“It’s not easy to know I’m not anything like I used to be,
although it’s true I was never attention’s sweet center,
I still remember that girl.
She’s imperfect but she tries.
She is good, but she lies.
She is hard on herself.
She is broken and won’t ask for help.
She is messy, but she’s kind.
She is lonely most of the time.
She is all of this mixed up and baked in a beautiful pie.
She is gone but she used to be mine.”
Once upon a time, I was beautiful.
I had clarity, and gravity was mine to defy.
Slowly, slowly, clarity turned murky.
Past became intertwined with present, a tapestry of space and time: strands of yesterday folded over strands of today in an impossible knot.
Grief demands to be felt and recognized for what it is. Demands it.
You can comply and move forward, through it, or you can be rendered paralyzed.
You’re not necessarily given a clear choice in the matter, though. Nobody draws you a diagram and labels it “trauma.” Nobody explains how it creeps up on you long after the fact and stops you in your tracks, no regard for the plans you’ve made and set in motion. No regard for anything but itself.
Trauma and grief are compounded by confusion and fear as time & space play tricks on your mind and you develop a habit of falling down rabbit holes.
Sometimes, still, you wake up in bed and need a few seconds to orient yourself to when & where you are. Which bed in which home in which state? Did you wake from the nightmare or into it? Why does the nightmare still feel so close at hand when that all ended so long ago?
Who is that person looking back at you from the bathroom mirror? She looks tired and old and bloated. When did you become this imposter?
You’re not yourself, but you’re not the person in the mirror either.
Sometimes you catch glimpses of yourself as if out of the corner of your eye — the enduring Self. And it gives you hope. So you keep moving forward, even when it feels as though you’re a hamster on a wheel, because deep within resides faith in your ability to overcome once again.
This foolish unsubstantiated confidence keeps you alive.
I think this video is from 4 years ago.