What You Draw To You Is What You Are
This is a saying I remember reading when I first started MY recovery.
Those words felt uncomfortable to me.
Did that mean that I deserved to be going through the hell of loving an addict?
Did that mean that I deserved all the lies, the manipulation, the abuse, the constant thoughts that I was to blame and was a horrible person?
Although for years I believed all of those things, I had started to consider that I might have been wrong. I had started to believe I was possibly worth more.
And yet I read in those words that I might be kidding myself. That I really had somehow asked for what I was dealing with.
After all, what I had drawn to myself was the ugliness of addiction which had caused me nothing but heartache, depression and self abuse.
What did that mean that I was?
Someone who would miss out on the good stuff in life, someone who only deserved to have stress, unhappiness and disrespect in their life?
With the benefit of time, recovery and growth behind me I recently came across this saying again and this time the meaning of the words had changed.
In hindsight I understood that I had drawn to me what I was.
When I met my husband, and long before that, I had many ideal traits for drawing myself into a relationship with an addict.
For a start, I already knew exactly how to love an addict. I had spent my childhood and into my adult years doing just that.
I had no self worth.
I had no sense of self.
I was a pleaser, a person who never said no. I wanted everyone to like me, what ever the cost.
I was desperate for love. But I never thought I deserved it so any kind was better than nothing.
I wasn? good enough, pretty enough, loveable enough, anything enough.
I didn? know how to make myself feel better. To be all the things I wanted to be. To feel the ways I wanted to feel.
I thought I needed others to make me happy, and that if I just did my best to make them happy, then they would reciprocate.
And that is exactly what I drew to myself, a man who didn? know how to love himself, how to feel good enough, worthy enough or loveable enough. He didn? know how to deal with his feelings, and what they meant. He wanted so much to be liked and loved, to feel strong and confident and yet doubted in every moment that he deserved it.
So he gambled. And he drank. And he took drugs to numb his pain.
And then he found me.
And I was as lost as he was.
I dealt with my pain and sadness in different ways, but I matched his beliefs. I matched his sense of value and expectations of the world.
I can see today that what I believed I was I attracted more of into my life. It came to me as a mirror of my own self loathing and my own personal disrespect.
It wasn? about deserving this experience, this difficult and painful period of my life, it was about needing it.
I was being shown a clear image of myself through my relationships, my choices and my experiences. The message was clear but I took my time in understanding it.
The day I realised that my situation wasn? happening to me, it was for me, I realised what the message was, what I had been unwilling, or unable to see.
I had accepted this in my life because I believed it was the best I could have, given what I believed the sum total of my worth was.
What I believed I was, was right in front of me showing itself in its extremes.
I had ignored the whispers for the need for change.
I had missed the louder pleas to take myself out of my patterns of belief.
And now it was full on, in my face, shouting at me, demanding I take notice, listen and do something about it or risk certain destruction.
I had no choice but to pay attention. If I wanted more, I had to believe I was worth more, that I could have more and that only when I learned to love myself fully, would I find someone who could love me fully in return.
You have the same choice I did.
Are you willing to see what has been drawn to you, willing to examine what in you is attracting what is?
If, like me, you are incensed by the notion that you have done anything to cause your situation, use more time and energy to look for the real reasons and the true lessons, look deeper, further into your heart, and see if there are answers in there.
It? difficult to accept that we would ever ?sk?for the heartache of addiction in our lives, but it? not so much what you ask for, as what you let yourself accept and take on as your lot in life.
When you expect more for yourself, when you ask for more and set clear boundaries based on your sense of self worth, addiction will find you a formidable opponent in the battle against it.
Upgrading your personal beliefs might not mean you walk away from your addict completely (especially difficult if they are your child) but it will likely result in you creating a healthier relationship with yourself, and making better, different choices about your role in the relationship.
Change your beliefs, change your energy, change your life.