Apr 23 2014

Zachary Goodson,


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Acceptance, Addictions, Clarity, Living Fully, Pain




Master manipulator at your service.  Oh.  You don’t need to be manipulated?  Okay.  How about a liar?  I’m a real good liar.  Don’t need one of those either?  Hmm.  I know.  How about a victim?  I can play that role with the best of them.  Wow really?  Not that either.  I thought for sure you’d want a victim.  What do you want?  Excuse me?  You want me to just be me?  Yeah that might be a problem.

Who am I?  I’m Zachary and I wear a mask.  “Hi Zachary.”  Hi everyone.  Yep.  I’m a mask wearer.  Have been for the better part of my life.  Keeps me safe and protected.  Also gets my needs met.  Yep me and my mask have been the best of pals.

All kidding aside I can’t remember ever putting my mask on.  But it’s there.  As much a part of me as I am it.  It’s protected me when I’ve been kicked out of the car in middle school as to not let the other kids see my pain.  It’s helped me control certain situations so nobody could blame me.  It’s lied for me so I don’t hurt someone else’s feelings.  We sure have been through a lot together.

The other day I shared that I’m a manipulator and a liar.  To name a few.

My girlfriend was quick to point out that I’m none of those things.  I may use manipulation to survive.  To get my needs met.  But I’m not a manipulator.  It’s just a cover.  A mask.

Well this might sound crazy to some of you but I don’t want to wear a cover anymore.  So I have an announcement that I’d like to make.

Attention everyone.  Attention….

None of this serves me anymore.  This has been my whole life strategy and it’s time to give it up.  To turn it over.  I’m done with it.  Well done with it one day at a time but done non the less.

I want to just be me.  No control no manipulation no lying no assumption no people pleasing no being a victim etc etc etc.  It’s time to take off the proverbial mask and be okay with the man in the mirror.

Albert Einstein said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Boy can I relate.  I’ve done the same thing day in and day out my whole life.  Lied to get my needs meet.  Manipulated to control.  Charmed to gain attention.  But in the end I always ended up right back where I started.  In pain.  In pain and afraid of rejection.  Sounds insane to me.

I woke up each day expecting to get different results but never did.  Day in and day out it was always the same.  My whole life strategy of survival.  But if I just yell at the driver in front me loud enough maybe it’ll never happen again.  Or if I keep lying to myself and other people maybe one day I’ll believe it to be true.  Nope.  Same stuff different day.  Insanity.

Bottom line.  My mask doesn’t help.  If anything it keeps me from personal growth and makes me insane.  At least for the sake of this article.  Definitely not what I want at this stage of my life.  No I think it’s time to get a little quiet and just sit with my feelings.  To surrender one day at a time my whole life strategy.  It’s not going to be easy.  In fact I think I’ll need some help.


Please restore me to sanity.




Zachary Goodson is a coffee addict and yoga lover, inspired by intentional living. His writing focuses on his experiences around holistic health, inner child work, addiction, recovery and spirituality. He is currently writing his first book and blogs at: abigyearforme.blogspot.com.  Email him at zgoodson12@gmail.com.


  • Macon

    Wow Zachary, you just looked into my soul. You just described the last 56 years of being me. I so appreciate this overview of my life and many others I am sure. I will follow your blog. Nice to find another source of inspiration to just be myself. Peace.

    • Zachary Goodson

      Thank you Macon for taking the time to read my article as well as reply with the kind words. It’s so good to know that none of us are alone. All the best.

  • I just want to say I am overwhelmed by the power of this blog. Zachary’s ability to come clean about who he is. His dexterity in making us all understand there is a little of us in Zachary and a little of Zachary in all of us. We are all suffering from so m any of the same fears, insecurities and inner conflicts. Zachary has a gift for nailing them that is very rare. You can tell I’m impressed with this guy.

    • Zachary Goodson

      Blushing. Thank you Tracey. Very kind words.

  • Larry

    Beautifully written. We say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over knowing the result will be the same. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Zachary Goodson

      Thank YOU Larry.

  • Rose Poirier

    Someone I cares very much about also wears a multitude of masks. Fueled by childhood pain, driven by resentment and anger, the masks hide the feelings and emotions. The ‘happy mask’ comes out when one is angry, the ‘victim mask’ comes out when one needs attention but these masks are like bandaids covering a deep wound. It takes a lot of courage and fortitude to do what you are doing and it makes me hope that if you can do it, my friend can do it too.

    • Zachary Goodson

      Thanks Rose. I hope your friend can do it too. Scary thing taking a good close look at ourselves. BUT…we are not alone. I wish you and your friend all the best.

  • Margaret Garone

    Zachary, Totally related to this. Keep showing that genuine face to the world! Thank you!

    • Zachary Goodson

      Thanks margaret. One day at a time for me. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • ClayRivers

    Fantastic blog post, Zachary. I can identify with it on so many levels as I too was a mask wearer.

    Wearing masks is easy because it’s so deceptively familiar. By using masks don’t have to risk people rejecting us for who we really are. The key retiring your mask is to start by building meaningful relationships with a few people with whom you can be your authentic self. In doing so, you build up the confidence to embrace who you are — warts and all.

    You’re on the right track. Being aware that you even use a mask and want to retire it is half the battle! You can do this!

    • Zachary Goodson

      Thanks Clay! Great way of putting it…deceptively familiar. Yep. Been wearing one most of my life so I becomes like i’m not even wearing it anymore. Takes work. Daily at that. Promise to keep doing such. Thanks again.

  • Steppie Royes

    When facing the judge about receiving SSDI, he asked me if I would go out and shop/volunteer when I was in pain just so my husband would benefit getting out of the house (as he is handicapped and can’t go anywhere without me). He asked me if I hid my pain. Under oath, I told the truth. I do. It’s putting on a mask to hid what I’m going through both physically and emotionally.

    What makes your writing so amazing is that everyone can relate. We’ve all done this. But like what Abraham Lincoln once said: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

    The ones closest to you are great at seeing through the mask. They can tell if you’re wearing it to get away with something good or bad. I wear my mask so to benefit others. Even so, my husband can tell if I’m just putting on a front to make it through whatever we are doing on any given day or if I’m offering my true unmasked self.

    Thank goodness we have this therapeutic support group to help each other unmask ourselves. Great blog ,Zachary!

    • Zachary Goodson

      Steppie thank you for the beautiful comment and honesty. It’s a blessing to know that none of us are really alone. Such a blessing.

  • cathy peterson

    we’re most beautiful when we’re vulnerable and admit we just want to be wanted, accepted, and loved. The hard part is it starts with wanting, accepting and loving ourselves with all our quirks. Personally I think that what makes us unique.

    • Zachary Goodson

      Well said Cathy. I spent a lifetime running from vulnerability only to find that it brings me closer to not only myself but others as well.

  • Paul Williams

    The elegance of “Rigorous Honesty”! Your recovery is showing Zachary and it looks wonderful on you. Thanks for sharing your insight and growing wisdom. We trudge the same path and you set a marvelous example. I hope we’ll read more of you here at Gratitude and Trust. Blessings and thanks, Paul W.

    • Zachary Goodson

      Paul thank you for the lovely comments and thank you for the opportunity to share on such a beautiful site! A blessed day to all.

  • Dorian Eaden

    Late to comment, but I just read this 🙂 Bravo to you I have recently removed my mask as well. I mean recently, last week recently. As terrifying as it was and is, it’s done. I can never go back. I cannot continue to hide my truth any longer, not from the world and certainly never again from myself. I hope you have experienced good things and many blessings after choosing to remove your mask of public and personal perception. Many blessings and I thank you for sharing your story.