In some way we have all worn a metaphorical mask. Usually the mask is to protect ourselves from others; to allow us to become a chameleon in society. Sometimes the mask comes in the form of an alpha complex. In either way, the mask is something none of us are born with, yet we all learn to wear. The use of a metaphorical mask is not always in a negative connotation. However, too much of anything is never good for us. It is important we find our safe place where we can be one with ourselves and rip off the mask…
Mental disorders such as PTS, anxiety, and depression continues to plague our active duty service members, veterans, and general population. The signs are not always visible or immediately noticed. The metaphorical mask is worn to appear “normal,” which in turn could lead to a feeling of loneliness and enhance symptoms related to the disorder. As difficult as it may appear to be, please rip off your mask and seek help. You are not alone.
While the LGBTQ+ community has come a long way throughout the passed years, there is still a long way to go until full inclusivity is established. Possible legal discrimination made by medical professionals, due to religious beliefs, is one thing the community is concerned about and fighting for. After the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the transgender community are still feeling the tremors of discrimination within the military. As of 2017, only 26% of all US colleges prohibited LGBTQ+ discrimination. The mask of sexuality comes from an unfortunate place where some still feel the need to hide who they are.
The “mask of power” or “strength” is also referred to as the “Arnold Schwarzenegger”. A lot of people can relate to bearing this mask when it seems everything is falling apart inside. The pressure felt by those who feel they need to be strong for everyone around them can cause a great deal of internal stress that can become quite overpowering after a while of holding on to it. In some cases, this mask is worn to reinforce a warranted need of hiding what is self-believed to be a weakness of some sort.