“What did you do with yourself when I wasn’t there?”
I just started dating a guy. Again. For the third time. Third time’s a charm?
I hope so.
We broke up – for the second time – a month and a half ago.
He asked me this question tonight, “What did you do with yourself when I wasn’t there!”
I got defensive at first — I listed off all the things I had done this evening without him — we were talking on the phone.
“I just baked an onion dish, I am watching a tv show, I cleaned my floor, went to see my dad, did laundry, went shopping, took a nap… I do lots of things. But when you are in my life, I plan my things around you.”
It’s true. I do this…. in the last two days — only two days — he has been on my mind nonstop and I do plan for him to potentially be a part of my day. Is this a good thing or a bad thing… the jury is out.
We broke up six weeks ago. At first, I missed him something bad but at the same time I felt a sense of relief to be single again — I am used to being by myself. It was as if I snuggled back into an old, warm, cozy sleeping bag of singleness. I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and it was liberating. I started working out more, reading more, ….. sleeping more…. eating more…. smoking more…. Some things were not as good as others.
I think my single me is a good me. She is happy and content to be by herself and gets a twinkle-toes sort of excitement on a completely free Saturday with no coffee dates, dinners, or events scheduled. She loves napping whenever she feels drowsy and spending hours on end without talking to another soul — except giggling at herself in the mirror when she hears a funny episode on NPR.
But I also think coupled me is a good me and is a healthier me. Does a partner keep me in check? A partner helps me force myself to do the spiritual dirty work. The spiritual necessary work to progress in recovery. I consider his well-being and I notice myself making time in my life to be available to spend time with him. Sometimes I feel that this is a hassle and I want that “single freedom” again. I haven’t had that feeling yet this time around but I imagine that I will. However, I must remember that during that time spend with him I am interacting with another soul, experiencing physical touch, laughter, pleasure, and introspection. I am connecting with him and those connections are precious to me. They blow life and progress into my sails.
What do I mean by progress? I think I may change that word out for another. But two nights ago, I was talking with Z (the dude in question), and he was asking me about my “issues.” Not in an unkind “checking up on you” sort of way, but a concerned “I want you to take care of yourself and heal” sort of way. My issues are (for the record): smoking, drinking excessive amounts of tonic water, anxiety about spending the night at his house, anxiety about telling people at work that I am sober, feeling inferior, feeling ugly (I still haven’t worked up the guts to go makeup-less around him), and dad/family resentment.
I told him that all of them were basically the same, and he expressed concern about that and said that I need to face them head-on. That facing them head-on sometimes makes it easier — his words reminded me of AA words; “turning it over.” The concern and love in his eyes and voice were so heartfelt and sweet.
Withou him — anyone in my life with whom I spend a lot of time — I have been regressing. I don’t spend enough time with other people – I went whole weekends alone. I like being alone — but I know it’s not good for me to overindulge in. I end up spending literally hours on the internet and I binge on food and go a bit bonkers. It’s unhealthy. If this wasn’t the case; if I meditated, and read, and did hours of painting and/or spiritual projects (or something — I don’t know what a healthy recluse does, for god’s sake!) – maybe it would be ok. But some of the stuff I get up to is not ok.
So what? Am I using Z as my medicine?
I don’t think so – but the act of bringing another being into my day-to-day timeline gives me an opportunity to experience discomfort with my routines which do not always serve me well! I know this but — as many alcoholics do — I need a metaphorical kick in the ass to get me to make a change.
This time around he has told me he loves me.
More on that next time.