The Road to Resiliency: Masking the Pain

I pretend all day...

Nia Miah | 4/26/2016, 9:38 p.m.
I pretend all day. I go through the same routine morning after morning: listening to the alarm clock, hitting snooze, ...

Nia Miah

Nia Miah


I pretend all day. I go through the same routine morning after morning: listening to the alarm clock, hitting snooze, hitting it again, rolling out of bed, showering, dressing, grooming myself and walking out the door wearing a mask of “I’m okay.”

I dress as if I’m okay. I look as if I’m okay. I talk, laugh, listen as if I’m okay, and I keep my “be a big girl” face on all day. At night when I come home to my husband, I put on my “I’m the strong one” face. Strong enough not to wither under his sneaking infidelity, strong enough to go through the motions of being a wife, strong enough not to let the distance between us suffocate me, strong enough to to put up with his disappearing acts. I pretend to be strong enough to survive with or without him, but when I look into the mirror, the “I’m okay” and “I’m the strong one” masks look back at me and then crawl away, as if they are tired of playing my game of pretense. I search for them and call for them to come back, but they don’t answer. I need a mask to get through the rest of the night. I don’t want to cry through the night. I don’t want to go to sleep and be terrorized in my dreams by this rogue spirit. I plead with the masks, “Please come back,” to no avail. I look in the mirror, and all I see is ashell of the woman I pretend to be, and that’s not me….

An excerpt from The Coffee Bean and Other Things by Nia Miah. A note on being strong. The way I see it, there are two types of strong. A strength that is pretense. A strength mask that we must wear to survive, we’re not ok, but pretend to be ok so we can survive the day. It’s not ideal, but sometimes that pretend mask is necessary. The problem with that mask is that it gets heavy. It’s hard to pretend that all is well, when it’s not. A day will come, when either we live with our pretend mask permanently and lose our reality, or we just don’t feel like pretending anymore. Which brings me to the next kind of strong. This strong is harder, than the first, but not heavier. This kind of strong is when we discard the mask and deal with reality. We don’t pretend anymore, because, well - why? We stop and try to accept the person we see in the mirror and the reality we live with everyday -dysfunctional and all. This strong is hard, because it doesn’t fit into normal, nor does it try. As a result, this kind of strong is vulnerable to judgements, attacks and unsolicited public opinion. It’s harder, but not heavier because there is no mask. One strong is not better than the other strong, we need the mask sometimes. Other times the mask does more damage than good. Whichever strong you are today, remember to balance, its not healthy to wear the mask ALL the time and when you take it off, make peace with the person you see. What kind of strong are you today?

To learn more about Tiffany and her journey, you’ll find her story in the book: The Coffee Bean and Other Things.

In service and in love,

Nia Miah

I hear you…

Nia Miah is an author that weaves inspiration and creative energy through fiction to provide life comfort, peace and rainbow smiles. Her fictional characters, have their own story and their own life testimonies, she simply puts it on paper for them. Enjoy growing with them as they journey and champion through life.

To contact or read more from Nia Miah

Visit her website:

Twitter: @NiaMiahWrites

Facebook: Nia Miah