Lots of talk of simplifying, clearing out of old stuff
Can’t get away from the topic it seems
Get rid of that which no longer serves you
Ok ok, I got the memo

I even hear myself giving sage advice to others
Okay, shit’s gettin’ real now
Anytime I hear myself dispensing wisdom
It means I’m about to take my own medicine

So into a storage bin I venture
What do we have here?
A journal from 7 years ago?
Sure, let’s go through, page-by-page

In hindsight, that sounds awful
At the time, however, I felt like an impassive archeologist
Unlocking a capsule from prehistoric times

My writing, my words – a different version of me
Trying to adult so hard, applying extreme pressure on myself
If I could just do this right, everything would be ok

I was so tired
Weary from beating myself up
Striving, yet it was never enough

Lyrics resonate (Florence + the Machine)
Open a door to deeper understanding

“The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive”

Pain, I didn’t really see it until now
I was suffering greatly
The relentless drive to do and be better took its toll

The worst of it – false gratitude
Decades convincing myself that sipping poison was a delicacy
I had eroded my self-worth to the bone
I was left lapping up crumbs
Insisting it was a four-course meal

This internal disconnect nearly drove me insane
Out of safety, I had unplugged myself from feelings
Other than self-flagellating ones, of course
Those were safe, anything else I deemed selfish and dangerous

This was an inside job with an external amplifier
I had a partner who was a second serving of my own rotten meal

In over two decades, I never allowed myself to think ill of them
I was always the bad guy, in both of our minds

More lyrics (Foo Fighters, this time)
Cutting to the heart

“Where is your blind faith?
No false hope
Open your eyes, open your eyes
Step into the light”

So much, this

Yet more lyrics (Natalie Merchant)
Icing on the cake

“For everything you’ve done, you know I’m bound
I’m bound to thank you for it”

This is how gaslighting works
Forever indebted to the smallest acts of kindness and generosity
From a cruel, manipulative person

I had co-created a rigged game
With me as the loser, every time
What kind of insanity is that? Mine. It was my insanity.

Why did I revisit that journal today?
To remind myself, perhaps
Of where I’ve been, and how far I’ve come
To see the pain that was covered up, but very, very real

I am grieving an idea
The notion that I could have made it work
That was never going to happen
It wasn’t supposed to

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