… Or the metamorphosis of Anne
… Or how lucky I am
… … …
Sometimes it takes a blast from the past to make you realise just how much your life has changed in the last decade. These usually happen when you least expect them, however in the last few months I appear to be collecting friends from the past, from past jobs and even college, people I used to see on a daily basis, close friends, once, connections severed throughout years, distance and change in circumstances.
It was one such curious encounter recently (yesterday) which resulted in two cups of coffee and a long natter at lunch time, that spurred the frightening realisation that I am not who I was. So if I wasn’t who I was, as in the person who people remember me as, who am I?
Is this an external change? Different clothes, pink hair colour, splash of make up, my weight… All these elements can alter your appearance, can make you look different, feel different, carry yourself different… And indeed changes to these elements of my persona have been implemented throughout the years. But… I still get this sensation that I am totally different ‘inside’… Something deeper than a mere external changes.
I hesitate to use the phrase ‘reborn’ that gives the whole process religious overtones (and the subject of religion must wait for another day) also the concept of being ‘reborn’ feels as though this would be a near instantaneous phenomena, whereas the change I am processing in my mind, feels as though it has taken years to cultivate.
I was a creature lost in the dark, scurrying from one day to the next, years merging into each other with no direction, goal or motivation. These where fleeting fancies of a distracted mind, I would always have good intentions of bettering myself, but these intentions most frequently ended up in the bottom of a Stella can. Looking back… (Something I try to escape from doing) I can understand how I dissolved into a pit of depression, nights of brutal self harm and alcohol use. Truth is, I was miserable, tired and fed up. Tied into a life where I had lost who I was (in my teenage/20’s) and became this thing of self loathing & self punishment. Pain was the only thing which felt real and alcohol deadened that pain.
This is not easy to write, not something I long to dwell on and even harder to address to my invisible audience, but these faces from my past have churned up all this buried emotions and I am left with this overwhelming sense of total self understanding.
I want to scream ‘LOOK AT ME NOW!’ I want to stand proud and strong, my life enhanced by the drastic changes I have adopted to make me who I am today. I am different, I can see that now, by looking back (briefly) I can see just how much process I have made. Naturally, I still have moments of weakness, where old me tries to pull me back into the depths of despair. I am not always strong, but I am looking ahead, I am more aware of who I am, what I am and my goals are more realistic.
LOOK AT ME NOW… I look at my life and hold my head up high!
I might not be the person my old friends remember me as…
Truth is, I never want to be that person again. Before you now is a stronger, braver, thinner, cleaner, crazy cat lady. Someone who actually likes herself!
Truth is, I’m doing the best I can, each day, every day, to make my life whole…
Anne Harrison 01.03.16
PS: I am lucky, I am grateful every single day I thank my blessings. I do not desire to appear big-headed… More like… I’ve survived!!