Recently I was chatting with someone who has a relative struggling with OCD. It was a healthy conversation but the one thing that I remember is when she said, “It’s like she’s not herself anymore. She used to be such and such, but it’s all gone now.”
I loved that she didn’t just say “she’s not the same.” She said “she’s not herself.”
I remember days feeling that I was having some kind of out-of-body experience, where I watched myself think and act and do and wondered who that was. It wasn’t anyone that I recognized. It wasn’t just a different person, it was no one. I felt an absence of personality in my life. An absence of identity. A vacuum where there once was a whole world of ideas and interests and talents.
On the other side, I know that I was never lost. I was still in there, somewhere. But it was like a bulb planted in the cold ground, lying dormant and waiting for the right conditions, for new warmth and light and life to make it grow.
It’s true, I’m not the same anymore. But it’s the same me. I’m not a different person, just a new one. When I began to awake from the winter of my struggles and sufferings, I found that the dead branches had been pruned and the healthier ones had begun to leaf. God was cutting and shaping my heart even when I didn’t remember that it existed. He was resodding ground that had lain dormant for more than the length of my lostness, and when I awoke I remembered more about myself. I began to rediscover my true self.
My days are filled with new things – studying nutrition, tutoring math, painting walls, revamping old objects, beautifying boring ones. I didn’t know that I liked to craft, I didn’t know that I could delight in 13-year-old faces understanding a new mathematical concept, I didn’t know that I could find the impact of B vitamins on the body so fascinating. But they fit into my life; they match pursuits I forgot I dreamed of as a child.
The wilderness times gave a chance for the old growth to burn and the buried roots to take life again. I am a truer version of myself than I remember being since I was 11 years old.
And here I am. With this baby that I pray learns to stay true to herself from the very beginning; to not allow the weeds of poor friendships and the thorns of pressure and the chaff of busyness make her forget what she loves and who she wants to be.
And here is my blog, with new things added to the old favorites.
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