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I remember when, I remember when I lost my mind!!

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

A little too well, in fact, especially given that the old memory-maker was - as the hiaku implies - demonstrably absent!

It was during this particular ‘annus horribilus’, that everyday stress found a new, all-consuming meaning.

They do say that death, divorce, moving house are three of THE most stressful life experiences a person can go through, but nobody warned of the seismic cerebral shift of trying to navigate them all together in same 12 months.

Looking back on it now, it’s no wonder the old grey matter gave up the ghost!

Appointments were forgotten.

Careless mistakes made.

Bad decisions became my default.

Ultimately, the grief and upheaval was such that it couldn’t help but bleed into every almost aspect of my life, with many consequences that were #cringe at best… near-career-ending at worst!

Of all the weird and wonderful coping mechanisms that emerged during this time, few were probably what hindsight (or a Psychologist) would deem ‘healthy.’

Ruminating, second-guessing, head-in-sand-burying - to name but a few - and unsurprisingly none of which proved to be the healing salve that I so needed.

I reflect on it all regularly with thinly veiled regret, as ‘older and wiser’ me would have undoubtedly had the tools to NOT lose my mind in such identity-crushing style… or at least not to the same extent, anyway.

Of course, all of this is now by the by, and especially given the power that the advancing years have, of lending enchantment to even the most hideous of life chapters … as the Queen once famously pointed out.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that any rose tint has imbued the memory of this veritable s*i* storm, or that I’ll be jumping on any ‘it all worked out for the best’ trope anytime soon.

To do so seems cliché'd at best… maybe borderline disrespectful at worst.

Instead, I accept that this chapter was an aberration that only the inestimable benefit of a present day perspective, could ever reveal the true emotional tangle of.

With this detachment, it’s easier to be objective… and kinder!

In other words… I cut myself some slack.

Now versed in the art of holding regret more softly, my annus horribilus is one I look back on with enough honesty to wish I’d done things differently, but enough wisdom to know that I couldn’t, at the time!

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