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I spent nearly three years alone—and it was magical.
After two failed marriages, I was desperate to find me. The only way I could figure out how was to go deep, go inward, and spend time in solitude. It was a choice, my choice, to do this until I felt I was strong enough to not lose myself in someone ever again.
Not an easy task, but I was determined to make a change.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~ Albert Einstein
I am quite sure I was a love addict and a codependent. Looking back, I had the most skewed vision of what love was, and it was time to change this way of thinking—and living.
At first, it was impossible, not only was I getting divorced from someone I was completely attached to, but I also had a huge group of friends from a life I no longer wanted to be a part of. So I had to let them go—in order to find me. I found myself completely alone, in a big home, getting divorced. This house was planted on 11 acres on a 100-acre nature conservancy. Talk about isolated.
I would go for walks on the property (because I couldn’t venture too far from home without a full-on anxiety attack), and I delved into my loneliness, headfirst. The sobbing was inconsolable at times; I would fall to my knees and pray for help, but I had to do this myself.
On the property, we had beautiful walking trails and on one specific trail, there was this rock; it became my “prayer rock.” To me, it was magical. Every single day, I would walk out to that rock and pray. Pray for clarity, pray for healing, pray for strength, and pray for happiness.
I was heard.
I learned to do everything alone and although at first it was incredibly painful and lonely, eventually it became comfortable and soothing. I knew I had to start enjoying my own company or I would continue to be a prisoner in my own mind. Self-love was key here—I just wasn’t sure how to accomplish this or even where to start.
So I started by giving myself facials, taking hot baths, reading tons of self-help books. I taught myself yoga and really just created a safe space in my home where I would shut the world out and go deep inside myself.
After a certain hour, I didn’t take phone calls. I didn’t make plans, I just spent time with me.
I found that I enjoyed being with myself, so much that even as I healed, I preferred my alone time versus spending time with others. I no longer missed my big friend group, and the pain that I felt regarding my horrible divorce started to subside. I started to feel “indifference.”
But, the healthier I became, the more I knew it was time to open my heart and my mind to meeting someone who could add to my life. My goal was always to find someone healthy to share myself with. Someone I could open up to—wounds, scars, and all—and say, “This is me!” I wanted to be able to show my true being and have someone love me for where I have been.
I no longer worried about being “perfect.” I wasn’t afraid to say I was “f*cked-up.” I was ready to put all my hard work into motion.
And, just like that, I met someone!
He is wonderful, but not perfect, and I am more than happy with that.
From day one, I told him how “f*cked-up” I was, and he liked that about me. He listened as I told him about my journey to find myself, and he supports me today in my continued journey of self-exploration, discovery, and betterment. He didn’t see me as broken or f*cked-up; he saw me as strong and beautiful and respected how I got to where I am, despite all my bad choices and struggles.
Now, I won’t lie, it has been a difficult and scary road for me. At times, I start feeling all those familiar feelings and new ones that I have never felt before. I have had to decipher between his issues and mine. I have had to learn not to run when things get difficult. I have had to learn to embrace the difficult and stick through it, knowing that the outcome can make you so much stronger.
I am now experiencing my biggest lesson: how to put all my therapy to work.
I have done the work—the hard work that brought me to where I am at this moment.
You know, while I was in therapy and working in solitude to get to a healthier place, I always envisioned myself as this perfect being—no emotional drama, no anxiety, no fears. That I would be “fixed.”
And I am learning that’s not how life works, and I am okay with that. Life’s difficult moments are what teach us, guide us, and allow us to be raw—to feel. Only when you feel can you work through the pain, the anxiety, and the fears, and that is when you can start to rebuild. But the work is never finished; we are a constant work in progress, and I am good with that. I embrace it. I love it. I teach it.
I am a natural “codependent” carrying different roles in each of my relationships. I have been the runner and I have been the chaser. Neither of these roles work when you are trying to be in a healthy relationship. It is through all the work that I have done the past three years that has taken me out of both roles. I do not run or chase, I just exist in the relationship, and I love it.
I have learned so much about myself, my past, my previous relationships, and I am so grateful to have my eyes wide-open, blessed to see the reality of who I was.
Sometimes it’s tough to face the difficult vision—other times, it is magical.
I know relationships will never come easy to me, and I accept that. I know those old feelings of insecurity and discontentment may come creeping back up, but I am ready for this challenge.
But what I do know is: I will not lose myself in someone else again, and if I start to, I will rein it in, because I have truly become the person I was always meant to be, and I am so grateful for that.
I hope the same for you.