It’s been six months since I ended the relationship with John and it’s been hell.
By June of this year, another school year had ended and I was a complete mess. I spent my whole summer break doing what I do best: researching why I fucked everything up. I went back to the self help section of my local bookstore, joined a twelve step program and signed up for therapy.
One of the things I know about myself is that I’ve been attracted to men who either drink excessively or have some type of addiction problem. After I came out of the closet, there was no time for self reflection…only catching up for lost time. I had no experience to hold up against the many internal issues that lay dormant inside of me. For example, it’s no that John was a recovering alcoholic. I come from a family who suffer from some form of addiction or another. Although I’m not addicted to alcohol or drugs, I am a severe codependent and enabler.
At forty-three, there’s a lot of fear that still resides within. Paralysing fear. I’m afraid that I’ve gotten to old to find a healthy relationship. I’m afraid to venture out on my own and start dating again. In the past, when a relationship ended, I had so many other distractions to keep me occupied. I was able to pick up where I left off and start clubbing again or hang out with friends. But at this point, no one wants to see a forty-three year old man at a club – gay or straight.
Time is now an issue and I have no where to run except in front of the mirror that life has given me.
As I walk around, living life, I feel like an open transparent wound that everyone can see. I’ve cried more tears in the last several months than I have in the last several decades. Every time I’m asked to go out with friends or coworkers, an instant neediness arises in me: I’m grateful someone still cares to ask me out. I’ve bored my friends endlessly with my story yet need the courage to continue to talk about it. Talk it all out until I no longer feel the need. After my fourth visit with the therapist, I could tell it was time to move on to a different subject. Yet again, I’m forced to look ahead and there’s no where to run.
But even amongst all the emotions and tidal wave of fear, there is one thing I intuitively know for sure: spiritually, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I recently completed six months of Codependency recovery and just received my six month chip. Since the summer, I’ve faithfully attended meetings twice a week and look forward to the next six months. I’ve learned a lot about expressing my feelings and how much more work I need to do in that area. Therapy has been a positive step as well.
I’ve gone on a couple of dates but have felt as if I wasn’t ready. I’m still raw inside. Raw and exposed.
For the new year, I plan on working some extra hours so that I can pay off some bills that have been hanging around. I’d also like to start thinking about travel. This time around, I’d like to cultivate what I’d like to see and not what someone else expects me to see.
In the end, I know that I am where I’m supposed to be…I hope that I have the courage to stay here.