Hey you guys…Hi. I have butterflies right now. I’m listening to The Unruffled Podcast my friend Tammi made with Sondra. It’s so enjoyable listening to these ladies voices as I make my art for the #100daysofartbyHaley project I’ve taken on. I made my gratitude list as well. I love my creativity and I don’t ever take it for advantage because there have definitely been times when it’s been only whisper/completely gone. My art teacher in high school told me he would pass me if I vowed to never take his class again. After that, I just figured art wasn’t my thing. I just wasn’t good at it so why would I ever try it? Ouch. That statement hurts to read today, because today I do and say the things that scare me most. Usually that’s the truth. The truth is a really scary beast sometimes. It’s also a multilayered one. The other night I made an Instagram post and talked about an evolving truth in my life. I’m ready to share it with you a few days later. Here goes: I’m drinking again and I’ve made a conscious choice to leave both AA and my sobriety. If you know me or read my posts you know my drinking something I’ve been grappling with for nearly 4 years. Bouts of sobriety. Bouts of drinking. Pain. Conversations. Therapy. Lots of therapy.
Last weekend I sat on my therapist’s couch and these words fell out of my mouth onto her carpet: “I don’t think I have a problem with drinking. I think I have a problem with people.” Oh. The thing I have been so scared to admit to anyone, ever, my codependency, my obsessiveness, my need to have a person. It’s an issue I’ve grappled with since I was a little girl. I tried to deal with everything and everyone else. I tried to take on labels because it felt better than not having anything. Say the true shit out loud, my friend says. Here’s mine.
I understand that not everyone is going to be on board here. I feel in part that I don’t deserve that either, since a spent a long time convincing people that I had a very specific problem with alcohol. I didn’t know. Or I knew that maybe that wasn’t the issue, but it felt better to try to make myself fit because the love and the care and the conversations I found in the rooms and amongst sober women was mind-blowing. And I’m scared about losing that, them, in writing this. But I try to live in honesty, publicly and privately, so this has to be the way. I know this might change at some point. I know that I will never look at drinking normally. I know I will always relate in some way to addicts and their behavioral patterns.
I’m feeling super vulnerable saying all of this and pretty sleepy. But it needed to be said and done. More to come. Love you all.
With a title that intriguing how could you not read more? Here’s my dirty secret, the one in which I have juuuust started sharing with the real world, with friends whom I trust, I am a relationship addict. Look there’s like no real way around that. I am super codependent to a fault. If I’m not in a relationship, I don’t feel valid as a human being. I’ve been seeking salve since I was a kid. Always people. Specifically women. And when I finally came to terms with my sexuality, I couldn’t find someone to date soon enough. I latched on with extreme disease, but comfort. And when it didn’t work. And when I became “too much” countless times, I never once thought, “Maybe this is me. Maybe I need to change my own behavior.” I’m starting to see that it has a lot more to do with me. I can definitely change the behaviors that I’ve done for years. An excuse is, “I’ve done this in the past, so I’m going to just continue to do it.” An excuse is, “This is who I am. Either accept it or you’re out.”
I’m reading Heather Havrilesky’s How to Be a Person in the World, and holy wow do I love her blunt honesty. It makes me just want to put a full STOP to all those behaviors I’ve just done for so long they feel like a second skin. It’s like the veil’s been lifted and man it is not pretty. But the ironic thing is I’ve been feeling pretty in love with my life recently. Like super in love. Like I looked at my desk, with my blog open, and my things all perfectly lined up, and the voices of the ladies of HOME podcast speaking their truths, and I got tears in my eyes. Because I feel SO lucky to be here right now. I have been in a really dark hole for a really long time. I was too much, too depressed, too unhappy, too drunk, and too in control. And by in control I mean gripping onto my life with white knuckles and a whole lot of cursing. I got to Boston and I slept. A lot. Because I was so tired. So fucking exhausted after white knuckling my life for so damn long. How did I do this for so long? I am so much happier even when I’m not happy right now. Literally I can feel peace pulsing in my heart. My dirty secret has hounded my heart and my sanity for so many years. I couldn’t admit it aloud. I couldn’t even admit it to myself. Well I’m admitting it right now.
I’ve spent years being codependent and I’m not playing this game anymore. My friend has a rule for dating: they gotta love you like you love you cause you’re fucking great company. Here’s the problem for me, I’ve never loved myself. I didn’t know how. I didn’t learn how. And the only love I saw came from what happened when I drank. Because when I drank I felt invisible and like I wasn’t too much and like if you didn’t love me I could say FUCK YOU and not feel badly about it. This same friend brought it to my attention the other day that I can be that badass young warrior self, but also self-aware. Like I can have those two things going on once? Who knew! Right now, I’m just fully blown away by the fact that I can live this life as Haley, as me right now, and not be concerned that this person is somewhat new to me, that I don’t know everything about her, and that I am okay with her. Always. Because I love her and I love you. Here’s my dirty secret because the thing about secrets is when we start talking about them they start to lose their power.