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Monday, December 30, 2013

A Truly Phenomenal Year

"How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be."  
--Elizabeth Lesser

I've been reflecting on the content of this year for a couple of months now. It's interesting to simply reflect on how my thinking has changed in just the last few months:

A few months ago, I was feeling like this had been the worst year of my life. And this thinking was not entirely illogical. I started the year with three boyfriends and I'm ending it with one boyfriend, one estranged family, and one good friend. Also this year, I was in a car accident, which on the outside seems minor, but to the irreparable damage to my back, was rather bad. I haven't been to work since May of this year and I've been going absolutely insane over it. To boot, a lifelong hormonal imbalance finally reared it's ugly head in a big way, landing me in the hospital twice, causing one unnecessary surgery and I still have to return for the necessary surgery in the new year.

Nice, right?

Yeah, that was sarcasm.

But, as has already been pointed out to me, and as I have come to agree with, on the contrary, this year really has been the best of my life.

Why?

I have been through some life altering changes this year.

Back in May, within a week of the car accident, I set myself two life goals. One was regarding my place of residence, the other was regarding my care of my body.

Both of these were majorly derailed by the car accident. I can't exercise my way to a healthier body when said body is broken and I can't save money toward relocation when I can't go to work.

So what's a girl to do in that scenario?

I absolutely lost my shit. I fell apart. I was so very excited about the prospect of reaching these goals and then had the prospect taken away. I tried and failed many times throughout the year to reboot and work on smaller goals. It simply didn't work. I spent most of the summer in tears, feeling like a failure at life.

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Now, we arrive in our tale to the fall, when actual major changes started taking place. The first thing, that was a huge help, was my best friend: she moved in with me, providing me with support right in my own house. She and I became mutual wailing walls, venting to each other about everything.

As fall grew to winter, I started finally seeing myself more clearly. I realized that I was completely and totally unable to function without someone being right there for me. Be it a partner over the phone or my best friend in my living room, I needed them right there or it felt as if they didn't exist at all. I had been somewhat aware of this notion most of my life, but I didn't see it for what it was:

CODEPENDENCE

I was told, back when I was 19 and married for the first time, that my husband and I at the time were very codependent. We did everything together, refusing to be apart, refusing invitations to activities where we both weren't invited. And we thought it was because we were in love.

Later on down the line, when I grew too strong for him, I realized we had never been in love, we had simply needed each other and that was what had made us close. But I still didn't see the obvious: that thread of codependence.

**********

Moving on to this year, I started this year trying to break free from yet another codependent situation I had gotten myself into. But I was unable to do the breaking, they had to do it for me. And so I floated off, lost, feeling anchorless and unbound. Trying desperately to swim for myself, but unable to do so.

And then it happened.

It was somewhat of a gradual process, little things like wanting to spend more time in my room alone, away from people. Setting myself goals and feeling frustrated when people's needs of me kept me from meeting my goals.

But it was also sudden. One day, I was upset that someone I wanted to talk to wasn't available to me and I said aloud, "You know what, that's okay. It's better that I revise my thinking to see myself as independent and whenever they're available is when they're available." And the next day, my plans were tossed asunder by someone who is extremely codependent. I immediately responded with my own codependent nature: "The needs meeter." I began meeting their needs, even though I grew angrier by the minute. Finally, when I found myself hiding in my bathroom to get away from them, I realized that I didn't need them. I didn't need to meet their needs. As much as it would hurt us both, it was okay to send them away to be independent.

And so I did.

And in doing so, I shed my own codependence. The girl who can't be happy unless she's meeting someone's needs, she's gone. Parts of her linger, I still feel her floating around in here, begging to meet a need sometimes.

But while she floats, I am anchored. Anchored not to anyone, but myself.

I stand up, I stand tall, I set my goals and I shall meet them.

Roadblocks are just that, things in my way that cause me to find a new way.

So now I know: I don't need anyone and I don't need anyone to need me. I love those whom I love and I am now free to love them without any requirements, on them or myself. We can come together for mutual satisfaction and break apart when the satisfaction is not mutual.

And that is the most freeing state of being I have ever discovered.

2013 truly has been a phenomenal year:

It's the year I became my own person. Living for me and no one else.

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