Learning New Ways

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I need to write about my codependency. My addiction to people, the drug of love. The hunger and the desperation of the attachment issues, the overbearing and over-caring. The deleterious cords. The lassos and ropes and handcuffs of love. The total eclipse relationships used to be. You were the sun or hidden by it. Diving in to drown in the ocean of other people’s feelings.

I need to write about learning how to detach. How it feels like free fall even in your own kitchen, even in your own bed. I need to write about what it's like to loosen that hold. To shake off and to be shook. Learning how to act— even in the company of those you most love. To not consume or be consumed. Learning how to be and let be, live and let live. Learning how to let other people live their own lives, face their own consequences, reap the rewards of being the vessel of their own feelings.

As a teenager, I believed in loyalty to the death. To hell with a fair-weathered friend. We were steadfast and loyal even through drunken betrayal and very bad behavior and crossing lines that never should have been crossed. You were a friend to the death— even if that friendship slowly turned to poison. Even if that friendship tried to kill you. Growing up in my family, I was trying to save someone or someone was trying to save me. It’s the earth I grew in.

I am learning new ways. It’s like harvesting new organs, growing new skin. I’m learning how to care for myself and love others without burying or being buried. My new skin is tender but growing supple and strong.

Valley Haggard1 Comment