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By Mark Anthony Lord

When I was a kid I used to love Halloween because it was the time I got to pretend I was somebody else. It was fun to not be me. I craved to not be me.

Prior to recovery, as a practicing addict, I put on many different masks that kept my true self hidden from the world. I pretended I wasn’t using. I faked that I was OK. I told myself this was my last time or that I could handle it. I wore all kinds of masks to keep the truth from myself and others. I lied all day long.

The problem is that wearing a bunch of different masks to cover up my authentic self took the life out of my soul, crushed the joy out of my spirit, and allowed the addict to almost kill me.

As addicts, many of us are so consumed by the masks we wear that we are completely disconnected from who we truly are. We actually believe we are the masks. We’ve been going along to get along for so long that the fire to be authentic and free is almost out.

Recovery commands us to take our masks off, and that is a really scary thing to do, especially in early recovery. But ultimately, we can’t stay sober if we continue to present false selves to the world.

  • Where in your life are you hiding and pretending to be someone you’re not?
  • Are you afraid to let people really know your fears, pains, and insecurities?
  • What would it take to throw away your mask(s) forever? Is that even possible?

These are good questions to think about. If you’re willing to remove a mask or two, I promise you will begin to feel so fantastic that you’ll wonder why it took you so long. You also will discover who your true friends are because they are the ones who want to know the real you.

When you remove your mask(s), your recovery will flourish and you will trudge the road of happy destiny with a great group of people who are also learning how to take their masks off. Wherever you are in your recovery, please know this: You require no costume or mask because you, yourself are beautiful.


Mark Anthony Lord is an author, coach/counselor, speaker, trainer, blogger, team facilitator, minister – a thought leader in recovery and an expert teacher of mindfulness practices. After receiving his master’s in divinity in 2003, Mark founded the Bodhi Spiritual Center in Chicago. For 11 years he was the CEO and Spiritual Director. Prior to this, he spent 17 years working as a Director and Choreographer traveling all over the world including three years with Disney. His genius talent throughout all his work has been his ability to motivate and inspire people to become greater than they ever thought possible. From dancers on a stage in Sydney to courageous entrepreneurs working out of their homes or organization managers struggling to lead their teams to success – Mark Anthony Lord sees through their blocks and fears and elevates them into the place where new solutions and new possibilities prevail.