Embrace the Human Within with Author Carly Reed

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You wake up in the morning, “Here we go again.”

You’ve seen people talk about their morning routines, and upon self-reflection, you’re relieved yours doesn’t deviate much from the “conventional.” But, hold on, there is something different.

Keys, check. Wallet, check. Breakfast? Yes, sir. But there is something more important than the items in your “going-off-to-face-the-world” starter pack.

You look in the mirror, taking a long, hard look at yourself. You notice the blemishes on your face, the acne that has been popping more than the pills in the bathroom just to rid you of the headache and burden, and your disarray hair. But more importantly, what breaks your heart is the look in your eyes. You see a cry for help, a longing to be understood by the world, a yearning to love yourself. The longer you look, the more you see. It’s scary. And as you feel the pain, you put on the mask, the final and most essential item on your list, before you go off to face the world.

And just when you begin to feel the pain, the first step to healing, you put on the mask, the final and most essential item on your list, before you go off to face the world.

If you relate to whatever precedes this sentence, consider this article a warm hug, a pat on the shoulder commending you for making it this far, for you are not alone. And don’t worry, this statement isn’t one hollow promise. Today, you will befriend a book described as a “warm blanket on a cold, rainy day.”

Author Carly Reed presents her book, Human: Behind the Mask, with the sentence:


“You are stronger than you think.”

The book is a transcendent work of art enamored with riveting poetry. Each poem is a manifestation of Carly’s struggles with addiction, body dysmorphia, and/or mental health. She now pens the book as a testimony to human resilience and that you, too, can one day triumph against the demons of addiction and self-destruction.

But who is Carly Reed? Carly is a natural-born creative artist from Baltimore, Maryland, with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland College Park. In 2014, Carly moved to Naples, Florida, to train as an ocularist, custom painting and fabricating prosthetic eyes. By 2015, Carly transitioned her creativity into designing new homes, which she continues to do.

Carly indulges in numerous artistic hobbies ranging from modeling to writing and painting. For 14 years, Carly has struggled with addiction, mental health, and body dysmorphia. But, with God’s grace, she is sober and recovering today. Carly commenced writing to process and express many feelings she buried for so long. During her healing journey, Carly turned a lot of pain into beauty by immersing herself in numerous artistic endeavors. Her book results from her compassion and knack for showcasing her creativity for the world to be inspired by.

Human: Behind the Mask is a deeply personal memoir of spiritual growth and recovery. Carly’s vividly expressed, raw, truth-telling poems were penned daily as her way to get through her craving; however, she soon realized her poems could help others who suffer in silence and can’t find the words to express their feelings. She wanted to share her poems to let others know that they are not alone, and that there is hope. To help inspire those struggling with what she has gone through in life. What makes her book such a breath of fresh air is the aura of personality, empathy, and passion that Carly has been able to construct with her unique writing.

We, as humans, all wish to be seen. What does that mean? Being seen is not to be perceived by your senses but to be understood and looked at realistically. We all wear a mask around strangers, maybe even our loved ones. Perhaps this mask gives us confidence; maybe it helps us become stronger and more courageous. But the thing about this mask is that it is a temporary solution.

Eventually, you will return home, remove the mascara from your eyes, wipe the lipstick off your face, and stare at the mirror again. It’s exhausting, the rinse-and-repeat cycle. Carly’s book helps readers realize that it is okay to be imperfect, for they are what makes them truly beautiful. Her book allows us to encourage and recognize the person within.

Human: Behind the Mask helps us embrace humanity in a world of expectations, judgment, and a constant struggle to appease. It is an ode to self-love, which flows from the heart.

So, stand up, know you are not alone, and fight the good fight. Refuse to live a life in regret and know that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Put down the mask you wear every day and become a new you.

Confide in Human: Behind the Mask, now available on Amazon.

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