What Are You Waiting For?
One day I reached a point, where supporting and loving someone with an addiction was simply more than I could live with any longer.
Maybe you have too?
But you haven? done anything about it yet.
Because you?e waiting for it to get better.
I reached the end of my reserves of being able to love through thick and thin, for better for worse, for richer and poorer (and oh, we were poorer for sure!).
But I stayed, a bit longer.
I continued to wait.
I stuck it out.
I knew intellectually what I should do. The few friends I confided in knew what I should do. A whole online community who shared my journey with their own addicts knew what I should do.
But I choose to wait.
To battle on.
To win the war.
It wasn? until the quiet moments, after a major fight with my addict that saw him walk out on me, I realised I wasn? even sticking it out for him anymore, I was there for me.
Yes, I wasn? holding on with selfless dedication to my partner? recovery, I was holding onto the hope that somehow I would become good enough, worth enough, important enough for him to change and then give me all of the love I was looking for.
And yet, I didn? believe those things about myself.
In my eyes, the relationship I was in was the likely sum of all that I deserved.
If I allowed myself a moment to think about what my partner was doing, how he treated me and how wrong it all was I knew I was angry and hurt by him, and I knew I should leave.
But as quick as that moment was over, I would turn to thinking about what leaving meant for me.
Maybe this is as good as it gets, maybe the kind of love he gives is better than nothing, maybe I can still save him, maybe he will want to do it for me, maybe I could be important enough to stop for, maybe I deserve this, maybe I should try harder?
Maybe this is all about me?
Staying in my relationship had become more about me, than it was any altruistic desire to support and love my addict through every step in his journey.
In fact there was no way I could support him in the ways he most needed it, while I was busy leaning on him for scraps of validation of my worthiness, my efforts, my love.
The few scraps I got kept me hanging on, waiting for more, for those little bits of hope.
But they were never enough, and never would be.
I loved him but how can someone who hates themselves so much, ever give enough to make another person feel valuable?
Because that’s how he, and most addicts, feel about themselves.
It wasn? his job to make me feel valuable anyway.
It was mine.
I had to stop waiting and start taking control.
I had to take it step by step to build up my beliefs that I am good enough, that I do deserve more, that there is more to be had, that I am worthy and lovable, that happiness is possible, that I can have love in the ways that I want it, that just by being, I am valuable and important.
I had to let go, and stop hurting myself.
I had to begin my recovery, rather than wait for my husband?.
I had to take a risk on me and be willing to accept that you have to find love for yourself, before love is possible with anyone else.
I had to trust that I could learn to give myself enough love, so that receiving it from others was the bonus, not the pre-requisite.
So I did.
What are you waiting for?