(Originally published 11 Aug 2013)
Do you know who you are? Who you want to be? Have you always known? If you've answered "Yes", you're lucky. If you asked me I'd have to say "No". I've realised recently that I don't have a clue who I am. Sometimes I have fleeting glimpses of who I want to be, but that moment of clarity is gone as soon as it arrives. It's nice whilst it lasts. These fleeting images seem like the most realistic plan in the world; achievable, realistic, aspirational. Once those images dissipate however I look back on them and they feel like total folly; daydreams, nonsense, stupidity.
I think back to the guy I used to be but I don't really recognise him. I look about the same, apart from there are more grey hairs, and it feels like me, but most of him is a stranger. I remember when I was in my local mental hospital in early 2011 in the middle of a nervous breakdown and it felt like I'd been stripped bare, emotionally and mentally. Like I'd been deconstructed leaving just my ample skin and aching bones there with nothing about 'me' left. I think back to that point and it feels like, at that crossroads moment of my life, I needed to have new parts of me mentally attached by technicians who knew where to put them. New modules to make me a better person, a perfect me. They never did, so all the old ones crept slowly back into their place. Like the T-1000 reassembling after being destroyed in Terminator 2. It feels like I've been waiting for those new pieces ever since, just waiting on delivery for an order I never made.
Recently I've realised that, with the help of my family and my friends, those faulty pieces can be changed in-situ with a little tweaking and even the really broken ones are repairable. Apparently they're still making the parts. Made in Great Britain.