Yesterday I asked the question “why am I going to therapy when all I have to do is go to a bar and lower my standards?” After all, in spite of all this healing and working on myself, I found myself alone on Valentines day.
There are so many answers to that question. For one thing just because you are with someone doesn’t mean you are healthy. You could be repeating bad patterns that will continue to make your life a living hell. Especially once the Honeymoon Phase is over. Everybody is having a great time while they are getting laid. It’s organic chemistry 101. It’s called Dopamine. Oxytocin. Seratonin. The feel good chemicals you get after an orgasm.
Codependency is one of those toxic traits to get rid of as is the potential for abusive relationships. Therapy is part of healing, and healing reduces the possibility for painful and horrible relationships. (Sorta like a vaccine). It allows you to escape those sad choices and live a happy, fulfilling life. Free from being controlled by someone else. Free from violence. Free from losing yourself and what is important to you. Free from compromising yourself and getting lost in that.
The worst thing about codependency and trauma bonding is when you have problems and you fix those problems with your partner, you get a rush. So, then you continue to sabotage and fix for that rush. Trust me, I’ve been there. It sucks, because it isn’t real. It isn’t healthy.
Yes, I am alone. More to the point I am single. I’m not lonely. Do I miss physical touch? Yes. Jeez, that is at the top of my list for Love Languages. Is physical touch worth getting into something harmful with someone? Hell to the naw.
My therapist says I shouldn’t have to make myself dysfunctional to match with someone. It’s such a simple statement, but consider this. If you were interested in somebody who had a broken leg and they said the only way they would date you is if you also had a broken leg…there you go.
If you are broken you will only look for broken people to fill in those broken pieces. When things are broken they aren’t more interesting. They are sharp and harmful. They hurt when you cut yourself on them. I’ve seen that thing about the Japanese bowls going around, and I think people are missing some of the metaphor. Yes the bowls were broken and repaired with gold. And they are beautiful. But they were repaired!! They are no longer broken!
And that’s what I’m doing. I’m being repaired. Today it feels good. Being broken is not some goddamn Red Badge of Courage. Healing is important. And unless you want to go on being broken, used, and hurting yourself (and others) you need to do something about it. And just because you are no longer single doesn’t mean you are fine.
That’s why I go to therapy. I’m doing the work. Not to prep myself for meeting someone and bullshitting them that I’m just stable enough to tolerate. I go to feel comfortable in my own skin so I don’t go to a bar and lower my standards to distract myself from the Toxicity I am potentially carrying around. I go because on an emotional level, I see that there are days I have a big splintered bone sticking out of my arm, and something needs to be done about that.
There’s a reason people who go to Alcoholics Anonymous say “My name is ____. And I’m an alcoholic.” The first step in fixing a problem is to admit you have one. Take ownership of it! I have problems that I am going to therapy to fix! I’m not virtue signaling, and admitting I have these problems isn’t what makes me flawed. Fuck, I’m pretty flawed. But I don’t like living like that, so I am doing the work.
Mental health is so stigmatized in this country. If you admit you have a problem, then you are looked at differently. People avoid you. Courts look at you funny. You get put on watchlists. I say bullshit to that. Do people look at people who wear glasses as weak, because they chose to get help to see better, rather than pretending they can’t see as well without them? Getting help didn’t cause the problem. It takes strength to admit you have one and you are doing something about it.
I’m working on my mental health because I have the rest of my life to walk around in this meat suit and it feels better once you are healed. Just like walking around with a broken bone. Let that thing heal before you climb a mountain. Either alone or with someone else.
And as a friend told me, stop looking for broken people to try to fix. (Damn, that was real talk).
Otherwise you are going to be carrying them up the mountain when you should both be climbing.
Here’s a song I have fallen in love with. It hits on so many different levels. I like the live version the best, and no, the clip is only subtitled in Spanish. The song is actually in English. Enjoy.