I set a goal of living a more authentic life after leaving treatment last year. I had come to a realization that I had been hiding behind a variety of masks and in that confusion, I lost who I was meant to be. In fact, I often wondered if I really knew who that was.
In order to get along in life, I had learned to wear a mask to fit in to any situation. I could be the superstar employee that nobody would suspect had a mental illness, or the overzealous hockey mom that organized hockey tournaments and managed the team. It was all an act you see, designed to hide the real me that was buried deep inside. The real me was scared and afraid that nobody liked me and everybody was judging me.
As I’ve worked towards self-acceptance and loving myself more, I’m discovering that I don’t have to always wear a mask. I’m learning that others’ approval is not needed for my self-worth. In therapy today, I made the discovery that not only am I getting rid of the masks that I wear, I’m also liking the person that’s hiding behind there. She’s funny and kind and has a lot to offer this world.
If you feel like you are hiding behind a mask, maybe it’s time to give the person who was meant to be out there a chance to shine. I’d encourage you to spend some time getting to know that authentic you that’s lying behind the mask you present to the world and embrace her!
About Wendy Enberg
My name is Wendy Enberg and I live openly with mental illness. I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I reside near Edmonton, AB. I began sharing my story with others as a way to remove stigma and raise awareness and compassion for people living with mental illness. I started with a Facebook page where I posted inspirational messages. This grew into a blog about living with BPD at where I openly share my struggles and my successes. This wasn’t enough. In July of 2014, I co-founded a peer support group in my community for people living with mental illness that provides online and weekly support meetings. Our membership continues to grow each day and we are gaining a presence in the mental health community.