Saturday, August 16, 2014

I'm a little bit grateful, you know.

I have to say that I'm a little bit grateful when the stats for my web things land in my inbox daily. You see, I see a small but steady stream of visitors who seem to stay and read multiple posts, and I hope that indicates that they're finding something useful and helpful in them. It kind of warms the darker and damper corners of my heart, even brings a little light in there, and goes a long way in helping me realize I'm not alone out there....on this journey.

"Someones" unintentionally and unconsciously light candles in those places of my soul that need it the most, and those candles are perhaps the ones that burn the brightest.

I have to say though that I'm a little bit more than grateful for the regulars. I'm kind of in love with you all a little. I know I asked but I still wonder why you come back but I'm hoping again that it's not just some weird obsession you all have with reading about my pain but rather that there's something here that brings you comfort and helps you.

I like the thought of bringing comfort and helping you. It's probably the codependent part of the but what they heck, eh?

I have to say I don't really feel I deserve the attention since I'm a completely slack-arse with writing nowadays and it bothers me, it really bothers me, because I have lot going on in my life and with healing, and I feel I ought to share at least some of it. Maybe it can help someone else. Maybe it just makes good reading. Maybe, in my wildest dreams at least, it will save someone else from spending too much time in pain.

I have packed in so much information into my mind in the past few months. Since I ended up back in therapy circa three months ago, I seem to have taken recovery a lot more seriously and that's not because I was forced to but because this time I seem to have realized that I can actually find my way out of what is a conditions created by habits and beliefs deeply rooted in my subconscious, habits and beliefs created in childhood that are, you know, no longer serving (to use a kind of cliché).

I've come to realize that I'm far from cursed. I'm simply programmed, and the programming that's been my master is something set down very early with me. I'm becoming very familiar with the nature and the making of me the codependent person.

The term codependent doesn't seem to be widely used here in Australia. I'm not sure what terminology they use over here is but it's not important. What the term has meant for me is that I could follow a thread of information and it's allowing me to come to grips with what I am but more importantly how to change. Change in my case is interchangeable with healing and that is where I'm at right now. Changing. Healing.

Healing is a precarious state to be in at best.

We do what we do because we've found int he past that it works to ease the pain we feel. Snapping out of using a safety net like that is really like jumping off a cliff just trusting that you will be able to soar without any god damned tools what so ever.

Recently I fell a little bit in love with Dr Drew and the TV series Celebrity Rehab not because I like to see celebrities in the throes of painful detox or in the process of laundering their personal dirty little secrets, no, but because it helped me see a process that had components I could relate to. This is how I came to really recognize my own pattern of addiction(s) and came to understand why I exhibit them.

I don't want to go into so much the raw details of why I find myself codependent, it's rooted in my childhood and we will get to some of that no doubt as I keep talking about my recovery. I would much rather talk about the manifestations of my "disease" and what I'm doing to recover from it. I'll also name the addictions I have identified with having as a direct result of being codependent.

First, all addicts are codependent. Not all codependents are addicts (but a hell of a lot of them are).

The word codependent is used to describe someone who is suffering from an emotional and behavioral condition that affects their ability to have healthy and mutually satisfying relationships. Codependents often form and maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and abusive (emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually).

Often when codependency is talked about there seems to be this notion that there's one victim or one person who is codependent in a relationship but that would rarely be the case. A codependent who is a care-taker needs someone to take care of and who would better suit that role than someone who seems themselves as a victim? There's more to a codependent relationship than just one codependent, I'm just saying.

I'm a love addict. There I said it. I fall in love quickly and I attach quickly. I attach to emotionally unavailable guys because that's the kind of relationship I had with my family members. I consciously fear being abandoned so I bend over backwards in an attempt to manipulate and accept way too much in the way of bad treatment and behaviors. Unconsciously I fear intimacy, I just don't know what that looks like or feels like, and I cannot for the life of me remember a time when I was able to be fully authentic with anyone, you know like just be myself.

I'm a food addict. I eat my anger, sadness and grief. I eat because the pit of my stomach is so full of fear and angst that it feels like hunger to me. I eat because there's an empty space in my that just can't seem to be filled with anything bright and loving (accept maybe the occasional thought of fluffy bunnies and little kittens).

I'm a work addict. I take my work so seriously, which makes me a perfect corporate citizen or at least it did until I had a nervous breakdown, that I live it with such perfection I become the best whenever there is anyone I can possibly compare myself too. Don't get me wrong. I'm really good at my job and always have been but I don't do it out of love or because I enjoy it. I do it because I have to be the best because I'm afraid of failing. Success, I don't know what that is. Failure, well that's the thing I fear the most in any situation because I don't feel human, those are not the standards I hold myself to, those are the standards I hold others to.

I have a whole in my soul the shape of a family and the only way I know how to kill the pain is to find someone who won't return my love, to work to perfection or to eat. Those have pretty much been the options open to me to ease the pain I've felt for as long as I can remember.

Well, no more. No more.

I'm in recovery. (And, you have no idea hard it was to type that shit up there and publicly-anonymously admit all that.)

Recovery takes a lot. First of all it takes admitting that you have a problem. Secondly it takes a fierce determination to recover. Every time you hear the words "You're too old to recover" or "You've done alright so far, why do all that hard in the hope that things will change for the better?" or "A leopard can't change its spots" I have to stand up and fight. I have to call it in the vain hope that I can carry this through and that it can be done.

I'm a logical gal.

I like proof.

I like facts.  

I don't have neither proof nor facts so I have to have faith.

I've never had faith. I don't know what it feels like or what it looks like. I don't know what it is to hand over to something other than me and not to attempt to control. It requires trust and I just never learned that either.

But, I have no choice if I want to recover, if I want to finally come out of the depressing, soul-destroying swamp I've spent my life living in to see that daylight and even more importantly to see the stars. Those things are foreign to me. More importantly, I have to do this on my own. I have to trust that I can do it, that I can rescue myself, and I have to have faith in the process I'm going through. It's scary stuff, I'm just saying.

One of the things that have been the hardest to swallow is the fact that childhood trauma has meant that there are parts of me that are clearly emotionally immature. I have to parent those parts to a better place and that process is not helped by stereotypes of how love should be. There will be no night in shining armor or prince rescuing this girl. She will have to rescue herself, like real princesses do, and she will do with the help of some friends along the way. Real friends, not the sycophantic kind.

It's a hard pill to swallow this not being perfect and having to change. It's not where I want to be but being here, knowing that, is better than still living in the delusion that all is well and that all is normal. I'm not in another relationship with a borderline personality disorder man. I'm here learning to have a healthy relationship with myself. I'm here noticing when I put a guy on pedestal and when I'm beginning to assign traits to him that I want him to have that he just doesn't so that I can create that security I have a need for. I'm here noticing and creating that within myself instead.

It's hard. It's fucking hard. I wish I would have done it years ago so I could settle the down and just love and be loved but that's not how it is for me. The battle I thought I was fighting to heal before was just the warm up. Now is the time for the big one. Now is the time I turn shit upside down and throw things around in my own head to create an environment and a reality I can live in and with. 

I had a shit hand dealt to me as a kid and I've kept playing with it forgetting that in the poker game of life you're allowed to ask for new cards or, more importantly, you can choose to play another game. You don't have to keep playing the same game. You don't even have to tell others you've stopped playing that game and that you're choosing to play another one. You can just wake up one morning and decide, or you can, like I did, work towards it without even knowing until one day you're ready.

So, now I'm a magical gal.

Now I have faith.

Now I trust myself.

Where there's no faith or trust yet I create it out of my own magic.

There's no place for another and love right now, I'm in recovery, but I fully expect that at the end of this the reward is waiting for me and that the reward is a tall, dark, handsome, faithful, committed and emotionally available, sexy and loving man. Nobody works hard without reward, you hear me Universe? Failing that I will just have to settle for feeling amazing on my own.

I'm just saying.

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