Monday, March 1, 2010

Masquerading

Holy oh my moly today is an ugly day. I haven’t washed my hair since Friday (I’m so sorry) and when I tweezed the brows yesterday, I messed up on the one that by default looks uglier anyway, and I look all lopsided and sad. And I’m not wearing a bra. Holler!

Well, the weekend was the weekend, and they’re, like, notoriously hard for me. I’ve talked with the T a bit about why weekends may be harder for me than the regular work week, and here’s a bit about what we’ve come up with. Let’s explore:

1. On weekends I don’t have a reason to wake up and get dressed in the morning and go to work
and
2. I don’t typically blog

This is interesting to me. At work I am always smiley! and happy! and obnoxiously so! And even when it’s obvious I’m desperately ill or sad or both, with a feeding tube for example, if someone were to ask me how I am, I always smile reeeeeaaaalll big and say I’m so good. Thanks for asking!
...It’s really hard to get to know me at work.

So, to put it more succinctly, I am performing.

When I blog, I tend to hide in my humor. I’m not too shy to tell ya’ll when I’m having a crap day, but it’s always followed with a joke and enough sarcasm to keep you sated for the day until you come back the next morning for more. Make no mistake, Readers, that while you know the real Brie Breivik on this blog, there is also a lot about the real Brie Breivik that you do not know – and what you know and what you do not know is meticulously thought out and mulled over before it is put Out There.

So what’s the pattern here? Can’t figure it out losers? --Okay, all at once now…BRIE’S PERFORMING!

And…on the weekends, I’m not. It’s like I’m left sitting around watching Animal Planet and making out with my pretzels and just being with myself…not pretending, not masquerading…and…I really can’t tolerate it. So I get all anxious and weird and don’t wash my hair and then I tweeze my FACE OFF and itch myself everywhere till I’m all nerdy and hive-y and then HUGESIGH breathe a sigh of relief sighsighSIGH when it’s Monday and I can don the Just Fine Mask and put on my show.

What’s so scary about the Brie Unmasked?
I wish I knew.

22 comments:

Cammy said...

I definitely feel you on this. I think that although writing can be a great outlet, sometimes it does help us to hide behind humor or ironic turns of phrase, to kind of distract from the underlying theme. And blogging amplifies that, because there are actually people reading it, which gives the false illusion that you have to be entertaining. We love your humor, Brie, but we love you more. Even with unwashed hair and unstrapped boobies. Maybe even MORE with those things. ;) Ok now I'm doing the humor thing, but you know what I'm trying to say, I hope. Anyone who cares about you wants you to get what you need, and everyone knows that holding a mask, even a smiling mask, to your face too tightly will make you suffocate. No one wants that for you.

Hang in there and don't be afraid to be candid and peel the mask away a bit, you might be surprised at how much people appreciate that. <3

Anna Banana said...

Geez, I'm been dealing with this myself for sometime. Not showering, or tweezing, or shaving, or doing anything or talking to anyone all weekend long. But you wouldn't know it because I'm all smiley-looking. I definitely put on an act for peeps.

So if you figure it out, will you let me know? ;-)

dietcolagirl said...

Gosh, that sounds like my weekend :(

Eating Alone said...

I wish I didn't have to wear my "bra" - I'm so sick of compression garments!

Are you still leaking? or did you get it fixed?

tracy said...

i hope someday that you'll find out that you don't have to hide the "real" Brie-'cause ya know what? i'll bet she is just great the way she is!

PS How was "Shutter Island"? i want to see it very much....being the nut job i am...

Katannah said...

Meeting the real you is always scary. Being the real you is even scarier! But you know... it's also so very liberating. You get to where you feel so free and floaty. Yes, at first you feel like you're painfully naked (figuratively, unless hey, that IS the real you)and it's all out there in front of everyone, but when you eventually stop caring so much about the reaction people will have, you find that they loved you for you all along... and that the mask didn't cover nearly as much as we thought it did.

Maeve said...

I think that hiding behind a mask is a very common part of eating disorders. For a lot of us, for whatever reasons, it is easier to use the e.d. as an outlet for emotions than to actually express genuine feelings: especially sadness. I'm sure some people would disagree with this statement, and I know there are problems with stereotypes, but it is something that I have seen time and again with people with eating disorders.

And for the record, I totally get you on the hiding. Just this weekend I was doing a bunch of social stuff with a group of friends and I kept feeling like I was wearing a mask. I would strap the smile on the second anyone was near me, but on the few seconds I had alone I would collapse and even cry (I find the pressure of wearing a mask tough).

Be whoever you need to be on this blog. We will always love you!!!

Will said...

It might not be that it's scary...but just a habit...that you've hid behind something for so long it's just what you do.

With blogging and at work you might feel that you have a sense of purpose- that you need to be witty/clever/funny/happy but on the wknds don't feel like you have a purpose...or are so tired from "acting" during the week you need a break.

Wake up and play with Cade and love your hubby. If you don't shave or shower- no biggie. There is always time for that later. It's wonderful to have ppl you can be yourself around and do NOTHING if you choose to. I would say your wknds are more REAL and who you are than the performance you put on for everyone else. It's okay just to BE. You don't always have to be happy girl at work or freshly showered. You have a man that loves you...showering is basically for the birds now, right!?

Sarah said...

I get in that rut too, for me its whenever I don't do something the 'perfect' me should do. Eat certain foods, is the big one. Then I've 'messed up.' and I wont care to do anything, put away laundry, clean, things that keep me busy that I actually like doing. I get an f-it attitude. My perfection drives me nuts, but at the same time its the only thing that drives me to do things...

elisa024 said...

The weekends are the same for me too, I never thought about why! Your therapy is helping me too ;)

Heather Lindquist said...

Oh Brie.....I would guess that a great majority of the world performs in public. It's so sad that humanity has gotten to this fake place. I too "perform" when out and around public, friends, family, strangers, etc. Even running errands, I'm performing with a huge grin and an upbeat walk. Then, when I'm home, alone, the performance ends, and my true nature oozes out. My depression, my anxiety, my self-deprecation, my boredom, my impatience, you get the idea. I too hate myself...my "unguarded self"...and seldom even show it to my husband. However, if he's home, and witnesses this awful autrocity of utter nastiness that has befallen me, he accepts and loves me anyway...even when I tell him to sit across the couch from me because I can't stand sitting next to anyone at that moment. It sucks having to perform. It's draining and discouraging. In a way, it's even lying. Yet, it seems that's what the public wants. I hate that. And please don't take this the wrong way, but I also think Utah is probably one of the most "performance" states in the U.S. of A! When I lived there I noticed it everywhere I went....I even felt the pressure to perform 24/7. It's as if there is an expectation hanging around in the air that one must be happy, excited, always content, and just plain chipper. It makes me want to gag. Yes, other places are like that as well, but I just noticed it being much more emphasized in UT. I used to have a few "friends" there who'd always tell me to smile. WTF? I told them my face was naturally frowny, so back off! Brie....it's okay to be sad. It's okay to feel pissed off at the world. It's okay to show the world you're not always happy and chipper Brie. I know it's hard, since you live in the chipper state of America, but be the one who makes the tide change. We all need to be more honest in public. Obviously there's a time and place to put on the "mask"...but that's not all day every day. I'm sorry your weekends are so down. I've noticed that I'm naturally happier when I'm out working than home with nothing to do but watch TV. The T I've been seeing for the past year suggested I write a list of things to do on the weekends, or on my days off of work. I tried, and failed. So then, she suggested I make a schedule. So I tried it, and I did it. I followed my schedule like an OCD freak. And I wasn't necessarily happy and chipper, but I wasn't bored, lonely, sad, and depressed either. So, I'm now sticking to my schedule and it's defintiely making life a teeny-tiny bit more manageable. Woah...sorry for all the typing errors. I'm lying down being lazy at the moment and it's hard to type. : ) Maybe you could begin with a small schedule....something you know you can mangage. Like: 9:00 get up; 9:30 eat breakfast; 10:00 take Cade to the park;, etc. You know what I mean. Anyway, good luck with whatever you do.

CG said...

I understand...I have a really hard time with weekends, too. Something about the lack of structure. I agree with heather that everyone is 'performing' to some extent in public. p.s. I personally love your 'real' posts just as much as the funny ones, and I'm sure hundreds of people agree (yes, hundreds).

Laur said...

I dislike weekends as well. I get out of my routine with Corey home and Conner's schedule changes etc. The one thing that helps me is if Corey and I go on a date one of those nights. Maybe you could try that?
We go to dinner and a movie (if money allows) and it really helps me look forward to something that day.
I have always disliked weekends ever since I stopped going to school.
Good to know I'm not the only one, but sad that we don't have a solution.
We need to hang out man...maybe this Summer we could go to the pool again? Because I will pretty much be living there this Summer. Are you in? Are you by any chance having Cade take swimming lessons this year? If so where?
Love Laurie

Steph said...

I'm sorry Brie but it is a huge step that you are recognizing the fact that you wear a mask. We all wear masks and even change them depending on who we are around but most of us do this without even being conscious of it. The problem is one day you will be exhausted and tired of performing or pretending to be someone that you are not. It's more important to be real and your authentic self. Whoever that person is and don't place any judgment on it. I'm not saying you should go around being depressed or sad all of the time but it doesn't mean that you have to pretend to be happy either. You can choose happiness but if you aren't feeling it then don't pretend. Don't fear being you. You have a lot of gifts to offer in this life and there is no reason to feel insufficient or insignificant. Happy/Witty/Funny/Laughing you is probably very enjoyable however Sad/Depressed/Don't Bother Me you is acceptable as well. Don't pretend to be someone you are not. You will not find happiness there. Read the book I sent you and when you're done with that one I'll send you another one to try. I hope you peel the masks off one by one because an authentic smile and happiness far outweighs a fake one. I'd rather see your scowl and angry eyebrows than a fake smile. ;) Take care!

Dianne said...

Hey Brie. This concept is actually something I've thought about a lot. I am sure you aware of the zillion studies that have proven that acting happy and cheerful promotes such real feelings. So there's nothing wrong with choosing happiness instead of woe. It's okay to try it on and see if a tiny bit of contentment t sticks. Just a little bit!

And everybody performs. ED or not. It's part of life. People used to accuse me of "acting" happy and whatever and the truth is, the "performing" me is part of the real me, too. I AM funny. I AM happy. I AM outgoing. Just sometimes I'm not. And that's the authentic me, too. It doesn't mean I'm a fake. It means I am human.

Embrace yourself. Wherever. Performing or not. Didn't Shakespeare say something about life being a stage? And on that random note .... I love you, little niecey.

Kerri said...

I'm with Dianne. I am pretty sure everyone fakes it. Some more than others, but everyone does it. I was recently at the doc for some more "happy pills" but my usual doc wasn't there. So filler doc says "You don't LOOK severely depressed. Depressed people can't get out of bed. They don't wear make up and do their hair or make jokes with their doctors". I just smiled and said " "well some of us are great at fake when we need to be". He claimed if I were truly depressed I wouldn't even be able to fake it. *sigh* No, actually, because I also have severe social phobia, it means if i do not wash my hair and put make up on before I go out, I will panic even more that people are looking at me funny. He really had no idea that it was just part of my facade and part of the overall problem. But even people without such 'fun' problems still fake it at times. Everyone needs to just to get through stuff sometimes.

Stephanie said...

I know that I may have an ever-so-slight bias, and you are going to roll your eyes at me. (so get the roll ready).
You need to give yourself more credit B. I know you are starting to see this for yourself; but you have made SO MUCH progress. And I'm not talking about "food and dietary" (even though E has reason to be proud). You are asking and learning and actually feeling.
Are you sharing EVERYTHING about yourself with the world openly? No.. Are you starting to let more people in? Yes!
As scary as it is, I think you are coming to a place where you are answering that final question in your blog.
And while at times my heart breaks for and with you, maybe the scary part is that the "Brie unmasked," isn't quite as scary and bad as you feared.

Lou Lou said...

brie! that was exactly how i used to explain my life a year ago (weekends no purpose when i woke up) and a healer told me, actually two different healers told me that I had to ground myself.
when you jump up and rush to work its not grounding its sort of... movement with direction.
when there is now work on a day it is your free day.
one great way is to sit in bed with a cup of tea when you wake and just sit for ten minutes, to relax, to settle, to get onto the right plane. to breathe.
another way is nature. i have been told coutless times to go out in the mornings and water the plants, to touch some trees. to just smell the scents...
and then i almost always feel more relaxed and that there is some direction, starting a little saturday and sunday morning routine.
you are such an inspiration, this post especially brie.
especially!
we dont love you because your funny and yakkity schmakkity :)
well, we do...
but we also love you because you are strong and you are fighting.
i know that you never found your feeding tube hillarious, but the fact you could sometimes make some wise cracks about it, must have been slightly therapeutic, i know i find it therapeutic to joke about it. i remember my therapist talking to me when i was in this real vicious binge purge cycle that lasted morning till night, and i wasnt smoking much... and i just had to make a joke cos it was too sad really.. i joked with her that i dont really have a ten minute ciggy break inbetween mouthfuls... hence the non-smoking. you are amazing, and you have devoted readers no matter how funny or upset you come across in blogs. the amount of people that comment on your blog is proof that we just love you. i mean, i was redaing your blog for weeks before i wrote anything, i admired you and i was a bit nervous to write on your blog, theres probably tonnes of people reading who arent commenting! because they come back more and more because with each post they know you more and more.
i had to take down b**stf*rward because of the police involvement with what happened with my treatm*ent centre sc*am, but im still reading! x lou lou

t. said...

oh, brie. i'm sorry you had a rough weekend. i think everyone wears a mask to a certain extent. some more than others. i hope that one day you'll get to the point where watching-animal-planet-and-making-out-with-pretzels-brie is just as good in your eyes as smiling-hair-washed-and-styled-brie. 'cause i'm pretty sure they're both amazing.

brie said...

thank you to EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON who commented on this post. i really read and valued each and every one of them. thank you so much for the continued love and support. i'm just still in the process of trying to figure out who the real me is, especially now that ED is starting to leave and i'm left figuring out who the h bomb i am without it...at any rate, thanks again. smooches.

malpaz said...

i never made this connection but damnit i do the exact same thing. ask anyone i work with and i am this opptimistic charismatic happy charming girl...but really, i am that way because i am acting. it's not real and i dont plan to change that because if people knew how i reall felt, at least at my job, or what i was really going through, i prolly would not have my job.

then the weekend comes, i have been known to sleep till 11am, not shower all weekend and stay incredibly busy busy busy because i cannot stand to sit with myself. i really cannot tolerate this whole "just being" thing...

Heather Lindquist said...

Oh Wow...I so agree with and like what Lou Lou shared! I'm actually going to do some of those things Lou Lou...thanks for the tips! You can do it Brie! I'll be one of your cheerleaders!!!