unmasking in Each Day

  • Aug. 20, 2023, 6:04 p.m.
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  • Public

I have thought a lot about unmasking in the last year. It started back in Wpg when I saw a series of “challenge” TikToks of people “unmasking”. To the untrained eye it legit just looked like someone who was smiling just stopped smiling. I didn’t really understand it.
I’ve learned in the last year or so that I have a variety of masks, meeting people in the corridor face, at work/a meeting interested face, out with friends happy face, for examples.
On Wednesday I was supposed to hang out with Red, and then we were going to go to our crafting group. The night before I’d had such a headache that I slept from 2-5:30pm, and still managed my usual bed time. I’d made the mistake of not showering the night before, so by mid morning I felt disgusting, I told Red that I had to go home to shower before we met up, that worked for her, too, so no problem there.
By the time I got back into town I was feeling spent. Red was chatty, and I listened along, but I found it impossible to even think of appropriate ways to respond to her. Like, she’s telling me about her bathroom renovation, which I’m normally into, but my brain was like, “what does a normal human say in response to reno stories?” And I’d come up completely blank. For context, I worked at Home Depot for almost 4 years when I was in University, and if I’m in a hotel HGTV is on the TV, always. I know reno shit. So for me to be completely blank is extremely out of character for me.
This has happened on a few very pointed occasions (Sr Formal was the biggest/worst/most catastrophic), but I have started to recognize it happens when I’m tired, or emotionally or mentally burnt out. It’s a very specific feeling, and while I might not recognize it right away eventually I will realize that I’m struggling because I have zero energy to give.


Last night M and I went on a bit of a trip, getting high and taking each other to bed. This morning we both feel pretty blissy, motivated, and also very tired because we didn’t get to bed until after 4am.
I was starting to feel self conscious about my bland demeanour when I realized something. Much like when I was talking about the guanfacine and the “flatness” I experienced, I have recognized that I am still experiencing that, and I’ve been off the meds for over a month (maybe more, time is a vortex). I said to M that sometimes I’m aware that my face is not doing ANY emoting, and it bothers me that he might thing I’m unhappy or moody, or that he notices when my mood is flat. I’m trying to reframe flat as peaceful, because it is an enjoyable feeling, and flat sounds negative and peaceful sounds more positive. I told him, possibly again, that considering the mental and emotional chaos normally coursing through my mind and body, flatness is peaceful.

I think this is my unmasked self.
I’ve spent so long being something for other people (a good daughter, a people pleaser, a good friend, a good wife), I think I’m actually starting to be something for myself. And while growing pains are bound to happen, like awkward social situations (I wrote to Red and thanked her for pulling the weight of our interaction and she said she was happy to prattle on about her renos, so no harm no foul), I’m making peace with myself, and sometimes that peace is utter silence.
I never thought I’d be comfortable enough in myself that I can just be. As always I have M and Red to thank, being my main support, people who don’t judge, people who accept me for me.

sarahbaby. August 21, 2023

When do you feel like your fullest, freest self?

Ms. Fury sarahbaby. ⋅ August 21, 2023

TBH... when we're banging. Other than that, when I'm singing, when M and I are sitting on the back deck talking about nothing.

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