I used to think that I would never find love or be happy. It seemed that I was destined to be miserable and alone for the rest of my life. I couldn’t understand why I kept getting into bad relationships and why they always ended with me being the bad guy. Hurt and alone one day I decided to give up. I figured right then that being alone was better than being in another bad relationship.
Deep down inside I truly wanted to find someone to love and to love me. I felt lonely and like no one cares. I felt abandoned, betrayed, unloved and unloveable. My mind raced with all the reasons why I didn’t need anyone and as a result. I became a bitter person. I blamed everyone and everything for my circumstances not realizing that it begins and ends with me. I was the cause of my unhappiness. I was the reason my relationships weren’t working. I was selfish and self centeredness is the core of the disease of addiction. But I was in denial and continued to blame everyone else.
Eventually I realized it, but it took me years to understand it. It wasn’t until I came into recovery that I began to get an understanding. I was afforded the opportunity to do some work on myself, ask questions and get acceptance of the part that I played in all of my relationships. I began to understand that it’s not all about me and that I am not as good nor as bad as I’ve told myself for all those years. I am finally able to take a look at me. To talk about me, my feelings, thoughts, hopes and fears. I am learning that being vulnerable is not a bad thing. I’m not saying that I like being vulnerable and it’s definitely not a easy thing to do. But I understand that I don’t have to be afraid to be vulnerable because I grow from the experience and exposure. I am learning to love myself for who I am. That I don’t need anyone to validate me. I am worthy of love and it starts from within.
I am not saying that I have mastered anything. I fall short on a regular basis and make plenty of mistakes since getting clean. I have tried and failed and felt like giving up from time to time. But I know that If I allow myself to give up then I am not allowing myself to grow. I will be stagnant and become complacent. I will eventually return to my old ways and that is unacceptable.
That being said I met someone recently. In the beginning I wasn’t sure whether I was really ready. I was afraid of being vulnerable because I allowed my worse fears to make me feel inadequate. To make a long story short and that is by no means to take away from how we got to where we are today. I am happy. She makes me happy. We are happy together. I miss her when I am not around her. I think about us and I can’t help but smile and I get a warm feeling. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way about anyone. It’s scary at times, but I will not allow fear to rob me of my happiness any longer. Learning to love myself has allowed me to learn how to love her. It is still a learning process and I will never be perfect. She allows me my process and I allow her hers.
I never thought I would be happy again. Recovery has afforded me my gifts and I am truly grateful. But no gift I could ever receive is better than the gift of love. When it’s given and received.
That my friends is priceless.