Day 96 – Before and After

People talk about your life separating into before and after.

The moment it happens, this big void splitting across the road of your life.

 

Because you can’t go back.

Can’t ever go back to what it was like before

To who you were before.

 

It isn’t like that though

There isn’t just a gulf behind you, forcing you forward.

There’s one in front of you as well

Sticking you here in this moment

Motionless

Irrevocably different from the person who walked the path behind

But not changed enough to face the road ahead

Not ready.

Not yet.

 

So you float

On you island

Smile and wave at the people calling you on

Because they don’t see the tear

Don’t realise why you can’t reach them

Why they can’t reach you.

 

They think you’re just sitting still

Choosing to wallow

To stay close to what it was

And over time

They start to wander on

They’ve done their bit

It’s up to you now.

 

Life goes on.

Day by day

Inch by inch

Slowly, so slowly, the gap starts to close

You move towards after

The broken part almost a crack you can step over

Until a song, or a laugh

A shade of lipstick, a waft of perfume

That advert, those glasses

The shape of a smile

Rips the gap open

Pushes you back

After as unreachable as before.

 

It would be so easy

Such relief

To stretch your arms wide

And jump into the void

Or, not even jump

Just step off

Fall down

Down

Down

Stop

Fighting

For what?

A future you don’t want

That isn’t the one you planned

Because even when you can see what it might be

Can glimpse the scenes ahead

They all have that one, gaping hole in them

 

It’s hard to be hopeful

Floating on this island

Trapped between before and after

Some days it comes.

Some days it stays safely out of reach.

As you cling on

Knowing the gap has to close

It has to – right?

 

When it does

It won’t be easy

Won’t be “normal”

Won’t stop hurting

Won’t stop you wanting to look back

Won’t stop you stumbling when you hit another crack

That will always happen

You will always have up and down

Good days and bad

Days you like yourself, recognise the person in the mirror

Day that you don’t.

 

The changes become gradual

Who you are from who you were

An everyday occurrence

Like it always was before

Keeping you ready for the next step

For the things that lie ahead

Growing while you walk

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