A Mask.
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Health and Wellness

A Mask.

The act of an individual who contorts the face to convey happiness when that individual is experiencing intense sadness might be described as “putting on a mask”.

A Mask.
Depression Mask Wallpaper

When you look at another person, what is the first thing you look at? Is it the body type, hair color/length, or some other anatomical feature? For most people, including myself, the face is the first feature another human will latch on to and have an emotionally connection. A human face is filled with muscles that will tug and pull on the skull to contort the skin that will convey a signal that is perceived by another human as an emotional state of being.

Slightly raised eyebrows and eyelids acutely wider than at resting state paired with a mouth resembling the graphing of a positive quadratic function is recognized by the brain as a face of happiness. Furrowed eyebrows, skin drawn up around the eyes to protect the eyes from any blunt force or projectile and exposed teeth is recognized as anger. Even if my descriptions failed to summon the correct face, once you read the word “happiness” or “anger”, an image of a person performing this emotional state appeared in your head.

Now that we’re on the same page for the emotion-to-face relationship, I pose the idea that these face contortions are not always accurate. Sometimes a face beaming with excitement and enthusiasm is expressed by an individual wrecked by extreme self-loathing and crippling sorrow. The act of an individual who contorts the face to convey happiness when that individual is experiencing intense sadness might be described as “putting on a mask”. This description is a metaphor alluding to the act of an actor disguising his true face with a manufactured face that will amplify the features of his character which his true face could not.

This “mask” metaphor is most often associated with individuals battling depression. These individuals find it easier to put on a mask of happiness instead of allowing their friends and family to perceive their true emotions. I, by no means, have battled clinical depression in myself, but I do know what it feels like to put on the mask.

Certain events in my life have led me to be rather sad and unhappy. Among my friends and family, I am known as the cheerful guy who always seems to know what to say or when to say nothing at all. The sadness that creeped into my life challenged this persona I valued so dearly, so I went with the “fake it ‘til you make it” philosophy. Even though I was sad and lonely, I smiled at friends in passing and laughed with them when the opportunity presented itself. When somebody would ask me for counseling, I would lay aside all my burdens and deal strictly with their problems without even mentioning mine. Eventually I started getting a high off being on the verge of tears yet maintaining my cheerful demeanor.

This behavior lasted a few months before I realized I could not live the rest of my life enduring the emotional turmoil. I talked to friends about the problems I was facing, which meant I had to expose them to the less-than-cheerful person I actually was. They showed me care and compassion which impacted me in a way they may never know.

I found my ultimate comfort in the face of Jesus. As I woke up each day to put on the façade I had carefully crafted to conceal my pain, I neglected to see His loving face. A face concealed by no mask, speckled with wounds just above the eyes where a crown of thorns once sat, tenderly looks at me each day, and says “I love you.” I’m not on some mystic high when I reference the face of Christ in this fashion. I see His face in the Word of God, where the ultimate love story is outlined for me and you in God’s acts for His people, which culminates at the death and resurrection of His son.

Galatians 3:27 reads, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” By putting on my poorly manufactured mask, I was only covering the joyous face of Jesus that had been put over my crummy face in my Baptism. I can now experience joy with those around me, even when I’m feeling a little down and out, because of the true and absolute joy I have in Jesus.

Never putting that thing on again,


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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