Sometimes in life we are thrown experiences that we did not foresee all of a sudden the brakes are on the tyres are screeching and your direction has changed. Do you moved forward or do you turn around? How the hell do you even get yourself ready to get into first gear?… The shock the suddenness of it all, The acute sense of bewilderment and emptiness engulfs you to the core. How the hell do you ever feel right again? I say this because a number of years ago I had this experience.It stayed with me, it got under my duvet to gently nudge my brain awake at night time to remind me.. I failed.. It pointed at me in social situations, it pushed be right ahead of the awkward queue. It really left me broken.
Every morning I would wake up desperately sad and alone. Within 40 minutes my face would be on, so would my smile. The cloud I had hoovering over me made it to work with me, made it to the pub, made it to the supermarket it made it everywhere. Everything was a struggle everything was a challenge. I would drive home with lumps in my throat. I couldn’t pull myself through. As I was obviously feeling this and feeling like an outsider in my own world I always assumed everyone else viewed me as an outsider, as loner and as incompetent . Things escalated it became apparent I was going to lose my job.
I had failed.And everyone knew I had failed. I felt the failure we walked hand in hand together. So there I was out there on my own, people didn’t see the pain, they didn’t see me navigating through the pain or trying to reason with it to go away.The pain was winning.
Months later I sought help. The day you wake and you wished you hadn’t is the day to get help. I worked at it, I questioned me , my life, my family , and the people around me. Eventually I became wiser and stronger and realised the pain couldn’t win, the world would be the world but I would have to believe that yes I was important to the world. So I continued on, up days and down days. But the thing that left me broken had repaired slightly but there were still some hairline cracks always there. If I had a few tough days I could feel the separation creep in.That crack was getting wider, it could not glue itself back.
Then four years on I would cross paths with what I thought broke me and the feelings and thoughts of that time came back etching to shatter me again into a tiny million pieces. The dread of being back there filled me again, I felt like there were stones lingering in my gut. I was two seconds away from throwing up and or going numb. Again sleep escaped me. The time was here, it was time to come face to face with my old colleagues, my old office and what I was subconsciously welcoming back my old self.
Day by day I began running into more people from that time.To my sheer surprise and delight they were happy to see me again. They never passed me in the street without saying hello. It was me they were saying hello too not my twin named Shame. It was me they were asking to meet for lunch. It was me that they saw and me that made them laugh. The only person who never really saw ME was ME.. I became my enemy during that time, I looked on all that time, as a time where I was inferior and I wasn’t worthy. They didn’t not for one moment see this, they saw me as me. They left thinking the same as they always had. They left thinking they had stopped and said hello to an old friend. The penny had finally dropped for me. The only person saying hello to my old self was me and dragging her up wouldn’t do me a whole lot of good.
Having the chance to revisit my old place and really looking in has given me the courage to say – Go back with fresh eyes you may be surprised.