Unexpected Direction

There are times when the words are challenging to find. When emotions can overwhelm the ability to think in sentences. The last few months have brought about feelings, causing the words to escape. I ponder the prospect of sitting down to write a blog post and the motivation gets lost. The ambition is lost in relationships that continue to change. Something I wasn’t thinking of when my journey of emotional healing began. As people slowly make their way back into my life. The excitement of spending time with friends appeals to the senses. However, my entire world feels as though it has changed. Situations that weren’t a big deal at one time in my life. Now, have an entirely different meaning. They carry emotional consequences I have to spend greater time considering. The questions being ask of myself are changed following my interactions with other people. The living of a cleaner life brings different elements into my world. Years were spent without questioning the manner in which people chose to treat me, self-esteem was so very low. If another individual wanted to spent time with me, I considered it a win. There was desperation for the acceptance of any person. I would attempt doing pretty much anything to be included. Today, my thoughts on the subject of acceptance feel different. The desperation that had me clinging to relationships has eased with significance. I have started looking at relationships, differently. 

For some reason, it seems like we only think of romantic relationships as being toxic. This has been something I have found to feel false. It feels more and more, like even friendships can have negative impacts of emotions. Toxicity doesn’t always have to accompany a romantic connection. It has started occurring to me, some of us seek out toxic friendships for different reasons. When my battle with sexual fantasizing became recognized, there were things I didn’t realize. The challenge of abstaining from the behavior would be a huge hurdle. A task that has taken years. Finding myself involved with the process of trying to eradicate, the behavior. Though, I have not reached my goal of completely removing it from my life. It feels as if I get closer with each day. The battle in itself becomes even more challenging when relationships get reintroduced back into my life. Things have been noticed that didn’t appear a bother previously. The working through of these situations and how to handle them, has been a surprise. There did not seem to be a way of anticipating this next step in my journey of recovering. An understanding and uncovering of triggers seemingly embedded inside some of my deepest friendships. I believed many of my friendships would be easily changed into something with more health. For years, it had felt like I was the reason any kind of dysfunction existed inside these relationships. The realization has started to sink in, it wasn’t all my fault. 

It felt as though my anger was cited so frequently. Never really to my face, but more often in whispered conversations. My temper was probably the hottest, of any of the people I knew. Which, meant it was the one getting most all the attention. I would make attempts to hide it from most people, but in looking back, my anger most likely continuously bubbled, just below the surface. Full of jealousy toward others and a desperation to be included. Mix in some entitlement, because I felt a person with a disability deserved special treatment, and there you had it. Sounds like the concoction of someone we would all enjoy. It wasn’t apparent to me, how misguided my emotional thinking had become. Then, each time the world failed to fall into my perception of reality, I would get upset. The frustration of life being unfair would send me into an emotional spiral. Sometimes the spiral would be minor, other times it would be major. But, I thought my habit of fantasy could help calm my irritation. The problem was, the fantasies only added more deregulation to my emotions. The spiral seemed never ending, but I thought it had to do with the unfair treatment of people. Little did I understand, that wasn’t the case. Catching me off guard even further, as my healing has taken place. I have started learning, I wasn’t the only person battling frustration. The ability to manage emotions seems a challenge for others inside my world. The struggle they were experiencing, didn’t seem as obvious to others. 

I have heard healing truly starts when you begin noticing things in others, without pointing fingers. The acceptance of imperfections inside one self, might lead to the recognition of behavior in others. One of the most powerful tools we possess is the ability to heal. The strength to accept the things we can work on, in an attempt to become heathier inside. Today, I have begun noticing anger in other people. While, having become aware of the impact that frustration has on relationships. These were concepts I spent years and effort remaining oblivious about. I didn’t want to notice or think about the ways people treated each other. Because, if I chose to make myself aware of their action, I would have to take responsibility for mine. It wasn’t something I was prepared to take on, as a challenge. So, I continued the engagement with my negative habits, as I watched them do the same. Even though it all might have looked different. We all seemed to be bonded by shared views on behavior. I was one of those who whispered about others. Wanting to compete as the person having the most social knowledge. Again, I wanted acceptance, and it didn’t much matter who got hurt in the process. My brain was so clouded, I just couldn’t think of the impact I had on others. My behavior led me into social traps and meant I couldn’t be trusted. 

My ability to keep social information to myself didn’t begin until my addiction journey started. Even though, I would become emotionally upset when suspecting others shared information, I had shared. One of my first steps was understanding how hurtful gossiping can be to others. Along with the inability to build trust with a big mouth. I thought it was a key toward being accepted and getting attention from people. If I was the person who was seen as trusted, friends would come to me for information. It made sense that my willingness to carefully dispense of it, would keep them coming back for more info. It turned out to be another form of illogical emotional thinking about relationships. The realization that I was using people, just as I was being used, was challenging to accept. In the end, the behavior I thought to be getting me attention, was getting me disrespected. The feeling of that disrespect only contributed to an anger issue, trying to be hidden. Instead of making myself into the center of attention, which I inappropriately strived to be, my behavior made me into a joke. The only way it seemed to curb the pattern was to take on the fantasizing challenge. After finding it to be a major participant in my irrational social beliefs. It took some time along the walk of being clean to understand the impact of my choices. But, once I could own up to the chaos I was creating, things turned more positive. The interesting part of my first section of the journey was it being done in basic solitude. I pulled away from most of my friends. Now, the return has me a bit confused. 

Relationships seem to be at the corner of many of our lives. They help support us in so many of the things we do daily. If someone had told me to begin my healing journey, my social relationships would change, I don’t know what would have come to mind. Other than, my thinking that many of them would improve dramatically. It has been found to be true, many of my relationships have shown improvement. My addictive behavior was causing instability in my personality. Making me challenging to be around within many situations. I had a lot of growing to accomplish. I didn’t realize, not all of my relationships would fall into such a positive category. Some would struggle with the idea of my stripes changing. Seemingly wanting me to remain inside the dysfunctional bubble I had occupied for years. Those relationships can be full of triggers, having me fall into feelings of temptation. The saddest part of my journey seemingly requires me to look at these relationships unapologetically. If they aren’t helping the forward progress of my path, maybe they need to end. I am starting to learn how to let go of striving for acceptance at any cost. Proving to myself that I have worth. However, within the process of increasing self-esteem, we might gain the ability of seeing social connection with more clarity. Now, the knowledge of understanding when to let go, requires developing. 

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