The Art Of Losing One’s Self
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The Art Of Losing One's Self

The Art Of Losing One’s Self

Like most art, it’s a bit of a mystery. We all have our limits, some of us, the lucky ones, find ourselves there by choice one way or another, others have it thrust upon them because of something that happens outside of their control. Unimaginable things.

Regardless of how we get there, it always becomes about how we get the fuck back. I didn’t choose to get lost per-say, but it was a bi-product of my choices. A desire to understand, to grow and to love. So I regret nothing. I am who I am, and that’s the end of that.

How do you go about explaining what it is to lose your sense of ‘self’? Even those words put together in that order, and in the context of your identity, it seems an unfathomable concept for the mind to grasp let alone explain. We’re not a bunch of keys ffs.

I suppose the simplest way would be to say it’s the affect of trauma - Trauma being the thing that happens to you after something actually happens to you. Not that thing itself.

Trauma is often misinterpreted as the event itself which can be tricky when it comes to recovery and healing because we feel it’s about focussing on and reliving those experiences. But it’s not really about that at all. It’s the affect it had on us, on who we are, the loss of our true self, our inner child. The version of us before we experienced the extreme negatives of life, whether that’s a singular event or sustained period of subconscious damage in our childhood.

Trauma itself us, it’s all about our brains processing of the negatives of life, which is primarily done subconsciously. How it protects us, carrying us through life, altering the perception, thoughts and behaviour of the real us – about pretty much everything in life, but crucially ourselves. Our perception of self. Which is why trauma is so brutal and needs exposing, because sadly it affects us all to a degree, it shapes us in ways we can be oblivious too until we start digging deep and reconnecting with our inner child. Which again is something we all wind up doing during our lives – because we want to be happy. And happiness lies within the real us. The more we are our real self, the happier we are. It’s that simple (he says).

Certainly for me, I refer back to versions of me when I remember being happy. That’s happened a few times in my life, three very clear occasions when I’ve thought to myself ‘I was happy then, I want to go back there’. That wanting to go back isn’t some kind of unachievable dream or ‘fix all’ scenario. It’s just about being aware something inside us isn’t right, we don’t feel like ourselves but remember a time when we did.

We will never be that free-as-a-bird 8 year old kid again, we won’t be that full-of-beans 25 year old either, but we can and do reconnect with the heart of those versions of us. That version of us who knew who they were, had confidence in themselves and their values. That’s what the ‘inner child’ represents. It’s who we are before life changed us. Reconnecting with ourselves is the goal, and it’s an achievable one. One that can be done in many ways, we just need the will to do so.

So when you consider trauma and in fact healing from it, which more often than not is the scary blocker that prevents us doing so, look at it in a different way. Don’t see it as ‘healing’ or ‘facing trauma’ - see it as you’re simply going home.

If you’d have asked me before, I’d have actively rejected the idea that one could lose one’s self, denied it was even possible for ‘someone like me’. Someone who was, as far as I was concerned, a quite well calibrated individual after all of life’s challenges up to this point. I was stable, grounded, aware, content. I was realistic yet still very much open to the world and of taking chances, of living. I knew self, trusted self, even liked myself for the most part, and knew how to take care of myself (so I thought). Not always in the healthiest of ways, I’d had a couple run-ins with trauma, but still. Life was alreeeeet.

I felt strongly that my core values and moral compass were good ones and a pretty sound directive that guided me through life. A few tweaks aside, mistakes made and lessons learned along the way of course. But these values, the root of me is something I’ve protected from the influence of negative experiences over the years. Because I also knew the dangers that came with being open. Just not all of them apparently. But who does until they do? The thought of emotional danger rarely held me back, it’s something I accepted, I live as authentically as possible, mainly because I know that’s the only way you’ll get to be happy and meet people who genuinely dig you, love you even, for who you are. Because if you’re not showing your true self, that love can never be real, not really.

So for better or worse being authentically myself is of utmost importance to me. Always has been. Which is why I guess losing my sense of self was so difficult. Weird in fact. There were times throughout that I knew it was happening and why but it still it happened despite my understanding, trust in self and best efforts. It takes a lot to break someone who’s pretty secure in themselves.

Old me wasn’t wrong, just a little naive and inexperienced in the art of dealing with certain types of pain and trauma. I clearly didn’t know ‘self’ as well as I thought I did, you can’t lose something you truly believe in. It wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t anyone else’s fault either, you simply don’t know what you don’t know. And then, one day, you do. It’s thrust upon you and you either choose to walk away or walk straight into the fire. I chose to burn, and shit got tasty from there on in.

I’ve often wondered how to rationalise what it’s like living in an alternate reality, where self feels like a ghost in the shadows. To find ways to explain it and why is not only important for self but also to the people close to us, to help them understand and make you feel a bit less mental. But that’s not easy when you’re in it. I’d explain it, what was happening in my life, how I felt, and people would look at me bemused, even in the face of stone cold truth. This feeling of being unheard, misunderstood and told you’re wrong essentially doesn’t help and only pushes you further away into isolation.

In the end you kinda give up trying to explain it, trying to justify yourself. When someone can’t understand us, can’t see what we see, experience our experience, they can’t relate. Can’t empathise, not fully, so it becomes futile. Sometimes it takes losing ourselves, questioning our own thoughts, experiencing similar things in order to understand something or someone else. The truth of the matter is none of us can ever fully understand the feelings or experiences of another person, and they can’t us. We can but try. That’s it.

Somethings are easier than others, more widespread and so people can more closely relate, but certainly feelings such depression, losing yourself, self-hate, they’re not so easy to relate to unless you’ve experienced it yourself. That lack of feeling understood is a stone cold bitch. It can further enhance that feeling of worthlessness you’re starting to feel already as you slip further, forgetting who you are.

As much as some people want to understand, want to help and do try too. They don’t know how and you don’t know how to tell them. It’s heartbreaking really. You kinda get to a point where you accept that what they don’t know, they don’t know and maybe never will. There’s no fault in that either. It would be great if we could draw a picture, connect our brain to a monitor so people could see for themselves. But we can’t. And actually, that’s a fucking bad idea anyway – who wants that fucked-up world?!

But knowing and understanding this (two very different things by the way) doesn’t help you, the one who’s actually lost. If anything, your awareness and understanding, your consciousness of it plays on the loneliness and isolation you already feel. In accepting that people can’t understand, you kind of accept your fate, your new found existence, and embody it fully. You give up in a way searching for your true self, and go about your business in the outside world, functioning, living, surviving, but always with this weight on your shoulders…and your mind elsewhere.

That’s simply the awareness we’re not us. But giving up isn’t an option any of us truly buy into. We may do for periods, but we can’t help but remind ourselves of this. People, places, experiences, they all trigger that feeling in us. It isn’t about anyone else, it’s us being triggered. Triggers are often mentioned din psychology and therapy, The Monster take on them is that they’re just reminders that we have unfinished business in the job of reconnecting to self. That’s all they are really, but our brain, with the assistance elf trauma, has a way of telling us its all manner of other shit that’s not ‘us’. But in reality it’s mostly us.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m going to go out on a limb and do so anyway. Trauma is behind why this happens to us, losing ourselves. For some that may be instant, an immediate survival instinct within a traumatic event, to simply switch off. To protect the mind from what’s happening. Which must be some scary shit. It didn’t happen that way for me, it didn’t happen suddenly like a bolt out of the blue. It was pretty silent and creeping, and looking back actually took an enormous amount of time and energy. At least that’s how it felt, but that may well have been me fighting it.

In fact, shit, hang on a minute - light bulb moment - there was an individual event that felt like nothing I’d ever felt before. That was very much a bolt of lightening, a mind-splitting, body-freezing, the world blurring around me kind of moment. The traumatic affect itself though was more insidious, it crept up slowly over the following months and years. Which I suppose highlights where I started with this…? Proving the point that trauma is what happens after something actually happens. Fuck me - I knew this Monster thing was a good idea, literal self-awareness happening as I type. Awesome.

That moment was the trigger that opened the door to the abyss, but it took a long time for me to step through it. The trauma afterwards did that, not the event itself. It’s not until you realise for yourself one day that you suddenly feel it – complete detachment. It’s pretty fucking scary to be that honest with yourself, to know you’ve left the building. To not recognise the person you are, the face in the mirror. To know you’re there in body but not in mind. Vast emptiness is all you can really feel. It’s The Abyss I discussed in my last article.

Even the feelings that led you here are a distant memory, that initial event and how it made you feel. Which in many ways is a blessing you’re grateful for, because it was those you were trying to escape, trying to unburden yourself from. But then you see the damage. Acute awareness of the fact you have gone the wrong way, ended up at the edge of The Abyss rather than the person you used to be before. The person you know you are.

At first you’re obsessed with all the reasons that led you there, you find yourself asking ‘How could this happen to me? ME?? How could I be so fucking lame? So stupid or so weak’. Self-hate is a common practice when you don’t know who you are anymore by the way. It gets a bit tedious. Very tedious. On the one hand you literally hate yourself, but on the other you don’t. It’s the weirdest thing. I believe the latter is the real you clinging on, tethering you to reality. Trying to remind you of who you really are. It can get messy that confusion. Manipulate your thoughts and behaviours as you struggle with self and ego. With reality and whatever the fuck your brain is doing to manage your trauma. It’s truly maddening sometimes.

Blame is obviously easy, you naturally go through that cycle as part of this too. I could blame how I got here on many things; the event, those involved, pain, not speaking up, being weak, choices I made, avoiding and carrying pain for too long, ignoring my gut instincts, not having enough self-worth, going against my values and approach to life, not being true to myself, questioning/doubting love and of course the insidious path and side affects of trauma itself. But in the end, blame is easy. It’s seldom helpful, to anyone.

But accountability is. And accountability is hard when you’re hurt. It’s different to blame. When we’re accountable, we’re not blaming ourselves for what happens, but we’re also not blaming anything or anyone else. We’re doing the right thing and taking responsibility for our part in it but letting go of the rest. Recognising what’s ours to burden and learn from and what’s someone else’s. This is essential for our well-being, for reconnecting to self. Separating our bit from the external bit – not taking shit personally but in a way that doesn’t diminish ourselves, our feelings and experiences.

As with everything, there are always ways of doing things, healthy and unhealthy ways. For a while as you’re working through this shit you flip between the two, good cop and bad cop almost. Good cop is the real you, the one desperate to return to reality, to make everything okay, exploding with love. Good cop listens, is accountable, fair, understanding, respectful, accepting, responsible and empathetic. Bad cop rarely gives a fuck. It’s the fragile ego, all the pain and anger you still carry, all that trauma mashed up and bleeding out into the world. It’s a proper Jekyl and Hyde situation you find yourself in. Good cop and bad cop tussle with each other all the time, they’re basically alter egos our brain creates to manage and protect us from difficult emotions relating to our trauma. It’s all a bit nuts, our job is to figure out which is which and lean towards good cop as best we can, because that’s who we really are.

A basic fact of life is that we have no control over what happens to us, what other people say, think or do. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. None of that is our responsibility or fault. Yet we are affected by those things. In one way or another, sometimes in very painful traumatic ways. It’s very difficult not to take some things personally, because depending on how close it is to us, it does feel that way. And some of the shit we experience is very shit. Betrayal of any kind is the perfect example, one of the hardest things to recover from.

Without diminishing myself, I do count myself lucky and actually feel a some guilt for my own experience of losing self. Given who I thought I was, it seems pretty pathetic. So many other people go through far worse than I ever have. But dealing with that guilt was actually a big part of stepping away from The Abyss for me – separating the responsibility that wasn’t mine and rediscovering self. Everything is relative, that’s what you learn in therapy, but it takes a while to hit home if you’re of a healer, taking responsibility persuasion like I am. Our experiences are our experiences – nobody can tell you that what you feel is an over reaction, that what you went through wasn’t ‘bad enough’ to warrant the pain you feel – that’s called victim shaming. It’s all relative, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, especially yourself.

I think guilt is actually a good thing to feel. It means we’re getting closer to our true selves, our conscience, a reminder from our inner child that yeah something’s not right, we messed up, we’re not ourselves, but that it’s not over til the fat lady sings and we have the opportunity to make things right. That it’s never too late, that we are not defined by these negative feelings. Shame on the other hand is very different, it’s kind of like guilt, only where guilt promotes action to redeem ourselves, shame acts to keep us feeling shit about ourselves, internalising the guilt, blaming ourselves. Making it harder and harder to free ourselves from this hollow Abyss.

In the end, my experience was all about choice. Many choices I consciously made along the way. Choices I wouldn’t change in fact, knowing where I am now. I wouldn’t make some of them again, not now. I wouldn’t tolerate, accept or repeat past mistakes, doing so would mean I hadn’t learned anything. Sounds an odd thing to say right? Given that the outcome of those choices led to losing myself. Surely nobody would intentionally do that to themselves or be grateful for it? I hope by the end of this article you’ll understand better.

The point is, there is no blame involved at all, for anyone, including myself. That’s the power and beauty of choice, and accountability for that matter. My choices were and are inspired by the real me, that trust and self-belief in my values and the love I have coursing through me. Not some fake shit you experience as a teenager or see in movies, something visceral that I can’t explain but just know to be right. Completely, wholeheartedly. Something that has always been there with me. Something I can’t deny or hide from and never have. It’s that understanding that gave me conviction in my choices and never left me during the aftermath, even when I felt ‘lost’ and swam through The Abyss with my wetsuit on – that part of me was still burning inside somewhere, keeping me toasty.

When you’re in a pickle it’s difficult to trust what you truly believe in your heart. After a while, as you flog the shit out of the dead horse that is the pain, anger and confusion, it becomes less about how you got to this empty expanse in the mindiverse and all about how to get yourself the fuck out. I think that’s a key turning point and milestone in the healing process (this whole thing is of course about healing).

But there’s no map. No sat nav with a preset destination to ‘you’. No advice that will solve it all in one stroke. You might as well be blind. But you’re not, and you’re aware, that’s a crucial milestone too, one you don’t always give yourself credit for – you’re now aware of your disconnection from self and the weird affects it has on you. It’s a scary thought. Being lost is one thing, it’s all kind of a blur, but when you realise you’re lost? Fuck me. You actually feel worse and things go far shitter for a while. But I can tell you that’s okay too, it is, keep going. You’ll get there.

The confusion for me was replaced by anger, panic, self-loathing and loathing for everything and everyone even mildly associated with how I got there in the first place. But this isn’t you, it’s just a part of the process. Part of the trauma fucking with your mind. Pain projecting outwards. You’re constantly living in the deep but your body is still in reality on the surface remember. Those two worlds coexist and collide so it’s easy for them to overlap and for you to be in two places at once. This is the struggle between self and ego, good cop and bad cop.

That’s the detachment personified, the simplest way I can describe it. You can become a bit of a dick to those up there in reality sometimes. That ain’t cool and where your conscience and accountability starts reigning you in. Because part of you (the real you) knows you are but you also don’t. It’s your conscience which is drifting around somewhere in the ether vs the protective bubble you feel so safe in (Self vs Ego).

In the detachment you can also feel vacant, unaware of what’s happening around you, so completely wrapped up in what’s going on inside. It’s a kind of paralyse I guess. You’re there but you’re not ‘present’. That can give off the wrong message to the outside world, be hard for people to understand. See the real you. And you can’t fucking explain it either, or necessarily control it always. But your mission is about trying to. That makes all aspects of day to day life incredibly hard work. Which soaks up a lot of your energy. Most in fact. And so it continues, day in, day out.

It’s frustrating as fuck. You know who you are but you also know you’re not being that on the surface all the time. And likely fucking things up in one form or another whilst making so much effort not to. Fuck, twat, bollocks. It’s counterproductive because that ‘control’ is for the benefit of trauma, not the real you. In a way it’s trauma directly controlling you not the other way around, preventing the real you coming out. It’s where our self-critic, intrusive thoughts and all that bollocks reside. All of which are trauma tactics to keep us from relaxing and heaven forbid being ourselves. Being confident in ourselves and our choices.

In your constant attempt to un-fuck yourself, you find yourself going deeper than you ever have before, questioning EVERYTHING. Every thought and feeling, everything you see, hear and sense from the world around you, everything you know to be truth, but none of it really is, it’s all mixed up together. You almost become too aware. You reevaluate all your beliefs, everything you’ve ever known and understood. Who you actually are. Who other people really are. What’s you and what’s your ego (the face of fear, insecurity and trauma) coping.

You essentially find yourself starting from scratch, unpicking it all and trying to glue it back together, which is scary as fuck. But if you think about, it’s actually a wonderful gift. Ha, yeah, you heard right. That’s positive mindset for ya. You basically get to rewrite the rules, formulate and choose who you are going to be from the ground up. That very moment you fell. Which can lead to some weird and wonderful shit. Crazy thoughts and ideas appear as you begin that journey back to self. You can and will make mistakes. You’re more open than you ever were. You literally get to choose what you keep from the old you, what you let go of and what to make new.

Slowly but surely you begin to return, become whole again and before you know it you’re moulding a newer, wiser, stronger more radically honest, unapologetic, awesome version of you. You’re imperfect of course, and that’s okay, because we all are. We’re not after perfect, we’re just trying every day to be our best self. Which is all any of us do.

The key to success, finding myself again, was honesty. With myself and what was around me. Acceptance too. That meant getting to know myself on a whole new level. You have to face up to the worst of you, the weaknesses you had, where you failed, mistakes you made, choices you made, and the things that weren’t yours to burden yet you did anyway. That means sucking a lot of shit up, fucking stubborn pride, ego, protective guards, anger and resentment right off. And practicing a lot forgiveness, acceptance, compassion, reparenting and love. I’ve said it before but it never hurts repeating – love is the antidote to trauma.

For me that was mostly about who I’d become in being lost. The external affect of that and the self-sabotaging voices that came along for the ride. The not living by the values and standards I’d previously set myself and worked hard to embody my entire life from the first time I faced trauma as a young kid. It was recognising how my current circumstances pulled on that time, on that trauma. Who I decided to be back then is what was being challenged again now, in the present, and I was not cool with that. Not at all. Because that kid didn’t change, didn’t become lost, didn’t sacrifice his values because of fear and trauma. That’s who I am underneath it all and who I wanted to be again.

Healing isn’t necessarily about your past, it wasn’t for me, it was mostly about encountering trauma in my present, but regardless, you do have to go back that far, even if you’ve been there before. In rediscovering yourself there’s an element of understanding where you came from for all of us, how your childhood and adolescent experiences influence you from the big to the small and seemingly insignificant ways. Who you parents are and how you’re like them. All the stuff that shapes you and enabled you to find yourself facing The Abyss at all. I did a lot of that in my early twenties, recognising parts of my parents in me, bits a liked and didn’t like, it takes conscious choice to recognise and decide which of those character traits we want to change or keep for our future and pass on to our own kids, live out in our own relationships. That’s what ‘self’ is all about, our identity, which we can all choose.

Healing also isn’t about reliving any of our past, opening up old wounds, most of those had long been healed for me, it was simply about recognising the impact it has on the version of us in the here and now. Why we find ourselves thinking, feeling and doing the way we do about anything and everything. Figuring out what is our bit (the real us) and what is subconscious programming of all that stuff (not the real us).

It’s important to point out – this ‘going deeper’, questioning everything inside of us, that requires choice too. It’s not a pleasant place sometimes, but it’s the place where we find answers, where we can begin to regain control and power over ourselves. To grow. It’s all a choice. Getting back to self means recognising we’re not content with who we are and believing we have the power to choose something different. For me personally, that included accepting that the choices I had already made were made consciously by the real me and therefore not mistakes, because I wouldn’t have made them otherwise.

My biggest battle has always been challenging fight or flight mode, when your choices are questioned by your own mind you get fucked up. Flight mode is what my childhood trauma left behind. That need to escape. Avoid confrontation. I fought long and hard to get rid of that in my youth. To great success for many years. But suddenly it was back, being triggered in the here and now pretty much every day. I found myself having to learn how to stand up for myself again. FFS. I had to remember who I was and believe in that guy again.

``Doing any of this is a choice, it’s a choice to go down the rabbit hole or remain as you are whilst accepting the fact that you know it’s not truly real or right for you somewhere deep down.``

The outside world, other people and their own trauma make us question ourselves sometimes, our choices, who we are. This was categorically what led me to losing myself. Doubting my own mind. I knew what I was doing at the time I made those choices, factoring in the known and the unknown, in a way I always have, it’s just I found myself questioning them far too often, because I had reason to, that’s what pushed me to the edge.

It affected my trust in self, in my decision making ability. That is the anchor that prevented me from leaving The Abyss for so long. My lack of trust. Not just in the world around me because honesty was rarely present, but it was also mostly about lack of trust in myself, my own mind. What I saw, heard and knew two be true. I’ve always followed my heart, trusted in my gut. But I lost that ability. In losing that, I lost me. It’s that simple, that’s how I lost myself and ended up where I was. Where The Monsters were born. Gaaaawd bless em’.

In order to get that trust back I had to find a way to recognise my choices, remember that I actually made them with free-will, that I wasn’t controlled or manipulated. Because whilst those things existed, I wasn’t. I was fully aware of what I was doing, who I was and understood the affects of trauma I could see in myself and around me.

I chose love and I chose myself. For the right reasons. Based on my values. On who I am. That’s never a bad choice, despite the shit that followed. Why I or anyone for that matter make the choices we do is a whole different story. But for me it’s essentially about values. Who we are, what we stand for. Doing what matters – defined by us. Being authentic in our entirety. When you lose that ability you lose so much of yourself, separation occurs, The Abyss beckons.

The circumstances that led to finding myself in this place became irrelevant, the underlying reason you’re there is because actually you’re meant to be. For your own good, it’s something you need to do if you want to move forward and grow. It absolutely does not feel that way at first, but then you recognise there’s a lesson in there somewhere and when you’re ready to you will learn it and you will be free. The real you wants out, one way or another. And that’s painful, but necessary. It’s personal growth essentially. You don’t realise that until afterwards of course (fuckin’ typical).

I clearly wasn’t as sure about who I was in the first place. Not deeply enough. I hadn’t come face to face with the worst of me or anyone else for that matter before, but I sure did in there. I became aware of those parts, unlocked them and did not like them one bit. Love has a way of bringing out the worst in us as much as it does the good.

I figure that’s just what you’re fighting for with someone when you enter a relationship. Each and every day. You both have your shit to deal with in yourself as well as what that creates when you come together. You could ignore it but then that wouldn’t be love now would it. Love doesn’t allow you to ignore, neglect or dismiss, love wants to exist and is persistent as fuck.

In the abyss you’re being faced with something, a challenge that the old you simply couldn’t achieve, wasn’t prepared for. So it becomes about choice. Stay, let go of the past and push through the fire to discover a new self and sustain a few burns along the way. Or leave and remain in what arguably is a place you feel content with despite knowing it’s not enough. Not right, not really you. The pull is strong. It’s an insane tug of war. And whichever side wins is what’s best for you at that time, it’s important to know that. Whichever way the chips land it is what’s best for you.

Remaining as who I was, was an obvious choice for survival, to avoid the enormous pain involved in going forward. Avoid truly learning about self and unravelling everything that made me me. Why I felt the way I did, why I thought the way I did. What my reality was. What was me and what was someone else, what was me and what was programmed into my subconscious. Questioning reality on such a personal level is the stuff of madness. But I also firmly believe these experiences are helpful to us and ultimately lead to true inner peace and happiness.

Doing any of this is a choice, it’s a choice to go down the rabbit hole or remain as you are whilst accepting the fact that you know it’s not truly real or right for you somewhere deep down. That knowledge wasn’t acceptable to me. As strong as that survival instinct is in all of us, I was driven by an even stronger one – love. Avoidance, denial, settling, living in a reality I know deep down isn’t complete and so isn’t authentic is absolutely not for me. I want to live and breath honest, authentic living.

The idea that beyond the expanse and struggle I was in would be something far greater. A peace I’d known before. That I personally would become a far stronger, far better version of myself for going through it. Regardless of the external outcome. That’s what I wanted, which is something I recognised very early on and actually said in a moment of clarity amidst the worst of it to my counsellor at the time. I knew my path, and that path was through.

That’s a nice thought, because it reminds me that even when I felt completely lost, drowning in The Abyss, actually, I wasn’t. I never was. My real voice screaming out amongst the myriad of other voices was there guiding me.

I found a way to focus in on that single voice. Amplify it. Believe it. Trust it again. Recognise that it was in fact my voice. That’s when I saw myself again for the first time in a long time. A glimpse of the real me. At that point, the only way was up, because suddenly I had my own back again. I’m not saying that this was the end. It wasn’t. It was a new beginning. The start of the next chapter in my existence.

*Shudder* – I try and avoid words like ‘chapter’ and ‘journey’ because weeeell I find them a little bit wet and airy-fairy. But that’s the best way to describe that moment.

There was still a tonne of work to do, a lot of forgetting and losing myself still, just like a set of keys. But as time went by, forgetting where I’d left them became less frequent and finding them again much easier and quicker to do. Until one day, they were just exactly where I left them. Right there, where I was standing. I wasn’t a shadow anymore.

A person cannot walk out on their own story, on who they truly are. Losing our way sometimes is human, it’s okay, it can happen to the best of us, life happens. But we always have the ability to find a way back. Always.

Perhaps a little bit of love and a sprinkle of self-belief is all we need. Whatever it is and however any of us chooses to find it. I’m grateful to have done. I’m grateful to be where I am, to be relatively unscathed by the world. I’m grateful to feel love in my heart again. To know what hope feels like again. To recognise myself again. I’m grateful for my amazing Wife, my friends, my family and indeed myself. And a myriad of other stuff – I have a lot to be thankful for, a lot to nurture and protect. It’s the people in our lives, ourselves included, that deserve the best of us.

I try to remember that every morning when I wake up and drink my coffee. (Then sometimes I go and write some bullshit waffle like this for no apparent reason).

Shucks ☺️ ‘check yo’self before you wreck yo’self’ – I could have just posted that.

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