Everyone as Puzzles

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.


Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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