Day 285 Question 285:
What’s your single greatest moment of personal failure? Looking back on it now, did it make you weaker or stronger? What did you learn?
I hate to think about failure but it has happened to all of us. We strive to do what we think is best and along the way we just fuck up many many times. That is what life is all about though. Without failure we would never truly not know success feels like.
The year of 2007 was my biggest failure. Ok, not the year itself. Let me explain. In 2007 I met a guy through mutual friends and we immediately clicked. At the time we met he had a girlfriend but she was 1,000 miles away and that relationship fizzled very fast. This guy and I spent A LOT of time together. It had been a long time since I had a guy show interest in me so of course I fell right into the trap. This guy was a severe alcoholic and for an entire year I took being used and going into financial debt and I took emotional/verbal abuse that broke me to a point that I no longer knew who I was. I think about him very rarely now but when I do I flash back to this time where I see myself as being so pathetic. Not once did I stand up for myself. This was a “man” that allowed me to pay every single bar tab and meal ticket. In the whole year that we “dated” or whatever it was, he paid maybe twice. This was a “man” that stood in my home and screamed in my face saying, “You are just pissed because I don’t want to fuck your fat ass anymore.” This was a “man” that took every little thing from me and I allowed it to happen. You may read this and question how in the hell I could be with someone like that. It was your typical scenario of someone’s true colors coming out slowly and through every verbal beat -down I still held onto the few kind and fun moments. I truly believed he had goodness in him and that he would one day realize what a gift he had by being with me. Hindsight is 20/20 because I know now that he was never going to see this “gift” because I, myself didn’t see it. I would be lying if I said I did not still hold onto some anger to this very day when I think about the whole situation but the anger doesn’t control me by any means.
I don’t reflect back on this year of my life very often but when I do the tears usually start to shed from my eyes. I do not blame him for his actions because it was my choice to put up with his actions.
I feel sorry for him in having to lead a life the way that he does but that is his choice and I no longer need to be a part of it. I am merely speaking of the past but remember that this time in my life does not have a hold on me because I see life through much different lenses now. Back then though, as hard as it is to admit, I was so broken and so weak. It makes my heart hurt to think about allowing someone to tell me every horrible thing he thought about me and continually staying around. I was allowing myself to be tortured and the end result was a complete and utter break down. I had to rebuild my life from rock bottom up and it is until only recently (within this last year) that I feel both mentally and physically healthy. I am not in the “perfect” place but I am in a place that makes me happy. I get asked all of the time why I don’t have a boyfriend and why I am not married with children. Just yesterday my mom got a letter from my aunt that I have not seen in many years and the first thing she asked was whether or not I had a boyfriend. I understand it is natural for people to ask that and I don’t get offended but it was this time in my life that changed me. I am not opposed to being in a relationship and of course meeting someone great that would complement my life would be amazing but right now at this time in my life, the focus is on me. I spent too much time living by the rules of other people and allowing others to dictate what I do and what I feel. People tell me all of the time that I can’t always be so cautious when it comes to relationships and I can’t let my past control my present and my only response is, “This is my life and I will handle it according to how I feel.” I don’t want my past to control my present but I do want to make better decisions from here on out and when I see red flags I no longer ignore them….people can tell me until they are blue in the face that I am too picky or too critical and I allow them to think it but it is only me that lives in this body and feels what I feel.
I have never considered or would ever consider suicide but the year of 2007 it would not have mattered because I already felt like I was broken and damaged beyond repair that nothing made any kind of sense. I felt lifeless. It truly was the worst time in my life and there is nothing I am more thankful for than being able to make my way through it and having support from the people that see me and love me for everything that I am. It is hard to call this time in my life a failure because of the leaps and bounds I have come from it. At that moment I was failing because I was unable to believe in my own beauty and my own value….I was letting myself down every single day by choosing to allow this shitty person to control my belief system….I allowed him to make me believe that I was not and never would be good enough. The choices I made during that time were completely toxic. Because of his alcoholism I started drinking more myself. I enabled him and in the meantime lived in a continual state of haze. I started to fear that I might even be developing a problem. When I tell people I don’t drink I explain it was a lifestyle change but in truth, it is the flashbacks to this point in my life that really drove me to just eliminate it. I never saw or felt anything good from it and I just wanted it out of my life. This one little substance brought so much pain to my life and I finally decided that it was now or never and in 4 days it will be 2 years since I have consumed any alcohol….and I can say I have no intentions of picking it up again. I am so in love with the fact that I challenged myself and went far beyond my expectations. Why would I break this long streak for only moments of “fun” when I can do that already in a completely sober state.
I think about the person that I was in 2007 and I think about the person I am in this very moment and it seems very surreal. It feels to me like who I was was simply a figment of my imagination. Here I sit now as this strong willed woman with all of these plans and all of these accomplishments under her belt and it is unreal to think of a time when I could have been so self-destructive and self-loathing. As damaging and torturous as that time was, I believe it happened because it needed to….I needed to feel that kind of pain in order to strive for so much better and to truly start to love myself for who I am. It was a time of beautiful chaos and melodic torture. It is a time that I will look back on that will bring a rush of emotions but those emotions will always end in pride and self-love because I stopped allowing the anger and the pain to control me.