I wear a mask, most of the time, if I have to go out. So do we all. But the masks that we wear when we’re sick are worse, harder to maintain.
Why I won’t talk about the things I won’t talk about
The Charm Quark

Best day: forgetting that I am wearing the mask and only being exhausted after some hours of social interaction, after which I gracefully withdraw to recharge.

OK day: aware of the mask, mindful of the growing anxiety but managing it until I get home

Bad day: OK day gets worse, anxiety becomes overwhelming, I need to withdraw NOW! I’m certain others have noticed my melt down and are making their judgements.

Worst day I: social mask is slipping, in tatters, or just not there. I am sure my psychic scars are on the surface for all to see. I’m certain my monstrosity is on full view.

Worst day II: contemplating going outside to deal with urgent matters is so mentally painful that I just stay in bed. My world is my bedroom, the kitchen, the bathroom. The next day, urgent matters are one degree more overwhelming (or an order of magnitude more overwhelming).

Worst day III: Urgent matters have reached emergency status. Either I muster the energy/courage to deal with them or a number of things might happen (have happened), including intervention/help from a friend, hospitalization, loss of employment or eviction. The last thing hasn’t happened yet, but is an ongoing fear. I’m actually planning for it.”

There are even worse days, of course, that don’t involve a social element.

Anyway, that’s what it’s like for me.

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