Going out for a social event is something that most people look forward to and it’s something that I used to love to do. Now it’s something that I have to spend a long while building up to, getting myself prepared for and building up my inner strength for. It’s my sisters birthday in a week and she’s a very bubbly person who loves going out and having a good time. As the older sister it’s hard to see, my little sister can go out and be completely free when I can’t. My sister has always followed my footsteps, when she was little she would copy everything I did and she looked up to me. I can’t help but think I’ve let her down, I should set an example and encourage confidence and independence.
So every birthday she chooses to go out for a meal with the family. And this is where the war paint comes in. I spend most of my time too tired to do anything or too depressed to bother, so I never get dressed up or where make up. So on the rare occasion I do go out, I like to think of my make up as war paint because I use it to try and hide how I really feel, I try to become a different person for one night. When people look at me they will think I’m just a normal 23 year old who enjoys life, they won’t see the self hatred and darkness that’s inside me. I use the make up as a shield, I dress up and pretend to be someone I’m not. For one night I try to forget about my worries and fatigue, I put everything into acting the part and allowing my family to enjoy their time out and not worry about me. It used to be that my family were so worried how I would react to certain places, they avoided going and I don’t want to deprive them of anything.
Depression has changed who I am and it’s also made me an extremely good actress. Depression makes it easy for me to lie and I use it to put up a front, I use it to smile and laugh along with people, to blend in. I feel disgusting inside but it allows me to act the part on the outside which is why it’s called an invisible illness. On the outside I look like a typical person enjoying myself and getting on in life, no one looks deep enough to see the pain and anxiety that lurks beneath the surface.
So in a week, it will be time to wear the war paint and act happy and carefree for one night, because it’s my sisters birthday and I’ll do anything to make her happy and see her live the life I can’t.