When you spend as much time as I do knowing who you are, having the lines already defined around you and the stage already set, surprise news tends to rip the ground from beneath you harder than expected.
This isn't surprise news like having to change jobs or move house; these can kind of be expected and the surprise isn't so much surprise, as rolling with the punches that you knew already had the possibility of coming.
Surprises like the one I got punch a hole in your gut the way the death of someone you love does. You know the ones; the world changes colour and your ability to focus or comprehend fuzzes around the edges a little.
It does something else too though, something bittersweet. It makes you remember who you are; the not-so-great stuff, the broken bits, the scars you bear from all the things you've ever been and are. Which doesn't sound particularly swell on the surface, and it sure as hell doesn't make you feel good at the time.
You start to reconsider all the choices you ever made, all the dumb decisions that seemed like a good idea at the time, and everyone you ever trusted who let you down.
But, always, always the but; if you can get past the fact that these recollections aren't that pleasant, you can remember something else too. You can remember that these fucked up things are what made you. They are the stuff of your substance, and all the good things didn't just make you into you - the really hard things, the ones with the razor edges, carved you into yourself.
It can take a while. Sometimes a day, sometimes a week, a month. Sometimes, sadly, a year. But it will happen if you let it, if you want it enough.
Right now, I don't want it enough. It's hard to admit that because I'm a natural born fighter, and giving up isn't in my nature. But there it is.
I learned another thing again recently; if you let yourself realise how shitty you feel, it gets easier. It really does. It doesn't make it go away, but it does make the time pass.
Trying to recapture your youth, and maybe relive the better moments, doesn't mean you can change anything, it just makes you delusional and a little sad. But only living in the now, making out that nothing else matters, is the same. And it makes you desperate.
We can't change everything in the universe. We can change how we react to it.
So, while I am somewhere between delusional and desperate right now, I'm also changing my reactions.
Heavens help me, I know too much not to.