First of all, I would like to apologise for abandoning the blog for such a long time. I was undergoing a lot of changes mentally and was really struggling to get anything done. I knew I had to just ride out the tough times, try to learn as much from it all, and emerge stronger on the other side. During this time, I began to unknowingly chip away at the three masks I will talk about in this article.
I know a lot of people have been waiting to hear the rest of the story with my experience with Strattera (Atomoxetine) and so I apologise for keeping you waiting. I felt like it would be unfair of me to write anything before the journey had properly ended.
I am glad to say that the story has a happy ending, and I am beginning to return to what I believe is a new and improved version of my “normal” self.
Since my decision to quit drinking alcohol in September 2017 I have been on a tumultuous path towards what I hope to be a life free from addiction and the mental burden that comes with this.
Along my path I have been forced to face the ugly truths and explore the deep parts of my soul that I had kept hidden even from myself. By doing this I began to unknowingly demask myself, and I am now trying to live a life as faithful to my true self as possible.
It Is Believed That We Have Three Faces or “Masks”
The First Mask
The first mask is what we show to the world, the person that we want everyone to think we are – often: flawless, confident, and happy. This first mask is fuelled by: alcohol, drugs, caffeine, nicotine, sugar, and all other stimulants or false pleasures that give us false confidence.
The more substances you consume, the thicker your mask will be.
The Second Mask
The second mask is reserved for close friends and family and reveals us at a more intimate level. We feel comfortable enough to reveal some of our less pleasant characteristics and a deeper insight into our personality is observed.
The Third Mask
The third mask is what we believe about ourselves before spending time to introspect and really get to know our true self. The third mask often suffers the negative effects of the substances that we put inside ourselves. The anxiety, fear, and depression that all substances -even sugar- cause.
Interestingly, what we believe about ourselves is often far worse than the actual truth. We often focus in on every possible negative aspect and extrapolate them into the ugly picture we paint of ourselves – to ourselves. It is curious that we do this, but it is possibly because we have evolved to air on the side of caution, often underestimating our ability to save us from harm.
This third mask is by far the most dangerous and harmful.
We tell ourselves that we are not capable, not smart enough, not good looking enough, not strong enough to achieve what we truly desire even though deep within we know that of course we are capable.
The True Self
Beyond the third mask and deep within is our true self. It is often a part of ourselves that not even we know and understand. It is the part that we try our hardest to hide from the world, and even from ourselves.
The true self carries all the suffering that we have ever endured. All the regrets, past trauma, and negative emotions that have impacted our lives.
Connecting with your true self can be very painful because once you begin to remove the masks the pains of a lifetime can return to haunt you. Your entire view on the world can begin to change as realisations completely knock you sideways.
Freeing Yourself From The Past
You are held accountable for all your wrongdoings as repressed memories flood back. As you try open your mind again to the world you begin to allow yourself to experience all the trapped emotions inside.
This process can be very unpleasant, but you know that it is worthwhile as you can feel yourself evolving and releasing the emotional burden that has been weighing you down.
Freeing yourself from addiction is a long and painful process but once you embark upon your journey and you get a taste of freedom you won´t want to turn back.
This end goal is now even closer than ever as I am on my final week taking Depakine (Sodium Valproate / Valproic acid) – hopefully the final stage of my medication process.
Read more about coming off Strattera (Atomoxetine) in the next article .
I am trying to keep my articles shorter so that they are easier to follow,.
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Mad Millennials is a UK based peer support network offering free and confidential sessions with trained volunteers. The sessions are very informal and loosely follow a theme each month – which you can find on the Instagram pages. It is an opportunity for people to talk with other people who are often experiencing similar issues and talk openly in a non-judgemental way. There is no obligation to participate or even talk if you don´t want to.
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