Sometimes when you sit composed and professional, smiling when needed and working at your desk your brain screams inside and claws for escape and release. Depression wraps itself around your mind and behind your mask you rage and cry, scream and huddle in a ball until the calm mask becomes the iron fist of cold numbness pressing you in place. The mask sinks in with each repressed scream and tear a little deeper. Loneliness eats at you even when you are surrounded because the mask is not you and they are not really with you. Sometimes people tell you all the things you have to appreciate and all the reasons you have to be strong and happy but they are not in your head and have not lived your past. The chemical soup tearing you apart is not in their body but yours. Each thing you do to try and assuage the deadness and loss just highlights that you don’t feel what you want to feel and you have failed at everything you have done. The clawing reminder s in your head that years have been wasted and lost in failure and obscurity leave you very aware of just how alone you are in your choices. But that same iron core that holds the mask keeps you moving even when it feels more like a treadmill than a road of life. What else can you do but go one? Fear has never controlled but that does not mean it was never present. Just like the fear engulfing you in free fall the fear of not being able to communicate or manage others pulls you into a hole deep inside where you spend days studying how to speak, walk, talk, read others, and understand why they do the things they do. When they use idioms, innuendo, and false statements to say something you can’t follow and assume you mean something other than what you said you wonder if there was any point to all the work. When you spend hours on a project to get all the details right and they blow it off you stare at the fruit of your wasted time and once again wonder why. When you go home alone and want to share something and just feel the touch of someone you trust you are forced to face that if there was someone that trusted you and you trusted you would not be sweating in a room alone with everything you owned in a cabinet beside you. Sometimes you look out at the ocean and the emptiness matches that inside your mind and heart with the swimmers in the deep disturbing the foundations. The breeze blowing is the same as the emptiness cleaning out your mind and covering words in white noise. Sometime the healing of the ocean can do nothing more than be there like a lost friend sitting quiet and unable to touch you but there when you are ready. Sometimes the blind escapism is your only retreat as you hide in your shell and rebuild the mask.