For so many years I wore a mask of deception. I had to hide behind it and be strong so no one would know about my depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Imagine having to continually push your illness deeper inside you until finally the mask has to come off. It was suggested by my therapist that it is time to take care of myself and stop hiding…he put me on medical leave.
Suddenly, this fifty something woman became like a scared child…the tears flowed like a river, Catastrophisizing over everything, having panic attacks when doing things people take for granted. This is my life now. To top it off, I am my own worst enemy because all of this has resulted in extreme self-loathing.
After going through out-patient hospitalization, it was recommended that I begin DBT therapy. Although I just started, I can already see how the type of coping skills taught will help me live my life without my mask and not be ashamed of who I am. I am learning to fight my own stigma and be compassionate towards myself, I am taking my first steps.