I thought I’d continue the theme of relationships in this post, albeit on a more personal level. Sometimes it can escape us to be mindful of where we once were to how we are now in our road to recovery and to the place of thriving.
Given the themes of abandonment and rejection that I’ve had meshed into me since my experiences as a young child, romantic relationships have always been the most challenging for me, but also the most sought out. I remember a time where I was consumed by the thought of having to always be alone and longing for a loving connection above all else. When I finally did make that connection, although being purely over the internet, it came with ecstacy and then the brief encounter led to me becoming manic and eventually psychotic when things came to an end.
With my first relationship with someone in person, I could see how easily I would become attached and become heavily dependent on the them. This, of course, set me up for failure when that also came to an end after a brief time. I went to a very dark and uncontrollable place, like I was never going to heal from the wound and all was crumbling down around me, with no escape from the torture. This led to me having suicidal thoughts and I was encouraged to go on antidepressants by my now ex-girlfriend, who still looked to help me. Upon starting this antidepressant, I almost immediately became even more depressed and ended up taking an overdose of the medication. I reached out and was taken to hospital, left in a dark room with the sound of my high heart rate as the only thought. This extreme reaction would later come with other relationships.
After a relationship that lasted the course of about two years, I found myself in the worst place I’d ever been to. I distinctly remember being in a psychiatric hospital, powerless in my bed, crying out and screaming like an infant at the thought of all the memories to do with that relationship. It went from being my greatest joy to my greatest nightmare. This was when I had a real serious go at suicide and took a substantial amount of medication to overdose again. I ended up in a medicated coma for about 5 days, waking up to the realisation of my actions. It was this which would be my greatest lesson. Sometime after I started therapy, which lasted over a period of 8 months. Through that painful process, I broke free from being tortured by my thoughts and came out of deep depression.
Coming to the present, I’ve recently been in another romantic relationship which has come to an end. Where once I would lose my mind, become psychotic or out of control with severe depression, comes the natural pains that come with the loss. While my triggers of abandonment and rejection are hit, I’m now able to keep it together. I still rely on the person to be in my life, but only because I value the friendship so much, as opposed to clinging on for dear life in case I become completely destroyed. I’ve grown enough and done my work to be safe now. That isn’t to say I’ve fully healed. I still have lingering issues on a more even playing field. However, coming through all this, with the cycle of infatiation, to love, to heartache and ultimate demise, to become stable in myself, shows how much I’ve grown and learned to handle my fears with more ease. The more we test ourselves, invite people into the most intimate part of ourselves, the greater the chance to learn and mature, until we become the person who we’re meant to be. Human connection is the most potent source of personal development when our issues come from the broken human connections we’ve faced in our early lives. It takes courage to not want to hide away and block out the world, which I have spent a lot of my life doing – putting off facing what I had to in order to overcome the obstacles.
With all this, I hope that what I’ve been given by others is enough for me to value who I am enough to lead my own life independently, without the fear of never having someone or never being loved again so closely.
In all this I hope my story gives encouragement to others to keep trying, to keep letting people in to appreciate the gift they have to offer. Through bliss and through suffering we experience the most of what life has to offer. We become who we’re meant to be. That’s what is worth living for.