The Mask of "Silence"

Sometimes I sit in front of my computer, as I am doing now, or in front of a blank piece of paper, depressed. I feel crippled by my mind. And my crippled mind makes my body go limp. I look at my calendar (often filled with all of the things that need to get done, events I’ve been invited to by industry people or friends, and projects that are due). I get overwhelmed. And then I get angry. And then I get sad. And finally, exhaustion sets in.

This is the trajectory of my depression.

I’ve struggled with it for years. Many times I’ve tried to talk about it only to be shut down and called “lazy”, “whiner”, “ungrateful”, etc.

So, I’ve mainly worn a mask of "silence". It’s not that I don’t talk about it with other people. I do, but with a sense of detachment. No one has ever really experienced how it truly affects me. Absolutely no one. And I am not the only one who feels this way, but you know what the sad thing is: most of us are too busy with our own lives to listen and understand when a colleague or a friend is saying that they are tired or that they need a break. Some of us cannot afford to give time to such people because time is money, and there are others of us who cannot afford to give emotional labor to such people.

In addition, even if those of us who experience these emotions write about it on our Facebook pages or in a blog, they are read in passing. People identify. They may like it and share it once, but it is quickly forgotten and we go about the same cycle.

So why write this if I know that that is most likely what will happen? I don’t know. Perhaps I am insane. 

This weekend I have a lot to take care of. I had to wrap up a freelance project as a home office assistant. I also had to schedule people’s tarot readings as part of my June promotion sale. In addition, I had to put up a piece that was scheduled to go up and coincide with my partner, Donte’s vlog, as part of our combo promotion on Instagram. In addition, I had to begin to get documents and materials ready for a freelance stage managing position I am going to be going between the middle of June and end of July. All mentioned is in relation to business. I have yet to tackle what I had to get done at home. On the domestic front, I have to make a grocery list based on items needed, what is on sale, and what I have a coupon for for when my boyfriend and I go shopping tomorrow. All of these tasks swirl around my head and my cousin (my mother’s niece) called me earlier to “see how I am.” However, knowing my mother’s side of the family, such a call only ends up in gaslighting, guilt-tripping, frustration, and arguments. So that is creating an overcast on my whole day, which does not help because I am already irritable and anxious.

But guess what? 

I can’t do shit about it except write it out, talk to my therapist, and learn to navigate my emotions. I also have to learn my own limits or learn to “suck it up” and push past limits if there is no other choice.

This isn’t to say that I do not have friends that I cannot talk to from time to time, but they, too, have just as much shit going on in their lives as I do in my own. Unfortunately, my friends and I, live in an individualistic society with a “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” mentality. We all struggle with it: wanting to help build each other up, but limited by money and time.

I often wonder what will become of my generation who struggles with these emotions and mental limitations with such a cruel landscape to navigate through?

I don’t know the answer.

All I can do sometimes is shed a tear when I am completely by myself in my room (or when my boyfriend is asleep), lose myself in clouds of smoke, and position my eyes to gaze out my window to the sky and watch the sun rise.




Donte BrownComment