One week ago, I made the decision to open an old door to a previous relationship that I had chosen to end a little over three years ago.
I ended the relationship, not because I didn’t love that person or because he didn’t love me, because the love and care we had for each other was true and strong.
But I ended it because I couldn’t stand back and watch someone who had so much potential to be something in life, just sit and wither away being complacent with just getting by.
I thought about him over the years, even when I was with my ex-boyfriend, and when I started my recovery, my longing for him in my life became stronger than ever.
I didn’t know how to love myself yet, and he was the last person who I remembered who loved me for me, so naturally, I wanted to reach out to him.
I talked about it with E (my therapist), for months and months, and we always came to the decision that I would leave things as they were-even though he had found this blog, and wrote me a beautiful comment about it.
Somehow, E always showed me, time and time again, how reconnecting with him wouldn’t be good for me, and now, I see why.
I re-connected with him a week ago, to make sure I made the right choice by choosing a better lifestyle for myself, over someone loving me for me.
It’s a decision I made then, and it’s the same decision I made last night, and it is one I am truly struggling with.
The connection we had those years ago never went away; if anything, it intensified.
The care I had for him never went away, if anything, it increased.
And our love for each other felt as if it was strong enough to cast a shadow over the reality that he is still the same person who isn’t motivated enough for me, and I am still the same person who wishes to change him.
At first, I said if he proved himself to me and to my family, we could work.
But then I realized, who am I to tell this person they are not good enough for me just the way they are?
I have no right to do that.
So last night, I told him he deserves to be with someone who thinks he is good enough just the way he is, and that person cannot be me.
On one hand, I am proud of myself, because had this been in the beginning of my recovery, I would have grasped onto him and held tight for dear life, because I would have been so happy that someone loved me even in my new “not skinny” body, because that is all I judged myself on.
But now, I see, that I deserve more than finding someone who will love me for me, but also someone who can grow a stable future with me-and that comes from discovering that I am a motivated and worthy person on the inside, and it has nothing to do with my body.
But, on the other hand, I feel extremely ridden with guilt and sadness.
So, it is no surprise, that when I woke up this morning, I hated my body. Every part of it.
I know by now, that when I start to hate my body, it is not because I truly think I am so fat or huge, it’s because I am feeling something internally that is painful, sad, or hard to deal with, and instead of stepping back and seeing what emotions I am feeling, out of habit, I go and criticize my body.
I don’t blame myself for doing that either, because this is the way I dealt with any hard emotions in my life for years now .
Habits are hard to break.
At least today, I was able to realize this, and try to make the separation between what I am feeling about this relationship ending, and what I think about my body.
The worst part about closing this door on this relationship for the final time in my life, is the fact that I caused him pain.
I know I caused him pain last time, and I know this time is even worse.
It’s like walking in a desert for a year without water, and getting used to feeling thirsty all the time and learning how to survive, and then one day, finding a fountain overflowing with water, and drinking it all up, and loving the sensation of feeling hydrated, only to wake up the next morning and see that the fountain is now taken away from you.
How will you ever recover from that?
How do you learn how to be thirsty again and live without water again, after you’ve tasted it again?
This is what I did to him.
I gave him the water in his lonely desert, and then snatched it away.
This is the first time I have felt so much guilt about something in a very long time.
I see why E thought this would be a bad idea now, and it is because she knew it would end this way, and she knew it would end with me feeling guilty.
Guilt is a dangerous thing for anyone who has any kind of addiction.
It is guilt that leads us to feel bad about ourselves, and therefore, we reach for the things that falsely, yet so convincingly, tell us it will make us feel better;for me, it is restricting.
I didn’t restrict today-I actually ate cake this morning-weird right?
But I did hate my body. I did think about what things I can do to wash this guilt away.
Being in the place of recovery that I am, I know going back to my eating disorder today will only intensify the guilt that I am already feeling, because then, I will be even more disappointed in myself, and I don’t need that right now.
So instead,I will let myself feel the sadness I am feeling, and then as my mom always tells me, I will pick myself up, dust myself off, and move on.
Re-opening and closing this door on this relationship again has taught me a major lesson-and its one that I will take with me for the rest of my recovery.
Old doors are closed for a reason, and it is not my job to try to go and re-open them and walk back into those old walls and rooms so I can try to save someone else’s life.
I am moving forward, not backward.
If the person who I closed that door on last night happens to read this entry, I hope he knows that it has caused me more pain to know that I hurt him than my own sadness has caused me.
But my intention was never to give him that water and then walk away.
But somewhere along this week, I realized that I can’t be the fountain providing him with water anymore, and I am truly sorry I even opened his mind and heart into thinking I could be.
Here is to opening yet another door to moving on from this guilt.
Hello to the many lessons about guilt and keeping old doors closed that this experience has taught me, and hello life.