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.
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.