I have been operating under a mask for a long time.
I can't even decide the right image to use for this... Under a mask, a leash, in a fishbowl? Maybe it doesn't matter. In the end, I simply haven't been myself.
I have felt like I needed to cover up who I was. I needed to make her prettier. I needed to make her different. Why? So that other people would be okay with me. Or because I felt that I had to portray a certain image because of things and people that I was involved with.
It's really only been recently that I've come to take that off a little and have really begun to understand just how suffocating it is to not allow yourself to be you. How constricting it is to always be hiding what you think and feel, to always be playing a role.... and how the more you play it, the more you lose who the real you is.
And you finally are pushed to the brink and you rip off your mask/leash/bowl and step into the light and it feels so good. But at the same time, it's awfully scary. Because you're not quite sure who you are in the light anymore... and now you have to find her.
But it's a good kind of finding.