For two weeks I was the real me. A me without strategies. Without strategies for my strategies. No overbearing hopelessness and cynicism. No heavy footed gait. I felt the strength of my body and enjoyed it. The world and the people I love were vibrant and beautiful. I was kind, smart and–dare I say it?–even sexy. I could receive love because I could feel love for myself. I was dynamic. I could feel my life force. And yet it was all very serene–not a manic period of exuberance. I could feel everything and tolerate it: love, sadness, joy and anger. It was life. I was alive.

Then a few tiny setbacks: a night without enough sleep. A tiny rupture with a friend. An annoying interaction with–don’t laugh–a car dealership. And now I can feel the pull toward the familiar; toward the false self; toward that place where I spent my life hoping I would be found. Only it’s not there. It feels like I’m being pulled toward a home that has been bulldozed to the ground. And yet I can’t quite access the real me either. Not fully.

I am in limbo: not quite the real me but without the painful comfort of the false me that has been destroyed. I feel like I am grieving the loss of the familiar place but cannot fully embrace the new one. Home was helplessness and collapse. Home was a lonely and self-abusive place. But it was home.

Maybe this is simply the grief I need to go through to full embody the authentic me that I tried on for two weeks. Somehow it feels like I need to trust that I’m moving toward myself but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. There is no turning back now.

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