A Braided Mask is still a mask

Before I get into this post let me start by apologizing for my Mental Health Monday post being late. First I was suffering some serious artist block for a picture to go with it, and then I finally figured it out and Mr. Fearless was refusing to go to sleep. Lets get started.

It might seem odd to post about french braids on Mental Health Monday, but its completely relevant. If you are looking for french braid tips sorry to burst your bubble there aren’t any in this post, maybe that’s a future Tip Tuesday post.

So what does my french braid have to do with my depression you ask? Well that’s an easy question, it was on of my masks. If you recall from my depression self portrait one of the clouds said “If my hair and clothes look good no one will know how miserable I am.

When I was deep in the trenches of depression, may hair was almost always french braided.  In my opinion when your hair is french braided you look put together. It looks like you fussed and took time to worry about your hair. The complete opposite of what most people think of when they think about depression.

I would braid my hair almost everyday, there were day where I couldn’t manage it, and my hair ended up in ponytail. I always did my hair because needed to project a perfect person.  I needed to show people I that nothing was wrong. Putting my french braid in was like putting on my armor, I knew no one would question anything as long as I looked put together.

People always talk about how depression drained them so much they didn’t care how they looked.  For me it was the opposite, I was so determined to project my life as prefect I had unrealistic goals.  So unrealistic in fact that one day  I was out of clean shirts, rather than do laundry, I was determined to make shirt before I had to be at work. I could have just done wash but I wanted to look good, I wanted to make sure that I had something new and amazing to wear.  The stress of getting the shirt done resulted in a meltdown of epic proportions.

The melt down was so extreme that I was scaring Miss Determination, but I didn’t care, as far as I was concern I needed that shirt to be done.  My poor mother was getting an earful on the phone and she just took it.  Looking back on that meltdown I know that I should have just done laundry but for some reason at that time it was more important for me so say “yeah I just whipped this up before I came in”.Its seems silly now, but to me that showed the world that I had motivation and energy.  I was wasn’t thinking logically, I wasn’t doing anything logically.

Looking back now I should have gotten help sooner. I should have listened to the little voice in my head that said “something isn’t right”.  But the thing about depression is it lulls you into a false sense of security. It lets you believe it can be silenced, that you can over power it. The thing is you can’t beat it alone, it takes help, support, patience and sometime medication.  Its important to stand up to your depression, and to not let it drag you down.

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