Co-Dependency and Self-Love
Oct 13, 2018
The hardest part of my marriage ending, wasn't my husband walking away, it was the empty void that I was left with.
At first, I thought that that emptiness was from a broken heart. But, the more time that passed, and the more I realized that I may have never truly 'loved' the man I spent 15 years with, the more I sought out the source of that void.
I tried filling the emptiness with distractions, random men, late nights, and bottles of cheap booze. And, surprisingly, I woke up every morning still feeling empty. #andhungover (I know... shocking)
If it wasn't a broken heart that I was suffering from, then what the fuck was it!?
Here is what I came up with, with the help of a qualified therapist (which I highly recommend anyone who is even a tiny bit fucked up #everyone should seek out): The emptiness and void I was experiencing, was from the loss of the person who fed my co-dependent addiction. I was truly an addict wandering through life without her drug. And in typical addict fashion, I attempted to fill that void with anything that made me forget it existed.
So, I could continue merely existing, living my one precious life feeling numb and empty, or I could seek out treatment, take responsibility, and start taking action to take control over my disorder.
Knowledge is power, and I immersed myself in as much education and information as I possibly could. I read books and Googled a thousand different inquiries. I joined online programs and hired coaches. I spent hours on a therapist's couch and learned coping skills I didn't even know I lacked. I committed to doing the hard work and slowly began to understand what it was that I needed in order to feel empowered, authentic, and complete.
Learning to love myself, from a place that didn't come from giving away my power so that someone else felt validated in their choices and lifestyle, was a huge mind shift for me. I had spent 15 years feeling 'loved' by someone who took more than he gave, so I only knew 'love' as an empty feeling.
Coming to the realization that I was fully capable of loving myself as deeply as I deserved, and that that love actually felt vibrant and passionate, was one of those moments in time that changed my life forever.
Once I was clear on what self-love looked like, and felt like to me, all the other pieces just fell into place. (OK. It wasn't that easy... But it was a journey that I was excited to be on.)
Loving yourself is not an easy place to get to, especially when you aren't aware that that love is what you are lacking. You can get caught up in the outside factors of your unhappiness, and feel like if those things were different, then you would be different too. You would be happy. You would be skinny. You would have the perfect partner, the perfect job, the perfect life.
But, that is not how happiness works.
With, or without all of the perfect pieces, the void and feelings of emptiness will never be filled by anyone, or anything, else. That is your job, and I truly hope that you choose to show up, and do the work.
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