From Behind the Mask

(Guest blogger, Mary Gaston, shares a glimpse of what depression looks like in the mind of a teen-ager. She wrote this piece four years ago.)

By Mary Gaston

The grotesque, false face bears a forced smile, disguising the perpetual façade of sadness that lies beneath. A permanent crease rests between my brows and tears threaten to spill and stain my face. I tighten the mask.mask

“I’m fine.” Those two words hold such falsity. My voice is deprived of sound. I sit in silence and tighten the mask.

Night time is such a cunning villain. I am unable to silence the thoughts that flood my fatigued mind. I so desperately desire to find tranquility, but darkness tightens its grip like spindly fingers around my body. I tighten the mask.

Rays of moonlight filter between the leaves of the trees outside my window. Goodbye night. In my mind’s eye I climb a mountain to reach the summit of hope. Morning dawns. Hello serenity. My voice bounces off the walls of the bottomless pit, where once I dangled my arms in a desperate move to grasp pleasure. I loosen the mask.

I push back the darkened curtains to unveil sunshine washing through the window panes, revealing clarity. Warm light dances upon my cheeks. And then a splash of golden light lands upon my skin like a beacon of hope. An exhilarating sensation. I take off the mask.

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