Here is the second part of the story, the story about the boy with the mask.
Once the summer ended, and his new arrangement secured he entered a strange place, a high school he never planned on. He had gone from the familiar and “safe” place for himself to place that acted in a notorious but mythical way. It was a place that a symbol of all that could go wrong, all that had but this was also his chance to start himself anew. There was a problem, he was lost to who he was at the outset. All that flooded to him was to act and to copy. The mask knew that well, how to change his face and make it look like anything he wanted. So he did, he copied his way through, empty as he could be but appearances are everything so he maintained those as much as he could. He was learning and growing in his own way, without his knowledge things were changing.
For a while, the void grew larger, and he felt emptier than before. The emptiness had started to tear apart his being. He lost understanding, and motion became all he knew. Going through the day correctly so no one would ask questions became his objective. Before long he had forgotten how it felt to feel that anguish that drove towards his current lifestyle. He started to forget sadness, happiness, anger, and that pain. It was just a void and him now, and he couldn’t care either way.
The boy eventually grew tired of tired of the emptiness. He looked around and wondered why everyone was so different. The boy wanted to know what it felt like to be like everyone else instead of just a passive observer. He wanted to know what made people smile, laugh, and cry again. He wanted to feel real again, and not some sort of husk.
Through the motivation this new entrenched desire he made his play. He would take the time to change, take the time to fix this hole in his soul. The only way he figured that he could remove the emptiness was to fill it with something. So inch by inch and day by day the boy rediscovered the emotions he had forgotten, to learn what it was to be the human he wanted to be. He had to learn all these lessons all over again like a child, but he grew to understand them. Happiness, sadness, love, and a sense adventure, with each one he had learned he grew stronger than before. It may have taken the boy a lot of time, but eventually, he started to act on the feeling in his heart rather than the ideas in his head.
As the void began to fill, within his heart and soul and he started to feel human again. The boy filled his emptiness with the new life he had set for himself. He filled it with memory, filled it with friends, love, and learning. The boy became fascinated by what people do and learned to enjoy life. The wounds began to heal, and the scars began to form, but he learned to live with the scars and wear them proudly. He had survived and learned to thrive, escaped the hell of the void and made it out on top. He understood how easy it is to throw your emotions away because they hurt, but sometimes it’s just simpler to face them. So the boy lived on, heart and soul hoping that through his tragedy, he would create something better and help others avoid the fate he had faced.
The reason I tell this story is that I realized it has been ten years since the start of those darker days and my first real struggle with depression. I had it for about 2 years in total, before the cloud began to lift and I felt normal again, even then I felt its effects for many years. Now, I know that I can look forward to the future because of the boy with the mask and having learned how to retake control of my life. Though it may have been hard, I know at the end of the day I am a stronger person because of it (not that anyone should experience that). I hope that this gives people hope in their own struggles out there, and to let them know that though darkness may fall, the dawn will eventually come.