August 5th, 2022
A life’s journey is puzzling.
I’ve made that idea near-literal.
When you’re in recovery and an open book, people love to ask you about the ugliest parts of your story.
“So what was your rock bottom?”
I have never been fully comfortable with that phrase, at least when it comes to how I see myself.
After I got clarity, I would sometimes refer to what happened as a “spiritual vomiting”; it was an involuntary decision my soul made on my behalf to get my shit together before I lost everything.
But lately I’ve been thinking about puzzles.
We’re all made up of pieces. We think of jigsaws in the 100’s or 1,000’s, but we have trillions; our pieces are in our DNA, our circumstances, our choices.
Growing up is us putting them together.
Somewhere along the line, I started to put my pieces together wrong. I would force the wrong shapes to connect, pounding them together with a hammer; I ignored the people who told me to do the edges first, because I knew best how to do it myself.
“I am a unique puzzle,” I told myself. “No one has done one like me yet.”
I think the day I decided to get better was the day I stepped back from my puzzle to take a good look, and I didn’t see a picture there at all.
It was, to this day, the scariest period of my life.
And it wasn’t until I admitted that I was bad at puzzles, and I needed help making mine, did I ever start to put together the picture you see today.
Now I see everyone as puzzles. Some clearly defined, some with pieces missing; I see pieces move from one person to another, and people leave pieces behind all the time.
I see everyone as puzzles.
And never any finished.