With the prospect of a new relationship staring me in the face, there really was no other option but to make the decision to face old ghosts and make a decision to either walk away, or send my old baggage packing.
I’m no weak bitch, so I picked “fight” over “flight”.
Making yourself become deeply introspective can be one of the hardest, yet most rewarding things you can do for yourself. You don’t always need a network around you to get down to the bottom of things. If you can be bluntly honest with yourself, you can discover more than you think. Become courageous enough to face and fix whatever the issues are, and you’re in the express lane to winning the shit outta life.
I quickly found myself weighed down by my biggest obstacle to being freely happy in love. The most recent, and also the biggest, heartbreak that really changed me was so devastating, I’m proud I can even let the word “love” pass through my lips.
I won’t spill out pages of “poor me” stories or pander for sympathy. You know that’s not my style.
I will say this: loving someone who loves themselves first isn’t going to work. By loving themselves, I refer to narcissism, general selfishness, abuse, addiction, substance abuse, or other characteristics or activities that, by nature, try to shank love on a daily basis.
In the case of my last painful love, we started out with a bang and quickly found ourselves to be best friends, partners in crime, and lovers. Our friends loved how we just naturally fit together so well, and we kind of found ourselves to be the life of the party.
As things picked up for him in his career, however, the dark part set in, and within six months of talking about potentially making a permanent commitment to each other, I found myself wondering how I could make it through a night with him.
I watched his reckless and uncontrollable pursuit of success and glory turn into a shit show of egotistic showcases in public, fights, and binge drinking. It didn’t take long for him to step it up and blast through countless lines or pills and really set his world on fire–with mine catching embers and sparks along the way.
It’s hard, when you deeply love someone, not to catch fire, too. I mean, you watch them burn down their life, and all you want to do is put the flames out. But there is no fire extinguisher for this kind of five-alarm fire. You’re getting burned no matter what, and if you’re not quick to exit, you’re going down in flames, too.
I feel like the anger I have for him, because I tried to fight for him when he wouldn’t fight for himself, is because I feel like I was more negatively impacted than he was. I mean, he was high and going nuts showing off, buying shit, and breaking every covenant of our relationship without a care. I was a wreck, trying to piece back together my heart while I figured out what my breaking point was.
In the end, he bottomed out, and pooled resources slowly to rebuild his life. I never lost my career or financial standing, but I can tell you that I lost one of my greatest loves and best friend all at once. And I didn’t get 90 days in Malibu to come to terms with it. I had to keep the train running on its tracks.
Fear and anger were all I was left with when it comes to love.
Once you lose someone who is your lover, best friend, and who you think will be your sidekick for the next few decades to something you never could overcome, you are forever changed. If you find anything close to it, you hit two stages: fear of falling for them, followed by (if you do fall for them) fear of losing them.
Anger helps build the walls so you don’t have to deal with the fear part. I mean, shit, they’re not getting by your big titanium walls guarded by Dobermans, are they? Nope. So pour some drinks and Netflix binge, because you’re in the safe zone. Right?
I work every single day to dismiss the instinctive thoughts or responses to things with my new love. Thoughts pop up that are surface thoughts, not true assessments, and I only invest in the rationalized thoughts.
I communicate (and probably over-communicate) what I’m thinking or concerned about, and I never hold back on thoughts, even if they’re ugly or make me seem vulnerable. (Ok, I did once, but he got it out of me).
I cried like a sappy little bitch on a long drive home the other day listening to a Taylor Swift song that came on in my iTunes “shuffle” mode (<—I can't even believe I typed that to you, but, hey, I did). You can listen to the song here if you can’t stand not knowing, or you really want to roll your eyes at me. Or, if you had a love so deeply moving that ended in absolute misery, give it a listen and drop me an “I feel you, girl” comment or email.
“Good girls, hopeful they’ll be. And long they will wait.”
TayTay ain’t never lied.
The song just kind of hit me at the same time the magnitude of my previous loss had popped back into my mind, and the fear and anger were such old news, all I’m now left with is a nearly palpable feeling of loss.
Memory Lane is like Skid Row as far as I’m concerned when it comes to love, and I’m glad to be on the other end of it today. I remain hopeful that my new love will rewrite my memories and my concept of what a relationship should feel like. And if I’m smiling the majority of the time, I’m completely down with that as a refreshing change.
I mean, seriously.