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YOUR VOICE: The Noh Mask

Nought but a faded outline, I hang suspended in a dull haze of nothingness. Drained of energy… life.

Thoughts, feelings, spirit, soul; all has been consumed by the noh mask.

Prior to sleep my mind lapses into thoughts which to some may be disturbing, but to me merge into the natural flow of calm chatter. I see no point in waking. Unphased by the close altercation with a vehicle earlier today, the resounding question is ‘would it have been so bad?’

I have lost myself.

How can someone ‘be’ if they don’t know who they are?

I panic over lighting a candle. I panic over playing music. Why? Fear of fire? Fear of disturbing others? No, nothing so logical. They are, dare I say it, an enjoyment. Ergo, bad; they are undeserved. I am not allowed to treat myself in such ways. Heck, I can’t even change my scarf, wearing it despite being warm. The usual light hearted tease is given: “Afraid your head may fall off?”

Everything I do, or do not do, is shrouded in fear. Every time I muster the courage to test ridding myself of the dark matter, I back down. I am not good enough for these things. I cannot bring myself to eat more, despite knowing full well the consequences having been down that road before. And I can’t even do that right. I am failing in some way. Failing life.

But then, by whose standards?

I am stuck in a loop. A head loop. This flesh eating noh mask will keep returning until there is no more. Is that really better?

I need saving from myself.

Thoughts become actions. They are powerful.

We each have ingrained within us, the human tendency for repetition; the more we continue to perform an action, the more a part of the self it becomes. In other words, it becomes automated.

The same can be said for thoughts. The more we think something is so, the more we believe it and the more it manifests in our entire being. Rather like the wee field mouse believing my room was open woodland and found the perfect abode in my drawer, with notebook paper, shredded tartan blanket and bits of leather shoe to complete.

I do appreciate when engulfed in the dusty cloud of Depression, any hint of positive thought ends with “but *insert negative self talk*”. However, if approached over a period of time, done in any brief moment when the cloud clears, ever so slightly, some reflective moments can come and with that, a harness. Or just a bit of string But those moments are worth remembering for the next glimmer, so they can be built upon and eventually followed.

Then it will become a harness.

We have enough people tearing us down. We do not need to be joining them. It is important to remember there will be those who have built us up. Think, who in your lifetime has given a compliment? Has supported you in one way or another? I am sure there will have been someone.

They believe in you. So why do you not yourself? Many will ask this or suggest you can build yourself up, practice self-gratification and be proud of even the little things. For those who, like myself, have had the misfortune to encounter the noh mask, the latter is very difficult. At least though, I do have something. I have this loop which is offering me bits of string. The more I gather the stronger my harness will become through entwining them all and the better chance I will have of climbing into it… Even so, it helps to have someone there to give a leg up.

So, for those not suffering, I wish to share with you this thought: one person can save a life. One person can give another reason to live. That is the power of human compassion and why the work of CALM is fundamental to tackling the strange phenomenon that is suicide. Go on, next time you are out, say, on public transport, offer a smile. Talk even! Or donate, fundraise… it does not take much yet together, we can save the male.

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