Who was that masked man?

Remember that line? How many years was it that these familiar words were spoken by the man on the white horse, wearing white and who wore a black mask?   And after he did his good deed, people would ask each other: “Who was that masked man?”

After he came to the rescue of whom ever needed help at the moment, you could always depend on—The Lone Ranger and his sidekick Tonto. There you have it. I was watching one of the innumerable reruns that appear on one of the cable channels  while waiting for my appointment with the doctor last week.

A lot of us when depressed also know the feeling of wearing a mask when we are out with others, either socially or at work. The mask that I wore when I was depressed was to always have a fake smile pasted on my face. When asked, “how you doing” I always responded with a cheerful response.  “I’m fine.” I always had to be cheerful while dying inside.  I didn’t want to go around with a sad face, spreading gloom all about. But the real reason for the fake smile was to hide. I couldn’t let anyone in on my secret.  I in no way would I let others know the daily tug of war  that was going on inside me. Just to move about or just to be sociable was my main effort during the day. No one was to know my secret.

I tried to fake it till  I made it. Well, that didn’t work. It just made it worse. I felt that the real me was being hidden deeper  inside of me and I had no idea how to take the mask off, reveal who I was, and move on with my life. I just wanted ,to shout out to the  world  that ” I’m dying inside.”

It was when I discovered the “miracle of the group” and  the power of the spiritual principles of the 12 steps,  was I able to take off my mask. In the Depressed Anonymous fellowship I learned how to be the “real me” and no longer be afraid to tell who I  really was. I was able to do this  over time, with work  and with meetings and doing an online Step Study program with a member of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship where I became more confident and self assured that I was OK the way that I was. I wasn’t going crazy or losing my mind.  I now had no fear of telling others how depressed I was.  I began sharing  how for many years I had isolated myself, all the time beating my self up in my head.

When there is no Depressed Anonymous meeting in your area you too can find help online with a directed Depressed Anonymous online support Self study, program which includes both a Workbook and Manual (see Home Study Kit ). By using the Workbook and the Manual together, you can find the answers you may be looking for, with the direction of a sponsor. A member of our online Self Study program tells us how it has changed her life.  Also we utilize the wonderful SKYPE program to communicate with others around the world.

Helen, a member of the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous tells us  in her personal story in our Depressed Anonymous book(Manual)  that

“I also had to get my priorities straight. I put a  lot of importance on things that were not important, or what somebody else might say about me. I was afraid to change. I was afraid that I would change into a person that would be selfish and uncaring, but it didn’t happen that way. I found a different way to go about it. In getting my priorities straight, I discovered that if a person doesn’t accept me the way I am, then that  doesn’t matter. I am going to do the best that I can. If someone else can’t handle that I am awful sorry about that, but it has to be. I want everyone to approve of me, but  I am just not going to do that. I am not going to please everyone. I got to take  care of myself. I was so busy trying to  please everyone else that I wasn’t taking care of my own needs. At the time I was doing it, I didn’t realize that I was doing it. Now I won’t deliberately hurt anyone else , but I am going to take care of myself.

– Helen.

Source: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Page  148. (Personal Stories section).

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