The Mask – Poetry

The Mask

By J. A. Weymouth

 

A string of thought that is corrosive and intrusive

Is known to be cruel and enlightening – wide eyed and open armed

There is a colour in its mouth – heavy

If heavy was a colour.

 

The mouth is thick with words that do not spit

Words in plenty and enchanting

But they hold back.

We forget their feeling – their depth of spirit.

 

The thought is still there.

It is carried barefoot/homeless over the shoulders as it sinks in

Deep within, straight through that beaten one

Until the alcohol slurps a new idea that then, then it becomes buried.

 

I was buried

In that dark open eye

Through those listless words

Inside a heavy box

Behind an unchanged mask

Always unchanged and forever.

 

Here’s a thought….

Don’t be happy.

Well, what I mean is that you shouldn’t have to be happy all the time. You will be sad at times, happy in others, stressed, worried, sick, depressed, sad, happy, stressed, worried, depressed… unmotivated. And that’s all okay.

My point is there is so much “stress” to be happy all the time. One thing I’ve learned about being a teacher, while being in a situation when I’ve mentored students, I have discovered that many teenagers feel so much more pressure, stress or worry because they used to feel happy all the time much younger and as soon as they start to feel depressed or sad, or worried or felt ostracised or bullied here and there, it all builds up on them or hits them suddenly and they can’t handle it.  Of course when it is more serious ostracisation or bullying – all the time everyday – that’s a different story because we all go through bits of that at one point or another in our lives.

Now I see my students dealing with it the way I dealt with similar problems when I was their age now, and I see that they do not cope with the change. They have to be happy! It’s the end of the world if life is not perfect! They are going through such dramatic changes in their bodies, emotions, hormones, etc. that of course they’re going to feel that way! What I’m worried about is that they cannot deal with it. They cannot understand that it it’s okay to be sad, to be stressed, to be worried or overwhelmed or whatever. Because they believe that to be happy is to be normal.

I think it’s the same for adults. Recently I’ve been in and out of sorts, dealing with emotional stress as well as stress from work (reports, ugh!) and lack of motivation (hence the lack of posts recently) and then of course I have to be able to deal with my job at 100% capacity, bottle-up my emotions and not talk about them, and post at least twice a week. When, all of a sudden, things drop and then I’m only functioning at 70%, cry over nothing and out of no where and not post at all in three weeks – of course that all then builds up and I soon believe that life is shit and then I have a anxiety attack.

Cool down. Shut up. It’s okay. You DON’T need to be happy all the time. Let yourself cry. Let yourself forget something and not beat yourself up about it. Take sick leave. Give yourself another few days until you post something meaningful and let yourself get past all that. Life is inconsistent. It’s a fucking roller-coaster.

Life is good one way or another but the problem is you are told to be happy all the time. Life is not meant to be that way. Take it with a grain of salt.

You’re not meant be happy all the time and if you are then that’s okay too.