"How Are You?"

The world only sees

What I want them to see

The true me is a mystery

I crumble behind the scenes


I smiled once today

And it was a miracle, see,

For the first time in months

It was not a conditioned movement

It was not forced to be by conscious thought

It appeared on its own


The chattiness and apparent gregariousness?

All a mask for fear

The watching eyes I know aren’t there

Follow me down the halls

Silently judging and mocking

Making me shrink down into myself

I fight back by materializing a grin and portraying social ease

But once alone I sit, sobbing

A tear falls for each word I let slip past my lips

Swearing never to speak again


My friends don’t understand why I’m quick to tears after meeting someone new

They don’t know what I only need to make eye contact to see

They don’t know that the only people who can see the plead for help

Are ones who need the help themselves

The overwhelming fear that accompanies this

Is that I will always need that help

That I will never amount to more

That my life will be this way





See this is me

I am not who I portray

I am not happy

I am not outgoing

I am not strong

I am depressed

I am awkward

I am abused


One day I hope to escape my bindings

Be free of my chains and pull away the mask

But I am not there yet

So today it stays firmly in place

I will smile at appropriate times

I will laugh at a friend’s joke

I will keep my home life private

I will dream of one day being me




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