I wanted to run, to hide, to get as far away as possible, never to go back. But where could I go? How could I escape from the endless drudge that my existence had become?
I had become an automaton. An imitation. A shadow of my real self. Did I even know who 'I' was any more. Bogged down by an insurmountable mountain of paper, books, demands, expectations. Paranoia overwhelmed me. Everybody in that place was looking, watching, ready to pounce when something, anything, no matter how small wasn't quite right.
I only knew two things. Both at the same time. I could do the job. But I couldn't do the job. At the same time.
Anxiety was my constant companion. Walking with me and waiting around each corner, always ready to climb on my shoulders, weigh me down, overwhelm me to the point that I couldn't make a simple choice between stay and go. My Fight was gone. All I had left to give was Flight, Run, Hide.
Tears came. Not many, but enough. Enough to show me I was right to run. That I was right to run and that 'I' was still there.
But still there.
I would be able to find myself again, to recover my 'Me'.
I will need all of these to walk with me on the path but, I will be 'Me' again. Some will be my new constant companions, some will come and go. There will be times when the old companions will return, when they are hard to ignore. But I won't allow them to control or overwhelm me.
I will, though, find the old 'Me'. Or will it be a new, better, stronger, 'Me'. Time will tell but, I hope, just like the last time this happened, another new and better 'Me' will emerge from the cocoon I've wrapped around my self.
I've already started to plan, to build the new 'Me'. Built on the strength I've gained from the past and the hope I have for the future. There is a light ahead, sometimes bright and shiny, other times dim and distant. It's there though.