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in pieces

Why do we say things like, “I’m falling apart?”

When we are going through a difficult time, we often use words like shattered, or broken, but aren’t we always still intact? Do we remain whole, despite feeling like pieces of us are missing?

We can mend a broken bone, or stitch up a wound, but we also use such words to describe the healing of our emotional trauma. Maybe there are no words to properly describe inner pain and suffering, so we do our best with the words we have.


Multiple losses and years of uncertainty and upheaval led to me feeling fragmented. It happened over a long period of time, so I guess I didn’t even realize I was falling apart. Eventually, the critical mass of it made me feel like there were pieces of me everywhere.


As hard as it is to find the words to describe how we feel, it is even harder to rebuild abstract things, like our broken hearts, our hurt pride, our shattered security, or our dismantled self-worth. Sometimes we simply don’t have the insight, experience, or tools to do it ourselves.


Until recently, I did not realize I was experiencing post-traumatic stress. I couldn’t figure out why I was reliving difficult experiences, and unable to quell irrational fears. Maybe I was trying to trivialize my pain, or felt what I was going through couldn’t cause something like that. I knew there was a problem, but I could not stop the loop.


I had to stop it.


I did a lot of hard work and made difficult choices to start putting myself back together. When I ran out of coping mechanisms and ideas, I found a psychologist who specializes in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. That process successfully extracted the last of the emotional rubble that was in my way, and set me on a clear path forward.

It is not a weakness to admit we are struggling. There is no shame in asking for help.

The reality is, is not easy being human. Life is complicated, and it doesn’t come with a manual. As ever evolving, and forever changing beings, we just have to do our best, learn as we go, and try to keep moving forward. We may not always have the proper words to go with our inner pain, but we can still mend and heal the parts of us that become inexplicably broken.


We are a wonderful work in pieces—I mean progress 🦋

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There’s a stigma about getting old, but I think people are getting it wrong. We are not actually growing old, we are growing new.


I ask myself, will this use of my time make me happy? Will it help me to feel fulfilled? Will it be time well spent?



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