I wore a thousand masks before we met. I’ve worn a thousand more since our first hello.
A mask for every occasion. A mask for every situation. A mask for every opportunity…for anyone and everyone who thought they knew me.
Each mask, another secret. Each mask, another reason I couldn’t tell.
Until my secret couldn’t be chained. Until it came unwound. Until my secret burst into the world with flames and ashes and crumbled lives.
These are words I wrote long ago…in what now seems like someone else’s life. My first year of sobriety revealed many things. I spent the months peeling away the layers and exposing my core. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for or what I’d find. It was painful. It was scary. It was necessary.
I found things. Good. Bad. Ugly. Mostly…secrets. My secrets. I was still a little boy…walking around with a burden…my burden. Secret. Heavy. Sharp. Acid. Hate. A burden no little kid should have to carry…ever.
I’ve asked myself a million times…why I didn’t tell. Why I couldn’t tell. I just didn’t. We just don’t. Guilt. Shame. Fear. Anxiety. Judgement. We just don’t.
My life completely unraveled in my early twenties. It all came apart…and I finally told. I told my secret. Nothing. Blown off. Embarrassed. No consequences. A big joke.
That’s why we don’t tell. Some of us never tell. Some of my closest friends have found early graves…holding on to their secrets until the very end. I knew it. I know it. They wouldn’t tell. They couldn’t. They’re gone.
Believe me. Or don’t. Believe them. Or don’t. But there’s a reason we don’t tell.
We just don’t.
What are some of the masks you wear? And, why do you wear them? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.