A Path of Less Heartache: Adventures in Self Love

   Eight years ago I was a different person. I was still Carrie but I only allowed myself to be a shell of who I actually am. Eight years ago I was constantly drunk, constantly afraid and hated myself. I did not go on many adventures, unless you count the fuzzy, vomit-lined, stumbling drunk adventures many parts of which escape my memory.

Here’s me passed out on the street in my hometown. My boyfriend was so kind as to take my picture. Not as a reminder for me but because he was mad at me…apparently I wasn’t being very nice that evening. The dog is tied up to me so I wouldn’t be left alone while he went to try to call a cab. Yes, that is vomit. This is just screaming self love…right…right?

   Eight years ago I met an amazing guy (the guy who took that pic). He was cute, awkward, goofy, dirty, thoughtful, smart and fun. We hit it off immediately and spent a lot of time together. He told me about how he lived his life, how he dealt with his emotions, what pushed his buttons, what he did when he got hurt. I heard all of this, took it into account. 
   With what I knew about myself and what he told me about himself I knew that “he would destroy me” (those were my exact thoughts). What did I do? Well I really liked him, he was so wonderful and I hated myself so I opted for the path of destruction. This choice lead to two intense years of abuse, heartache and self destruction for both of us. 
   Six years ago this relationship is what threw me, head first, onto my path to sobriety, self-love and recovery. It literally took about two years to get over the heartache from said relationship. My songwriting skills, amazing friends and a lot of support helped me work through a lot of it. 
  Six years ago it all started with tiny acts of self-love. I mean seriously small acts such as basic hygiene, eating food, getting to work on time and allowing myself to be human. These are huge acts for the self-hating. The more I did these tasks of self love, the more of them I was able to do. Then eventually larger, more difficult acts of self love like keeping up with my yoga practice, connecting with loved ones and allowing myself time to rest even when there is a ton of work to be done.
   The ability to do kind things for myself has aided significantly in boosting my self esteem which in turn has helped to improve my ability to set (and maintain) healthy boundaries for myself…and my heart.

   This week I was able to do just that in the spur of the moment and while tired. I was having a conversation with the totally amazing guy I’ve been (kind of) seeing about how our situation was working for us. He told me about how he lives his life, how he handles his emotions, what pushes his buttons and what his needs are. I heard what he said and took them into account. (In his defense, this guy is of much higher caliber than the guy from eight years ago.) In recognizing and honoring the facts about myself, how I handle my emotions and what my needs are, I was able to see that continuing a relationship with him beyond friendship would cause me unnecessary heartache. And a lot of it.

   What did I do? Right then and there I was able to speak up for myself and say that it wouldn’t work for me and that I would need to back off a few notches. I have boundaries for my heart and my life that I stuck to despite the fact that I really like this guy. I also didn’t have to be a total bitch about it. It was actually quite a mature situation. (Where did this woman come from?!)

   Am I bummed about this possible relationship not working out? You bet! But the amount of heartache I experience now, I know will pale in comparison to the pain I would’ve gone through if I tried to hold on to the relationship longer.

   I am pretty amazed at how drastically different I handled these two very similar situations. I have come so far in eight years. In fact, even a year ago I would have held on to this relationship a little longer. But not this time. This time I decided not to fuck around with my heart and my head.

Giving myself the awesome self-love thumbs up!! (jeez my hand looks huge here!)

   The beauty of this is that it makes me much more capable of effectively continuing to spread the love that I have in my heart for everyone I come into contact with, including this guy. How awesome is that?

   Self love my friends, self love! The least selfish thing anyone can do is take good care of themselves.
 Until we meet again friends!

Adventure Tip:
Everyday before I do much of anything else, I read from a couple of daily meditation books. Some people may find this practice silly or ineffective but it works for me. One of these is Melody Beattie’s The Language of Letting Go. Meant for co-dependents but I find that many of the readings could be valuable to just about anyone. The other is Courage to Change which is a book from Al-Anon (for friends and family of alcoholics and addicts and for co-dependents). Again this one could be beneficial for many. The other thing I do is get daily emails from The Daily Love. I know I’ve mentioned this site on here before but it’s certainly worth mentioning again. I get so much out of this daily email. I love how Mastin shares his message. It works for me. I encourage you to find a daily practice that works for you. One that supports self-love. Even if it seems tiny or insignificant…DO IT! Do it everyday. I promise, you will not regret it!

2 responses to “A Path of Less Heartache: Adventures in Self Love

  1. LOVE! Calling this “Adventures in Self Love” was brilliant.. because that process IS an adventure.. and you remind me all the time about how that's done. Thank you for this 🙂

  2. Pingback: Contemplating What Ifs? | the corvid drifter·

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