I read something by Carl Jung, at about this point, that helped me understand what I was experiencing. It was Jung who formulated the concept of 'persona': the mask that 'feigned individuality.' Adoption of such a mask, according to Jung, allowed each of us — and those around us — to believe that we were authentic.
'When we analyse the persona we strip off the mask, and discover that what seemed to be individual is at bottom collective; in other words, that the persona was only a mask of the collective psyche.
Fundamentally the persona is nothing real: it is a compromise between individual and society as to what a man should appear to be. He takes a name, earns a title, exercises a function, he is this or that. In a certain sense all this is real, yet in relation to the essential individuality of the person concerned it is only a secondary reality, a compromise formation, in making which others often have a greater share than he.
The persona is a semblance, a two-dimensional reality, to give it a nickname.'
Despite my verbal facility, I was not real. I found this painful to admit.