Like most of us, I fell in love with the wrong person. I fell in love in a world that was so addicting that I can only compare it to an addict trying to catch their next high. I wanted to hold and grasp on to it so heavily, so deeply. I never felt like I could hold it long enough or close enough. As quick as I got it, it felt like it was instantly gone. I feel in love with the idea of love and not love itself. I had been in and out of relationships since I began my dating “career”. I have broken many hearts but I can easily say this was my first true heartbreak. I read every article under the sun that describes the relationship I was in and could not begin to recognize it in myself. Friends would always tell me, “I’ve never seen him like this with anyone but you.” As this paved the platform of excuse for all bad behavior, any lying or any manipulation that would slowly unfold itself. **Side note: My ex loved me. He loved me as much as he could. This is how I realized his type of love was just not enough. He needed growth that I could never give. I remember sitting there with my boss one day, saying I couldn’t sleep at night with such loss and anxiety. That I knew something was not keeping me here. I kept saying that in a year from now I wasn’t even sure where I would be. Can I tell you something? A year from that, I wasn’t. I was so wrapped up in the idea of making someone happy that could not make themselves happy. I was wrapped in his moods, in his voice, in trying to find comfort and safeness in him that I no longer found it in myself. I allowed someone to control my every feeling and every emotion. When he did not like me that day (or himself), I felt it in every bone in my body. I would be on the verge of tears yet still striving to somehow make him smile, make myself feel beautiful to him, make myself feel anything good. I just wanted to feel his love. Now, the reverse side is, when he loved me, when he thought I was beautiful, when the highs were there; I became a queen. I wanted to post a million photos of our happiness. I wanted to shout to the world that I knew this was going to work. I knew we could make it through everything. We would laugh, dance drunk in the kitchen and intertwine ourselves on the couch. There was no high in the world that any drug could give me to experience how I felt when he gave me a glimpse of those moments. But, those moments were few and far between. I felt fat, ugly, drained, and depressed more often than not. I constantly was told that my insecurities were something I had to work on and something that was MY issue and my issue to bear. I was told therapy was not working. I was told I needed to be medicated. I was told that our relationship was a mess because I was the issue. “Nothing I do will ever make you happy enough”. “I don’t do anything that should upset you, those are your issues” “Whatever.” “I don’t care.” “Leave then.” “If you’re not happy, then leave.” And I believed it. I believed that my career was stupid. I believed that I was being crazy for getting mad about girls on social media or exes contacting at weird hours. I was crazy for getting upset for him losing his job because he failed his drug test. I was crazy for not giving him space when his depression was bad and let him go on drinking binges. I was crazy for wanting my fiancé to pay our bills on time. I was crazy for wanting him to not say he hated the lipstick color I had on. I was crazy when the fights got verbal, emotional and practically physical from both ends. I was crazy for wanting him to come to bed at night or come home when I was uncomfortable. I was crazy and afraid to say anything. I walked on eggshells until I exploded. I was crazy and needy for wanting him to tell me I was beautiful. I was crazy and needy to want to be sexual. I was crazy. I was needy. I wasn’t. I wasn’t at all.
I knew I was done long before I was gone. I think that’s the hardest. Realizing when you’re ready to let go. I just could not go on anymore hating myself or resenting him. If losing him meant loving me again, then I had to go do that. So, the discovery and journey to self-love began. At first, I immersed myself in work and work friends. I lived and breathed my job to find myself again. When we decided to break up, I was shaken. I really was doing this. I really was leaving. I was starting over. AGAIN. I was leaving what I thought was the rest of my life. I moved. I spent weeks in such a drunken state, draining through savings and any money I was making as I was adjusting. I was traveling constantly. I was on a dating app. I was laughing at the amount of attention I received and the idea of just enjoying that. I started remembering how much I loved doing my hair, how I loved my tan skin, how much I loved being (for lack of a better term) ‘foreign’, how much I loved reading, how much I loved my career, how much I love the way music feels when I dance and more. I realized that I could not promote empowerment, support and self-love without turning inward. It’s hard. It’s hard to love yourself. My breakdowns are heavy and real. I’ve replayed my past through every decision I’ve made this past year or two, through every hook up, through every date, through every speech, every selfie and more. I have grown every day with every decision. Now, I’m here, back in love with myself again. I keep falling in love with myself. I am so ready for whatever is next in my life. I am ready to love. I am thankful that I have loved and will love again. I am thankful that I do But most importantly,I am thankful that I love myself. The journey of self-love never ends. It is a nirvana. It is a state of being. It is not a place to be traveled and destination to hit. You will never completely get there, you will have set backs but you will always keep improving. I can stare at myself in the mirror and see improvements.But, I can also stare in that mirror and say, “I am worth it, I am deserving and I am a catch.” I can stare at each photo taken of me, which truly has helped in falling back in love with myself, photos I’ve taken and in the mirror and find beauty in my self. I’m the shit. Point blank. You’re the shit, too.