Day 99: Waiting On Old Ghosts

Being saved. Isn’t it something we all want. Just a ‘lil bit?

In my AA meeting today, a fellow talked about how, even in sobriety, she hoped that a man would appear, “save” her, and make her life all better. I don’t know about you, but, that’s a concept to which I can relate. While I don’t like admitting it, my ex and I had an extremely codependent relationship. It wasn’t healthy. And, it’s a big part of the reason I broke.

After splitting, it felt like someone had cut off my limbs. I was completely paralyzed. Numb. Angry. Sad. Hopeless. So many things, and it changed and warped me, minute by minute. Alcohol became the cure. The quick fix to my man-less-ness.

I quickly tried to attach myself to many of the men that were a part of my life already. Friends from the bar, co-workers, associates. Nothing felt right. No one was my ex. And, deep down, I knew that’s what I really wanted. I wanted him back. I was waiting, waiting for him to call, or text message, or email, something. Something that would never come. So, I just felt incomplete. For close to a year, empty and alone, and, filling the vast void and hurt with drink after drink.

Even though I was still single, by choice really, I’d had a few offers from stable men in my life. People who might have stuck around, maybe even been good for me. But, I just couldn’t. What if he came back? I wondered if I could forget all the horrible things that had happened at the end of our time together. Could I forgive him? I wasn’t sure, but, I wanted that for myself. I wished that I could. I wanted to believe, more than anything, that it could somehow return to the way it had been when things were good. But, somewhere, deep in the most honest parts of myself, I knew it wasn’t going to be. So, I drank more.

When it finally got bad enough that I knew it was time to sober up, I’d pretty much given up on my ex ever coming back, much less speaking to me again. After 6+ years of being together, in the year we’d been apart we talked all of two times. Both extremely unpleasant. I’d lost all hope of going back to how things were, and, had somehow gotten to a place where I didn’t want it any longer. Time (and booze) had slowly patched my wounds.

Today, with three months and a handful of days of sobriety, I can honestly say that I feel like a completely different person when it comes to my feelings on relationships. I no longer feel that desperate searching instinct, seeking someone out.

I still want to be fixed. Don’t get me wrong, I’d fuckin’ love that. But, I know that if I’m going to stay fixed, it’s got to be me that does the fixing. They say that in order to be loved, you must truly love yourself. And, in part, I think that’s true. Though, it’s no longer become about finding someone to love. It’s about finding balance with that person. Knowing when to stop leaning.

I never want to rely on someone the way I relied on my ex, ever again. It left me in a position to be wrecked, and, I was. Now, it becomes a puzzle, especially when it comes to Lars. How much do I give? How much is ‘ok’ to let go of before it becomes dangerous territory again? I’m new to this game where I take care of myself. I don’t know what a normal amount of time alone should be. I never even considered autonomy or independence in my past relationship.

So, I find myself waiting again. But, I’m not waiting on someone else. This time, I’m waiting on me. Waiting for it to feel safe to surrender that piece that makes things run just a little bit deeper. And, quite frankly, it’s a bit frightening. I want to be authentic, but, I don’t want to leave the door open for old ghosts of myself.

So, I’ll just wait and pray…on most days, that’s the best I can do.

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