The person that you were is gone

I’ve been having good days and bad days. This probably doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, and even the bad days haven’t been too bad. I’ve mostly managed to wind up in the right buildings at the right times without being arrestably naked and I haven’t been fired, incarcerated or savagely beaten in quite some time.

But they were bugging me a lot. I talked about it last post quite a bit.

Then I had a conversation with a close, somewhat disreputable friend (that actually covers quite a few of my friends, but you know who you are). He told me that the person that I had been pre-cancer is gone, and that can be hard to accept. NO matter I do there’s nothing I can do to go back to being that guy. There’s no getting back to normal; now is normal.

It sounds depressing but it made me feel better. Instead of trying to match up to some half remembered vision of what I used to be like, I’m instead building towards being better than I am right now. Again, things aren’t too bad at all, but I do have a way to go before I’m where I want to be. Somehow thinking of it that way instead of trying to get back to an old normal makes me feel less guilty about the bad moments I still get from time to time.

I did a bit of reading, and it seems quite common amongst survivors of major trauma and illness to go hunting for what we were (or we thought we were) before existence kicked us in the shins. It was a major mental step to let go of that, but I’m feeling good about it.

The cat just celebrated my breakthrough by being heartily sick under my desk.

And on my foot. Second time in two weeks.

It’s nice to know my place in the grand scheme of things, which apparently is smelling faintly of Hill Science Diet for Cats.




1 comment

  1. Hi, me again, seems we once again share a common situation for completely different reasons.

    There is nothing wrong with finding you are differnt person, and it certainly isn’t your fault. You seem competent, and cognizant, at least you have that going for you. In the case of a lost of brain injured people there is a cognitive loss that makes putting your life back together considerably harder. Except its very disconcerting when you realize it, it can sneak up on you at the strangest times. And its really not all bad as you might think. Though it can give you some very disassociative “and somewhat scary” moments when past and present clash. The worst of it is people who will expect you to be the person they knew, and they sometimes feel entitled to that “old” person they are used to.

    Mind you in my case, losing the old person ended up being a relief. Be that as it may, again you have my sympathies, and sincere hope for your continued recovery. I agree with you 100% that if you can’t be the person you were, be the best person you can be. No matter how yo do, you will probably do better than most people who never even consider the nature of their own identity.

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