Yesterday I weighed myself for the first time since kicking the sugar/caffeine addiction. The number on the scale floored me…I had dropped almost 10 pounds seemingly overnight, without trying! All of those years of focusing only on my weight, what size pants I wore, the latest diet fads, and it turns out that what I needed to do was change my focus and stop trying so hard.
That made me think about the only remaining addiction that I have, attention. Specifically male attention and approval. My whole sense of self-worth was based around whether I had a man in my life. All of my other accomplishments such as escaping from a horrible marriage, providing a nice, safe place for my children to live, being a good mom, and the incredible amount of personal growth I’ve achieved in the last few years, didn’t even register in my mind. All that seemed to matter was, was I being ‘good’ with food, and was I getting attention from any men.
I believe, in theory, on waiting for Gods perfect timing. And that all things happen for a reason, and will eventually work out for the best. Blah, blah, blah. Sometimes I’m extremely impatient and feel the need to try to help things along.
Sooo….enter the world of online dating. I had been single for over two years, which seemed like an eternity to me.
My first date in over two years was with someone who had described himself as being in shape, loved to jog, so we met at a park to walk. He showed up looking 20 years older than his pictures, walked with a limp, and we had to make frequent stops along the walking trail for him to use the restroom. Wow. After knowing me for exactly an hour, he wanted me to move in with him. Uh..no, thanks.
There were a few other memorable ones over the brief period of online dating. The one who stands out the most was the schizophrenic. Yes, sadly, you read that correctly. He somehow seemed perfectly normal in messages, but once he got my phone number, he revealed that he was unable to work and was on disability for his mental disorder. He spends all day in various therapy groups. Then was baffled about what he ‘said wrong’. A few months later he messaged me again, saying that according to that site, I was still a 99% match for him. That’s a slightly scary and depressing, I must admit.
Not one of the men I met looked anything like their pictures. One of them described himself as 5’10 but when we met, we were the same height. (I’m 5’3).
While I craved attention and approval (even from perfect strangers apparently), once anyone started showing me too much attention I would feel extremely anxious and not want anything to do with them. I knew I wasn’t ready emotionally for a relationship, but didn’t want to accept that as fact. So I kept trying until I basically had a breakdown physicaly, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Now, I’m trying to turn over a new leaf. Thanks to Divine help the sugar/caffeine/junk food and ‘beauty’ addictions are well under control. I’m satisfied with my outer appearance for the first time in my entire life.
That has helped me to see the real problems underneath that I have always avoided dealing with. It’s not always a pleasant experience, but I am slowly being able to see that I can have self-worth, and self-esteem, regardless of external situations. And possibly, if I stop trying so hard to find someone besides my kids or family to love me, it just might happen by itself.