So Far So Fine

Met with psychologist recently and everything went decently as far as I can find. Went over treatment plan to ban together on how to deal with the masking tape issues that my facial features seem to stick with. To deal with leaving the agora without any phobia of returning home drained from the strain of acting very typical.
To uncover the buried headline from recent times, my friend is doing fine. At least so far. Quite the leap from treatment plans to suicide prevention but this is how the world spins. This is how the nation winds around from experiencing exhausting shopping days to counseling former friends on the dangers of depression while alone and unstable. Now he is able to go to work again. Now he attempts to be normal most likely with the same hope that historic dark days were just a passing fad. He is glad to be alive for now. So am I.
Follow up is so underrated. He and I even debated on the entire system of mental health that was created to assist the imbalance. Much more to explore but the discussion of personal performance perfection is tough to ignore. It is not a perfect system by any means. Yet, why allow such imperfections be the reason for rejection.
I have received wrong orders from fast food establishments and still go out to eat. I have received bad advice from friends and still call those few almost weekly. I am on my 6th or 7th psychiatrist but I still keep going. They are who they are. If imperfections were the reason for rejection why do anything? Yet, the depressed mind has reasons that are very personal. Reasons from the place of pain and not quite fully functional. At least for my friend.
Today however, he is better. Today he is at work. Today I sit at home and write. This is my job. This is my imperfection written with light and letters.
My assignment is to work on masking. My treatment plan is to uncover. This is the first layer. I almost went to get something to eat today. Once my family came home I decided to just stay in my room and avoid them. The hour is later than I realize. I will eat snacks tonight and try again tomorrow when everyone is at work. Small talk is so trying. So useless. So dangerous. I will wait for the moment. I may stay in this corner all night as all day. With a mask that burns to peel away. I feel hungry. Where did this day go?

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Social/ Emotional Reciprocity Error

Undiagnosed for years due to linguistic semantics that professionals still debate about. We wait around in waiting rooms for eyes to watch for ours. Play this game. Seems insane. Seriously? The symptoms I wrestle with are not found in simple table games and eye contact. I have contacted the pain of strain trying to maintain a straight face. Like fried ice cream, masks cover the mental melt down. The frown is not me, as much as the smile is contrived to fit the scene. Just ask me, just ask how I feel when I leave. Why depression leads the way home from social scenes. Really it’s another semantic due the pedantic gathering of experts with expectations that we are all different. Yet, judged by everyone who is not the same. Drained! Drained from the rain of sounds and lights. Drained from driving down a new street with out stop signs. They Beep! The horn honks a new meaning that green lights means Hurry Up and wait again. Red means rest from the rare radiance of roaring traffic. Yellow! Hmmm. So yellow. They told me, “you speak so well”. I thought of this at the yellow. I waited for the yellow again. It’s not a sin. Unless you ask the men behind me who are in a perpetual hurry to get to the next light. I was also in a hurry, a flurry to get home to sit in the freezer and reframe my face. Turn on the melting pot for stew. Everything is different there. Everyone stops to stare at my MPAs. Too much to hide. Energy seems to be a distant diet that I can no longer afford to consume. A diet that is beyond the capacity of the expert chefs. Much like the criteria for social emotional reciprocal relational fictional responses that I gave. It worked. I am OK. The only question now is why is the ice cream melted in the pot of stew?

Mask or Not to Mask

Energy to mask is missing. Must maintain some sense of normalcy. Wish to be abnormally normal. Read my mind, not being unkind, just drained. Straining to keep a straight face. Wish this waiting room was as empty as those cracks in the floor. Wish I could look up to see the time. To see the clock staring at my insecurities. The hands rotate to imitate my unconscious stims. So difficult to determine what’s going to happen next. Why is he still talking to me? Such small talk, such big bulky words for no reason. This season is unmasking for no reason at all. Plan an escape. Make way to the hallway for a bathroom break. Yeah, if he keeps being normal, I will flee to safer shores in stalls and writing on nasty walls. Where smells swell from deep dwelling places. Perhaps I will stay here. That sounds worse than a curse from an old lady with green teeth. Why so hard to be normal today. Why is this mask so heavy. This smile so fake that it breaks my heart to lie like this. This deceptive grin is against my religion. 15 minutes of waiting is carrying the weight of 15,000 thoughts made of shame.
My mask has a leak. I am sure of it as the clock continues to peak and peer right into my abnormal. Those hands just don’t move fast enough.
Am I next? Count the feet. Yes, only four left. I must be. Voices of calm are fading into the walls. I am going to make it this time. I am next! Whew!

One appointment and done. Small drive and still alive. So why am I Drained like the first breath after the last step of a marathon? Why is this mask so full of holes, getting so heavy? Just wear the T-shirt as a flirt with social norms. Alone is not all bad. This clock in my own house stares at me. It has seen me before. It knows what time it is. The alarm of taking off the mask is beyond snooze control. Today, I am too tired to be anything but maskless me. Maskless for recovery. I have another appointment next week. I hope I recover in time to make another mask. I hope I discover in time to fake another task. Until then, I am going to stare back at this clock until I know what I really look like.