For some, though, Halloween is seemingly lived year round. Living with a condition that makes you less than "normal" is something that many people experience. Having a highly visible disability can make the holiday feel odd and unsettling. I often joke that I should just Trick or Treat naked, painted orange, and say I'm Muno. I laugh as I say it, even to my husband, who laughs with me. But in truth, that's just a mask as well - deep down, when I really look at it, it hurts.
While the rest of the world put away their masks last night, my friends cannot escape their deformities.
But the real Halloween is what the average person lives year round, as the world hides behind false motives, their fake fronts, and a false sense of normalcy as they walk through life pretending its better than it is, so they don't have to face reality.
Those in the NF community who experience the harshest of NF's effects are faced with their reality daily, and we have many in our ranks who face the world head on, regardless of the world's difficulty doing the same in return. The nastiest masks are never worn on the outside, but on the inside, keeping us both from discovering who we really are as well as letting others see the same.
Many have suggested that Thriving is just a mask - meant to cover the reality of the pain. That isn't Thriving however. Thriving is seeing the masks that we wear, and learning to throw them out in favor of reality, accepting it, and moving forward anyway.