Somewhat Of A Prelude

Riley Coules
February 11, 2017

I can’t believe it has been seven months since I started constructing this website. I’m struggling to wrap my head around the time I’ve spent struggling even more. I’ve been off for a while- two and a half years, actually- but 2016 by far comprised the worst of what I have gone through, and with that, the most warped version of my warped identity.

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The last couple of years are like a gray area in my brain; I remember them, I remember how incredibly tormented I was, and how illness utterly suffocated my capacity to experience life. But as I come back into myself, I naturally seem to go with the flow of now, to act and behave as I always had (with a few modifications of course, the product of growth) before I lost myself, easily forgetting the turmoil that plagued my interpretation of the world around me just months ago. And that is the veil of harmony, the masked subconscious: when we’re high, we’re high, when we’re low, we’re low, and only disequilibrium can reveal the darker sides of our nature, the facets of the mind that necessarily reflect the body’s anguish. Circumstances beyond the self certainly accomplish this feat, if only because they too imprint dysphoria onto the vital force, leaving a lasting impression of disquietude behind.

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I have tried numerous times to convey how much digestive distress altered my personality; my inability to connect with life (myself, others, existence itself) has been my uppermost complaint. I couldn’t live for the now, I couldn’t live for the future, and I couldn’t recall what it was like to merely engage. Even before I had “anxiety”, before 2016 brought the agony of a severely dysfunctional digestive system, I lacked all semblance of who I once was. Enervation replaced my vitality, control suffocated my yearn for experience, and emotional detachment stifled my passion for all that had previously impassioned me. The few times a memory or circumstance jolted me back into reality, I would think to myself, where am I? What has happened to me? And how have I changed? Oddly enough, I found it hard to slip into the shoes of my former self because I couldn’t remember myself. As my body steadily declined in 2015, so did my sense of belonging, to my past and present identity; brain fog muddled my mental clarity, and all perceptions of then overshadowed perceptions of my childhood.

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When I dared to consider the future, those few times I came back down to reality, I had no idea what the hell to think. I looked in the mirror and saw indicators of disharmony (a term I wouldn’t have used at the time; I had yet to discover homeopathy), but I ignored them. Visits to traditional doctors and then a few naturopaths proved inconsequential, and while I knew something was wrong, I quelled any worries I possessed because I liked the control. My mind was off. I was off… and totally incapable of seeing the enormity of my present condition. I unintentionally and unknowingly stifled my feelings, experiencing life through the necessary and unnecessary, the pros and the cons, the valuable long-term and inappropriately-worthy for only now; as a result, I lost myself. Confined to a little box of my own construction, I yearned to feel the warmth of the outside yet I consistently allowed the cold within to stifle my desires, my needs. I now realize these desires weren’t merely superfluous; I needed people, I needed love, I needed connection, yet I remained tied to a self-imposed barrier I could not fathom the origin of.

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Since coming back to life, I am able to correlate pictures to the impressions they invoke; memories with the purist outlooks of my childhood; happiness with the simplicity of simply being; and my love with the love of those around me. My biggest regret is not how much I struggled; I have learned so much because of it. Rather, I am most saddened by the time I spent suffering on my own in loo of connecting with my friends and family, with the beauty around me, and with all the happiness there is to be had. The transformation in my daily perceptions I can never do justice using words (although I will try). As I gaze in awe at the world around me, and in retrospect at what I have gone through, I can’t help but wonder how I ended up here… When I write that the past two and a half years are like a gray area in my brain, I mean it. As I settle into my newfound identity, my real identity, with the outlook of my childhood- so pure, so perfect, and so full of wonder– backing my conceptions of now, I can once again connect with the Riley prior to 2014, and quite frankly, prior to high school, before I mild disequilibrium thwarted my journey to the higher. I vaguely, if at all, connect with ill Riley because ill Riley did not feel; however, I feel for her, and love her all the same.

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Emotional detachment thwarts the ability to embody the self because the self is so grounded in emotion.

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Once again I question… how many others?