don’t want others to see us until we are perfect.

I don’t really think there is one clear solution.  I know a lot of people struggle with identity and where in this world they fit in.  I can’t just be me when I don’t really know who I am yet.

-Love, Dee

Posted in Emotions


“Don’t go away. I don’t want to be alone. I can’t stand being alone.” -Arnold Rothstein

I’ve always had quite an issue with being alone.  It doesn’t really fit well with being antisocial either.  It’s a really conflicting feeling.  I don’t want to be around people, but I don’t want to be alone either.  I think part of my problem with it may be the way other people act about it.  In school, there were a lot of times where I didn’t have friends so I spent my lunch period eating alone or reading alone in the library.  People always look at you funny when you do those things they laugh or whisper, but the majority of the time they don’t care enough to be nice or to try to talk to you.

Now, that translates to life after school too.  When you go shopping alone, or eat at a restaurant alone, or go to a party or event alone, these fully functioning adults act the same way those mean girls in high school did.  I feel embarrassed and a little pathetic in these situations because of the mocking looks people give.

I hate to feel alone.  I mean besides all the judging of other people, I think too much when I’m alone.  Sometimes, I realize harsh realities that I wish I hadn’t.  It’s easier not to think and to find a distraction.  When people are around, you have this false sense of security.  It’s a distraction to what is going on in your head and life.  But the problem is, even if you fool yourself into believing otherwise, you are still alone.

“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” -Orson Welles

We are alone.  We have to face the world alone.  There is no one by your side.  The fact is people don’t stick around they leave.  They may be there for a long time, but they won’t be there forever.  People grow apart or die in some cases.  Families turn their backs on each other.  Marriages fail.  Friendships end. People move away.

Everyone always says that’s not me that won’t happen, but it does.  It always does.  You hear from people less and less until you look down and realize its been years.  I’m tired of trying to pretend that it won’t happen and that people stay because they don’t.  The distractions are nice while they last, but it’s still an illusion.  No matter what happens you are alone.

-Love, Dee

Posted in Emotions

Some Perspective On What We Have

“The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it.” -Chris Pine

A while back, I was having a really bad day, and I felt like my life was falling apart because so much was going wrong.  I was talking to a friend of mine about it and telling him the problems I was having, and he asked me why I was upset.  At first, I was a little annoyed because I’d been telling him why, but then, he told me all the reasons I shouldn’t be upset.  He told me I had a place to live, and food to eat, and that I was getting an education.  I felt really guilty after he said that because we take things for granted.

I realize that there are a lot of people who are worse off than me.  I also can see that I have all these opportunities not granted to others.  There are people fighting for their lives, and I’m worrying about stupid problems.  When you have things, its easy to forget about the people who don’t or what it’d be like without them.  I know that my life is really easy compared to people’s lives in other parts of the worlds.

I’m lucky to have the things that I do.  I’m lucky to have the opportunities and experiences that I’ve had, and I am grateful and appreciate them.  I know I should be happy; I seem to have lots of reasons to be.  I feel ashamed to say it and maybe I’m a bad person for feeling this way, but I’m not happy.

Diane: “It’s not about being happy, that is the thing. I’m just trying to get through each day. I can’t keep asking myself ‘Am I happy?’ It just makes me more miserable. I don’t know If I believe in it, real lasting happiness, All those perky, well-adjusted people you see in movies and TV shows ? I don’t think they exist.” -From the TV show Bojack Horseman

It’s not really about the things I have.  I mean they make my life easier and make it easier to exist, but they don’t make me happy.  They just make it easier to exist.  Maybe these things should make me happy, and I’m just being selfish.  I don’t really know.  I mean maybe these things did make me happy briefly sometime in the past, but I’m never really happy for more than a little while.

The things I have don’t stop me from feeling pain and sadness and miserable every day.  I can’t even find the cause of these emotions, so how is that going to stop it?  It actually just makes me feel even mory guilty for feeling the way I do even though I can’t really control it. You can have all the material things in the world and still be unhappy I’m not sure if people realize that.

-Love, Dee



Posted in Emotions

Broken Attracts Broken

“Sometimes the most beautiful people are beautifully broken.” ― Robert M Drake

A lot of people consider themselves to be broken.  It may be because of a traumatic past or a mental illness or because they just feel like they mess everything up.  Some people hide this the best they can and try to fill their live and be whole.  They lock it up where no one can see and shut off their emotions.  Other people embrace being broken. It’s just part of who they are, and it may be easy to see.

I feel that at least in my experience, broken attracts broken.   This seems to happen for me even when I can’t tell in the beginning if they are broken.  I’m not really sure why this happens.  Maybe we think we can fix each other or that two broken people can make one whole person.  Maybe we just see it as the only option.

If I am around or with someone who I perceive to be whole and unbroken, I don’t feel that I can truly be myself.  I build up a wall and pretend that I am completely together.  I don’t want to bother them, and I don’t want their pity.  The problem is I can’t keep up that act forever.  Eventually, the wall crumbles and they see at least a part of who I really am, and I am a mess.  They don’t like the real person and they leave, or they feel bad for you and they stay, but neither way feels good to you.  You can’t be who they want you to, but you feel pressured to try and to pretendto be.   They never fully understand why you are that way and they can never fully accept it even though they say they do.

“I like that you’re broken
Broken like me
Maybe that makes me a fool
I like that you’re lonely
Lonely like me
I could be lonely with you” -from the song Broken by lovelytheband

I guess subconsciously I choose broken people to protect myself from all that.  I’m more able to be my self around these people. I can be vulnerable.  I don’t have to pretend I’m fine.  I don’t have to hide truths about myself.  I feel more accepted.  I know this isn’t always the case of it being a good thing.  I mean sometimes with all our issues we can hurt each other and inflict pain unintentionally, but somehow, at least for me, it’s still easier.

With other broken people, you don’t feel like you’re a problem that needs to be fixed or have to feel bad about yourself.  You just are.  They’re the same as you, and they’ve been there.  you can just be there for each other without having to explain to someone who never understands.  Even if you’re suffering intrinsically, you can get through it together.  It’s all so much easier when you are around people who feel the same things and experience the same kind of things.

Maybe, I look at this completely wrong, but I know what is easier for me.  I know that when I’m with people like me, I don’t feel so alone.  Everything seems so much more bearable.

-Love, Dee

Posted in Emotions

Getting Your Hopes Up

“It was one of those times you feel a sense of loss, even though you didn’t have something in the first place. I guess that’s what disappointment is- a sense of loss for something you never had.”  ― Deb Caletti

I have a bad habit of getting my hopes up about everything, and then, my life is so much harder when it all falls apart.  I see all the bad things in my life, and I try so hard to see the good.  Most of the time the things I see as good are things that haven’t fully developed, like new opportunities and prospects.  This is probably the reason it’s so hard for me to be optimistic.

It is easy to imagine a bright wonderful future when you’re depressed and imagine having certain things in your life.  However, when you have the opportunity to have these things or even do get them, they’re not really what you imagined.  They don’t fix you or make you happy.  They’re probably not even what you imagined because nothing is really like the fairy-tales you imagine.  There are real problems and real issues.

That doesn’t stop you though.  You keep thinking about the future and how it will play out, and this is a mistake.  It blinds you from what is right in front of your face.  There is always that negative little voice in your head that tells you the truth and warns you, but you brush it aside time after time because if you address these concerns you are called negative and paranoid and maybe even crazy.

If the thing you are getting your hopes about is a person or a relationship, a quote from a TV show comes to mind.   In the show Bojack Horseman, Bojack and his girlfriend are breaking up, and to explain why things changed, he says, “Same thing that always happens. You didn’t know me and then you fell in love with me. And now you know me.”  I could really relate to this.

“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

We see people the way we want to see them.  We see opportunities the way we want to see them.  We gloss over what is actually in front of us with what we want it to be.  We ignore the voice that we hear telling us the truth because we don’t want to hear it.  We allow ourselves to be happy and hopeful on false securities.  We’re happy about something we don’t have and never will because it probably doesn’t even exist outside of our imagination.

Then, whatever it is, gets taken away.  We feel empty and sad and disappointed.  We play a game of what if and try to figure out how we could have ended up with the opposite result.  We obsess and cry over the things that never got the chance to happen like they were ever really ours or in our path.  The worst part is how we blame ourselves.  We get upset because we should have known not to be happy until it was really ours.  We should have listened to that voice in our head that we ignored, but it was always right.  We have to leave with the pain of losing something we dreamed up even though it was never real.  We should know better than to get our hopes up.

-Love, Dee

Posted in Goals

Following Dreams

“Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not cliches but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path. ” -Phillip Sweet

I have spent my entire life looking up to my older cousin.  He’s always had such big dreams and has done so much to accomplish them even when the world seemed like it was against him.  He’s always seemed so sure of himself and the things he wanted.  I’ve always wished I could be more like him.

My cousin always wanted to be a musician.  He loves music and was always very good at it.  He can pick up an instrument and learn to play in no time at all.  When he was young, our family thought it was cute and supported his love of music.  As we grew up, that changed.  We were both outcasts in our family because my grandmother considered us “not country enough.”  He never seemed bothered by this even though it tore me apart.

Around the time he was in high school, he grew his hair long and formed a heavy metal band with some friends.  He took it very seriously, and they played lots of shows.  He was happy and getting to do what he loved, but our family made fun of him for it.  They told him it was just a fad to cut his hair and grow up, and that he sounded like Nickelback (it made no sense that had a screamer in the band and it was a different type of music altogether).  I think he may have taken it more as a challenge because he just threw himself into his music even harder.

After he was out of school, he took a lot of crappy jobs.  He put his music first and that meant he needed off for shows.  When a place wouldn’t let him off he’d quit.  I mean it’s not the best thing to do, but it was his life and he knew what he wanted to do with it.  At some point, his band broke up after going through lots of different stages.  We all thought he’d quit music after that.  Our family gave him a hard time about not having good jobs and changing jobs so much and for wasting so much time on a music career that they didn’t believe would go anywhere.

He started doing music solo and posting videos on YouTube.  He did some covers and some originals.  It didn’t really take off too much.  He started settling more into his life.  He got a more serious job and worked his way up to manager.  He also had a health issue for a while.  His music took a backseat for a while.  Our family finally thought they had won that he’d just quit.

He started playing again and posting videos.  He played shows solo and recorded his music at a studio.  He actually sells his singles on music websites like Itunes.  He has a small following.  He always believed in himself through all this he even got his own lyrics as a tattoo.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” ― Maya Angelou

This may not seem like his dreams came true because he’s not a rich rock-star, but he is living his dream in a way.  He’s happy, and he’s doing what he loves.   He’s working to get his music out there.  He has so much confidence and drive.  He never let anything or anyone stand in the way of his dreams.  I feel like people should fight for their dreams in this way and do what they love.  I know that I wish I could accomplish even parts of my dreams like he has.

-Love, Dee

Posted in Emotions

The Effects We Have

“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.” ― Jay Asher

No one really thinks about the things they do and say.  We don’t realize, sometimes may not even care, how our actions affect other people.  The effect can be good or it can be bad, and there is no telling how big of an effect it may have on their lives.  I know we don’t intend to have this effect, but it’s better to realize that we do.

I really never thought about this concept until I read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  The book is about a girl who commits suicide and leaves recordings explaining the reasons she did it and how the people played a part in it.  I mean this book is more about the bad consequences than the good, but it still shows how much something can make an impact.

Obviously, you may never find out about this impact.  I mean people don’t usually leave recordings telling how you hurt them or tell you to your face.  However, shouldn’t you still feel guilty for the things you say and do to hurt people?   You may forget the mean comment you made to someone years ago, but they still remember and probably think about it when they are feeling down.

“Be careful what you say. You can say something hurtful in ten seconds, but ten years later, the wounds are still there.” -Joel Osteen

I still remember many hurtful comments and actions people have done towards me.  They may have just been meant as a joke or lighthearted, but they don’t feel that way.  They still run through my head when I’m feeling down about myself and make me feel even worse.  I know we are all guilty of doing these things myself included.  I am trying to be more careful with the things I say and evaluate if it will be hurtful.

Although I keep focusing on the bad effects, there are also many good effects.  I mean when someone says something really nice to you or about you or compliments you, it affects you also, but in a very good way.  We remember all the things that touch us and make us feel good about ourselves too.  You remember when someone says something or does something that makes your day.

People say mean things and put each other down to feel better about themselves, but wouldn’t it be better if we all just said nice things and brought each other up?  We should think more about what we’re saying before we speak.  We should all consider how our words and actions will affect people.  We don’t know what all these people are going through or how they will handle negative comments.  We all just need to be more careful and thoughtful with our words.

-Love, Dee

Posted in Emotions


“I felt very still and empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo.”  ― Sylvia Plath

I’m usually a very emotional person, but sometimes it flips off.  When this happens, I feel empty and numb.  Nothing really seems to matter it just is.  I can’t find joy in the things I care about.  I can’t get into a good book that only days ago I was entranced in.  I find it hard to write or even get up.  Even the people I care about and love, I know that I feel this way about them, but when I get this way I no longer really feel that emotion.

These feelings don’t stop me from continuing my day-to-day life.  I just pretend everything is normal.  I feel as if I’m on autopilot, just doing what I know to be normal in a robotic manner.  I go to class. I visit with friends and family.  I pretend everything is normal, and surprisingly, very few, if any, people see through it.  I’m not sure if that is a compliment to my acting skills or proof that they just don’t pay close attention.

Everything is happening around me, and it doesn’t feel real.  It’s almost like dreaming and you have no control of anything including what you are doing.  The things that happen don’t even seem to have a real effect.  I only cry because I know I’m expected to.  I only smile because I’m supposed to.  And so on.  Everything just feels draining, and when I’m alone and feeling like this, I can’t make myself do anything.  I just stare at the ceiling or the wall or some mindless television show.  I don’t feel real, and nothing around me feels real.

“Our life is full of empty space.”  -Umberto Eco

Then, slowly the feeling comes back.  It’s kind of like when your leg goes to sleep and you have to move it and feel the prickling pains to wake it back up.  I don’t know what the trigger is to bring it rushing back.  I think sometimes it’s just the right words from the right people who make you feel like everything does matter.

Even though all the emotions and feeling comes back, the emptiness always remains even though it may be less pronounced.  There is always the feeling that maybe the emptiness is something fundamentally wrong with me like I don’t have something everyone else does.  However, I know other people feel this way as well.

It seems like I’m always looking for something to fill this void in my life whether it be people, or activities, or hobbies.  Nothing really fits though.  I can force it all I want eventually it falls apart and the emptiness is back again.  I kind of stopped trying at some point and I just try to accept it.  I can’t fix myself with something else.  I don’t know if I ever will, but I just want to feel complete and whole.

-Love, Dee


Posted in Mental Illness

Looking In from Outside

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I realize that it is hard for people to understand the issues of others. However, I believe they need to try to be more understanding. I get very tired of people acting like my issues aren’t real or that they aren’t really that bad or just blaming me for them.

If I could just solve them, I would have done it a long time ago. People tell me just to be happy, but depression doesn’t work like that. I try so hard to see the positive in things, but sometimes I just can’t. People make me feel guilty for feeling the way I do even though I don’t want to feel this way either.

I understand that I’m hard to deal with, but if a person chooses to stay around, they have to accept that I have these problems and that I’m not always the most stable person.  I can’t be blamed for their inability to deal with me at my lows, and neither can they.  People like to say my age causes my issues because I’m immature or too young, but mental illness doesn’t have an age limit.

I’ve also been told I’m too dependent on people as friends. I don’t mean to be. I can be independent and deal with my anxiety attacks on my own, but it is so much harder. I can’t reason through it in the moment because I’m so overwhelmed. I can get through it by myself but it takes longer and is more difficult, so often times I reach out to people who can help. However, then these people seem to be annoyed with me when they’re the person who said they would be there and help. It just makes me feel like a burden on my friends.

I know that they’re trying to help deep down, but the suggestions don’t help. I have been told to go places and be around people when I feel like this, but I’ve tried. It doesn’t stop the breakdown. It just makes me look like a pathetic person when I’m bawling my eyes out in a restaurant or on a bus. It hurts me more seeing the way people stare and laugh and look at you if they notice that you are crying in public.

It makes me feel worse when people tell me to do these things that don’t work for me. It’s not a simple fix. It’s not going to just go away with a snap of my fingers. I mean I’m making progress at least, but they don’t see that. I feel like they’re blaming me for my issues, and that is not fair.  I don’t want to be like this.  I also feel worse about myself because it makes me feel like I should just be able to fix it, but I can’t which makes me feel like a failure.  I can’t even control my own thoughts.  I know they are not purposely trying to make me feel like this, but that doesn’t change the effect.

“The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one’s own.”  ― Willa Cather

This isn’t meant to attack or hurt anyone. I love my friends, and I know they are just trying to help most of the time. I just feel that people need to be more careful in general when making comments about these issues. I realize they have issues of their own and that they are important, and I’m not trying to say mine are more important in any way or make them feel obligated to help. I just wish they’d be a little more sensitive and careful with these topics. I’m trying my best. I know they don’t necessarily feel the same way I do about things or have to go through the issues I do. I am very glad they don’t really get it because I wouldn’t wish mental illness on anyone, but I don’t feel that they should assume these issues have an easy solution.

-Love, Dee

Posted in Uncategorized

Time We Spend

“It is not only the scenery you miss by going too fast- You also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” -Eddie Cantor

In this current age, everything is so fast paced and busy. There is never any down time. I can’t live like that. Sure being busy every moment distracts you from bad thoughts, but it also takes away the meaning of the big picture. Repeating the same tasks over and over sparing no time takes all the fun out of life.

Sometimes, I feel like everyone around me is rushing around, but I’m just standing still. I don’t really do extra things to fill my life up. I barely have the motivation to do the essential tasks. I don’t know how I could find the energy to join clubs and organizations and take extra jobs. Maybe I’m being a slacker and not doing all the things I should. At the same time, every venture and class and social interaction leaves me exhausted. I feel the need to try to make everything perfect and have to put on a whole charade and it’s tiring. I stress about every detail.

I feel like my life maybe isn’t as meaningful as these other people who juggle so many different responsibilities and activities. I could never compete with that. I don’t have any special talents or interests that I take part in. I do what I have to, and the rest of the time I distract myself from my thoughts by reading or writing or just doing things I enjoy. I’m never really busy and I make time for things and people that matter.

“A person being ‘too busy’ is a myth. People make time for the things that are really important to them!” -Mandy Hale

I wonder many times if people are really as busy as the say or if it is a matter of priorities. I mean they always have an excuse and it seems valid. The song “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin is an example. The man in the song never has time for his family. He is always too busy. When he finally has time for his son, it’s too late. He prioritized his life in the wrong order and ended up alone. His job was important but not more important than his son.

I’m not in any way saying that being busy is wrong. I just feel like sometimes its not really busy it’s that you are a lower priority than whatever else is going on. I mean realistically it takes a couple of seconds to send a text. I’m glad that I have less things going on in my life, so it makes it easier to prioritize the people and things that are important to me. Some people take advantage of this and the fact that I’m always around, but that doesn’t make me regret. I’ve never really felt like a priority to anyone, and sometimes that really hurts. At the same time, it doesn’t stop me from making them a priority of mine. I don’t want to have to live with the regret of not being there or making time with them in the future no matter what they do. They have to live with their choices not me. I’d rather be happy and make time for the important things even if that means not doing extra things.

-Love, Dee