It is truly scary how we can sometimes change, to the extent that we don't even recognize ourselves for a while. I think almost everyone can relate, whether their mask was for the better or for the worse. Sometimes we are broken beyond repair, and we twist and turn ourselves into a foreign shape, just to feel whole again. But when we come back from this brokenness, it doesn't even really seem like we have been put back together. Other times, we go up. We try to put our lives back together, replacing the tears with joyful smiles on our faces, only to become a stranger to ourselves in a way that we do not understand. I think the way we feel pain is the thing that makes us so lost. There is no right or wrong way that we should deal with hurt. We are either pushed to a sadness that is unrecognizable or we are pushed to an unsettling happiness that is not us either. The scary thing about both of these is that it is not who we are. We create versions of ourselves that choose to handle destruction in different ways. Sometimes these versions stay for a while; they make themselves at home inside of us. Making them go away if even harder when you acknowledge them. Once we see that our true selves are not within us any longer, it is difficult to convince these mutations to leave us. The secret to this is to let these things inside of us die down. If we don't give them what they need, they start to wear down. When this happens, we begin to recognize the familiar features of who we used to be. Somewhere underneath all the desperation, who we are still remains. Sometimes it just takes some digging to find it. We never really left; we just got covered up by our mind's adaptation to grief.