I just want to send a smile your way

I’m a firm believer in my freedom and everyone’s right to decide about their lives and bodies. I don’t care about people’s skin color, religious believes or political views. It says little to nothing about their actual character. I love talking to people with different opinions because this is how you learn the most and best, because you learn from other people’s experiences. 

I also tend to stick to the rules and follow them. 

No rule, or law has ever made me feel as bad and restricted in my freedom as the mask mandates. And every time I tried to explain my feelings to people I kept on being told to get over it, that it is just a mask. No big deal. But it’s not just a mask, it is a big deal… not seeing people’s faces has a psychological effect on me that is difficult to describe or explain.

It’s a tightening in my chest, a pull in my stomach, this very uncomfortable feeling.

Because those masks represent so much more than that. 

I’ve written those words down, months ago, everything has gotten so much worse since then. 

I don’t like to go outside. I have never been someone who enjoyed groups of people but now it is so much more emotionally taxing than before. I seriously struggle with not being able to see people’s faces, to be unable to see the facial expressions. My mind struggles not being able to know what the face looks like under the mask and during those rare moments I am actually allowed to see the face from the stranger that sat across from me for an hour on the train, I’m mostly surprised by the way they look, which most of the time is nothing like the way my brain thought they would look under the mask. That is seriously messing with my head and my psyche. 

So, no I will never just get over it. 

It’s been nearly two years and I’m still not over it. Still unable to adjust and look at it as normal. I wear a mask, I follow the rules, I do as the government tells me to. But I will never get over it, I will never get used to not being able to see the face of the person across from me. To be able to smile at them. To maybe sweeten their day a little with said smile. Or have someone smile at me and sweeten my day in return. 

Masks will always give me anxiety. There is a reason it was prohibited to wear them in public not three years ago. There was a reason we had a law against covering your entire face up. Funny how you were a criminal if you wore a mask walking into a bank less than three years ago, now you are one if you walk in without a mask on.