I read a joke today that seems particularly apt for me:
What does a codependent see flash before her eyes right before she dies?
Somebody else’s life.
That hits a little close to home in these parts.
During the last year I have hunkered down and done all that I could to feel safe in my own skin. Mostly that meant hanging out by myself a lot, or going into “hermit mode,” as I call it. I am not going to scold myself for doing the best that I could, but at the same time, I am choosing now to evaluate how I want to be living my life, how I want to change my life.
My life. For a long time (maybe forever?), I’ve allowed the idea of my “real” life to be something that will happen just around the corner—when I get thin, when I meet a guy, when I have a baby, when fertility treatments work, when I miraculously no longer grieve the loss of my marriage.
Needless to say, it’s very easy to pretend that the current situation is not “real life” when one’s focus is so much on the “if and when” of the imaginary future. It’s also very easy to avoid one’s one life when by focusing on what someone else is doing with theirs. And when one’s life feels full of pain and dysfunction (to borrow a phrase from my previous post on the subject), it’s so much more comfortable to take the focus off of that pain and put it somewhere, anywhere else.
I have allowed X’s life to be more real than my own. As I have observed him from a far distance, I have imagined what he is doing, where, and with whom. I have obsessed about what his next move will be, and how it will affect me.
When we were married, this tight observation of him was done out of a desire to be safe, to avoid the next battle. It’s been hard to lose that habit.
Since I found out he was getting married (yes, by Googling him, a nasty habit, I admit), I have been obsessed preoccupied with checking his wedding website and also with finding out whatever I can through the face place. The thing is, it doesn’t make me feel any better, in fact, it usually makes me feel worse.
So, now, as I’m working on building friendships and a social network in my own life, I will work on pulling away from my obsession preoccupation with his life. My therapist suggested I try to go a week without searching him out online (more specifically, checking his wedding website for any bits of new information). At the time (yesterday) that felt impossible. Strangely enough though, rather than being difficult, it feels a bit freeing. I still get that urge, but then I remember. I remember that I’m letting him go, that I am here, now, that looking there doesn’t help me, it just holds me back.
And I want the only life flashing before my eyes before I die to be mine.