You know what’s crazy?
The more you start to love yourself, the more you can’t help but love the people who have been there loving you all along.
When I first ceased my party-girl ways, there was a near immediate shift in my relationships with both friends and acquaintances. In the very beginning, the transition was somewhat awkward- i.e. Who am I when I’m not the drunk girl or the stoned girl? What do I do? What do I talk about?- but then I noticed I actually began to enjoy myself more (and be wholly present) in most conversations. Sure, some people quickly faded away from my life (because all we ever really had in common was mutual bad habits), but the majority of my friendships were subsequently enriched. Partly this was able to happen because, while sober, one has the ability to focus more on what someone else is saying. Also, when not hiding behind an addiction (or other negative coping mechanism), one is able to be a more authentic version of themselves. It’s only natural that inter-personal relationships improve as a result.
I’ve felt like the friendships I’ve forged (and refined) during the last few years have ALREADY been some of the most rewarding of my life. What a treat it is, then, to have them grow in importance and value even more than before, over the course of the last few months. The more I learn to appreciate my own self, the more I can see that affection and appreciation reflected back to me through the eyes of my loved ones. In addition, the more I can return the favor- because the less and less my ego seems to get in my way. There is an old saying that implies no one will truly love you until you first love yourself. I’m learning very quickly (and delightedly), this isn’t the case with me. I’ve had love and affection surrounding me, in spades, for ages. My only regret is that it took me so long to see it.
I know I still have a ways to go in my recovery. I’m sure I probably have some future hiccups awaiting me, in both my eating and thinking habits. But I gotta say, in these last few weeks I’ve been astounded by the staggering amount of love and gratitude I’ve felt moving both through me and around me. I feel lucky. I feel appreciated. I feel like I am exactly who and what and where I am supposed to be….and I have never felt that all at once, especially for such a sustained amount of time.
It’s pretty fucking cool.
While we’re on the subject of the great “L” word, I should admit that for the first time in about a millennium, I allowed myself to develop a small crush on someone. Granted, it lasted for the total of approximately one whole minute before I realized this person had a significant other (which meant I abruptly put a stop to the afore-mentioned crushing), but it’s nice to feel like I might be ready to start tearing down some of those huge, thick, brick walls I’ve built up around my heart over the years. It’s also nice to note that my “type” has changed drastically for the better, and that instead of wanting something/someone obsessively (which is all romance tends to be when you’re using sex to fill a void), I am now capable of having a mere fleeting attraction. You know…like a normal person.
I’m very happy to learn this about myself, because for quite some time now I’ve all but resigned myself to a life of being perpetually single. It’s good to know I may be open to other options.
I mean eventually, of course.