Somewhere in between that first phone call and our first kiss, it happened. The flood gates of simmering emotion I’d buried for almost two decades crashed though the stone walls of my heart. I never intended to fall deeply and madly in love with you, again. I never meant to pack my whole life and leave everything I knew behind to give love a chance.
My self love, if I had any at all, didn’t stand a chance.
You drew me in. Touched my soul in places I thought had died. Late at night we stood in your kitchen planning our future. We were a team. I was no longer me. We were us.
I loved you with my entire being. I was unabashedly yours. I gave you all of me.
The chipping away of my spirit, the crushing of my soul happened slowly — it was in the little things.
You not remembering what I liked to drink after a year, the flowers you promised to surprise me with but never did, the hand that stopped being held, the nights sleeping on your couch alone, the unanswered texts, the silence, the ignored birthday, the dates we never went on.
Through all the late night tears as I watched you deep in a drunken slumber, I knew I was slipping away. I had disappeared into the abyss of you. I loved you but I was never going to be enough to love you though your tortured pain. I wasn’t the bottom of the whiskey bottle you craved.
The desperate search for my self love
When I made the choice to walk away, just three months after moving to a town I swore I’d never return too, a town with a haunting past, I knew it was going to hurt. But I wasn’t prepared for the splintering that was to come.
I just knew in the moment that I couldn’t continue to pretend everything was okay, because it wasn’t. I never anticipated discovering just what was wrong.
I realize I was addicted to you, to your pain and suffering. I was addicted to trying to reach inside you and show you the love you craved. But I didn’t love me. My light died in the shadow of your darkness.
I thank you for giving me love. Not romantic love, no not at all. You showed me that I didn’t love myself or I’d have never become addicted to you. I had to break my own heart into thousands of splinters to realize you couldn’t love me because I didn’t have self love.
Codependent no more!!
The heartbreak of losing you damn near killed me. Days, weeks, months passed and the tears refused to stop. I’d wake up in the morning with tears streaming down my cheeks. I didn’t want to get out of bed and face the world.
How could I? The man I loved didn’t chase me. You didn’t want me. You were gone. I’d walked away and you never gave me a backwards glance. It was as if I’d never existed to you.
You were my addiction.
You were my dream.
You were my future.
But I had it all wrong.
I am my addiction.
I am my dream.
I am my future.
I had to lose everything to win myself.
I am codependent no more.
Now when I think of you, which is often, I pray for you. I pray God touches your heart and heals your pain. I pray He releases you from your addiction and leads you into the life you were meant to live. I send love your way. I thank God for you every day.
If our love hadn’t shaken my entire world, I would have gone on living without loving myself.
As I rise from the ash of my former life, I feel strength like never before. I believe in me.
So to the one who I dreamed of growing old and gray with, thank you for watching me walk away and into my future. Now it’s my turn to not look back and to move forward with self love.
This powerful and beautiful story is from guest blogger Rachel Johnson. Rachel is a former journalist who has always found healing through words. She resides in North Carolina where she is rediscovering herself and opening up to love, joy and abundance.
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