looking in the mirror, I don’t see me.
Yes, I recognise the gold eyes, that scar from a dog’s bite, the constellation of moles each of my babies traced while nursing…but I can’t find me. because I am not who I was before.
I’d avoided holding up a mirror to my inside self, thinking that time would heal ( let’s eradicate that myth please) that I would get better – return. but, no. The reflection has changed and I cannot yet come to grips with it. I don’t want to know this person. how can this be me?
I am changed: maybe for an unknown length of time, maybe forever. It feels like wearing the wrong sized clothes – every movement is a reminder that something is not right. I keep running into myself thinking to see the old me but this changed me is staring back instead.
I have always been a very social person; though private, I really love people. Now the thought of being with them – the noise, the need for extended focus, the physical and mental effort – draws me right back away. Then enters guilt because I had been so involved before. Now, everything I have to give I try to save for my family because the time with my children is short. I don’t have enough left over to share and that is so very difficult to grasp, let alone try to explain.
Art, music, singing, talking with people – these have always been a integral part of who I am, easy…flowing. Now I find myself limited in these precious things and more, restrained by this new reflection I see. I cannot fight it, the consequences have been far too harsh. I can push, but there is always a cost. Deciding when the price is too high has become my great challenge.
So, maybe this is a way to explain myself – an apology for not being here and there like I was before? Maybe I’m trying to let myself off the hook and I’m just about OK with that, which is the strongest thing I’ve done in a long, long time.
These kind of changes are very hard. Maybe you’re in the middle of something life altering, too. Please, be good to yourself. Push but don’t plunder.
Sometimes pouring out in measure is a greater sacrifice than giving unrestrained.