When you look at your reflection, it’s an unsettling feeling not to be able to recognise the person there, it isn’t even the image so much as the emotion of who you are has also gone, and that’s something I really struggled with.
In life it’s important to know who you are, and though now I’m in recovery I still have difficulty in connecting with my emotions in dealing with who I am, or even how I’m now perceived by others.
When you have that mask clamped to your face, it’s so easy to forget that you are more than a shell, however you get used to not feeling anything, as in my case I forgot how to react, though I became expert at hiding.
My thinking became so internalised, that I seemed to at times mimic outward emotions, I just couldn’t connect on any level, and from someone who was once literally the life and soul of the party, to a person who became afraid of their own shadow, which makes me wonder if in former times that was just an act to get through the day, if so I wore that mask far too long.
Trust was a big one, having to learn to trust my own feelings again, and having to act on them without being plagued with anxiety as to whether I made the right choice, the same with friends I had to do a complete reassessment about the need for them in my life, so many were consigned to the toxic dustbin, and I made new ones who have so far proved to be nourishing to me.
My other problem was how I reacted to situations and people, and I can be obsessive in the minutiae in who said who/or what was done to whom, sometimes for weeks letting the thing fester in my mind, you see once the desire to recover and be well came, I was besieged with a whole other set of problems.
The problems were with me, nothing seemed to be spontaneous anymore, everything required deep thought(sometimes unreasonable) and the questions that swirled around in my head, made a great ticking bomb, being in recovery is at time like being without a parachute, there is no net, but it can be done, I had to give myself daily permission that it was ok not to be perfect.
So in meeting myself in the light was scary, but not too bad, because I’m different I feel different, look different, older, getting wiser, when I want to cry I do, not for me bottling up every emotion, I just try to connect with it and am much lighter for it.