The Pull of the Past

Sometimes I can feel the pull of my past weighing heavy on my soul.  The person I was versus the person I am seem incongruous at times.  I’m working on writing more about my past.  Writing through the memories and through the pain and I get caught.  Caught in who I was and who I am now and how I am still the same person even though it doesn’t seem like it.

I wrote a page, single spaced with real paragraphs yesterday about my first hospitalization.  On Wednesday a friend and I were talking and I mentioned that I don’t know whether hospitalization was right for me then.  I don’t know, and I’ll never know, because the hospital is what happened and it worked to keep me safe and get me on meds and help me start to get the help I needed.

It also taught me to turn inside myself and trust no one, especially those who wanted to help me.

I was angry and I didn’t know what to do with the anger so I turned it on myself and made my pain visible to others and I was met with belief by some and skepticism from others.  I overheard a few of the nurses pondering whether I was doing research for a paper and what I heard was "your pain is not real.  Your hurt is not valid."

And so I shut everyone out, envisioning myself an oak tree, strong and stoic, unyielding.  I stayed exactly where I was and did not move.

I can’t discern my second hospitalization from any of the others.  I know it was in Hannibal and not Quincy like my first.  I don’t even remember when it was, other than likely in the fall as all but one fell between Labor Day and Christmas.

My past is sometimes a blur with a few peeks of clarity.  The time I drooled on my cousins leg because of medication side effects.  The time I got pulled over for driving while intoxicated when I was simply taking my meds as prescribed.  I could go on and on but these stories are just glimpses into what my life was and when I contrast it to where I am now I’m left confounded as to how these two people are the same.

Who I was and who I am do not mesh well in my mind.  I am so far removed emotionally and physically from where I was that it is foreign to think of being that depressed.  I still wear the signs of those years and the fears etched into my mind.  

I fear going back to where I was, and so I fight against my mind to maintain this level of sanity I have found and I am good at it.  I have learned to hold my thoughts captive and talk logic to myself until the world makes sense again.  I have learned to call my therapist and my doctor at the first sign of trouble.  I have learned to cope.  I have learned to live.

I am learning to thrive.

Most of you who read this know me in real life.  Most of you who know me now did not know me then and I am sometimes at a loss to explain myself.  To speak of those years with clarity when they are simply a blur and it seems like it happened to someone else.  It’s just a story I heard once.  And yet it is written in my every thought and I am me and that was me and we are one.

But how?

And so I write.  Trying to feel out the story in this and I am realizing it is not linear.  This series of events has shaped me but I cannot put them on a timeline even if I try.

Who I was is me.  Who I am is me.

But I am foreign to myself at times.