Sometimes I feel almost desperate for attention. When I’m not getting the attention/affection I crave from the person with whom I’m in a relationship at the time, I tend to look for substitutes. And I don’t mean I try to hook up with other people (although for a time in my first formal D/s relationship, casual play was part of our dynamic and I did seek out others for D/s sessions – not so much emotional connection, but that’s a whole other discussion), but I would hope for comments on my blogs (which I don’t normally ‘hope’ for necessarily), or that someone had messaged me on Facebook, I’d spend way more time on social media, I’d sometimes pop into group chat, just…something. Anything.
I read an article recently that noted one of the hardest things to deal with after a breakup is the loss of affection, because affection itself can be addicting. This resonated with me because I can see how much I craved affection, how much it meant to me just to get even the briefest message in my last relationship, and how when I was getting less than I craved I would then seek out substitutes. I am not saying that either of the people I was in relationships with before failed or neglected me by providing less affection at times than I craved, nor am I suggesting at all that I was successful in finding adequate substitutes. That’s the thing with substitutes; they simply aren’t the same.
I can see how I am addicted to affection. I know that human beings naturally need affection, in a healthy way; I think, though, that sometimes I let it influence my decision-making in bad ways. Sometimes very bad ways, and more recently than I’d like. The casual play (which is quite a long time ago now) is a good example; it was a substitute that brought far more heartache and pain than it did satisfaction, particularly after I experienced how wonderful an intimate D/s relationship could be. But most recently, I have been catching myself checking for messages, hoping against hope (other times dreading), feeling desperate and miserable. The more I miss him, the more my heart hurts, the more I am concerned that I am going to reach a point where the ‘withdrawal’ is going to be such that I make bad decisions and seek out affection either in the wrong place or far too soon. Sometimes my heart lies to me, and tells me it’s good to go, and really…it just really wants affection and will tell my brain anything to get it.
No wonder we’re told all through Scripture to ‘guard’ our hearts.
This is partly why I want to return to my first love, God. There is a need in me that I know is filled when I am near Him, that no one and nothing else can genuinely fill. And I need to be dedicated to this. I know too that I have tried at various points in my past relationships to substitute that affection and even the D/s elements for what I need to be getting from God. So this definitely needs to be fixed.
I’m also trying to be attentive to when and how I seek support from others right now. I know I need support, closing myself off from everyone isn’t good, and the more my mind is distracted in a good way (and conversation does that) the less I can obsess and enter into negative cycles. I have some incredible friends I’ve been able to talk to; but I’m trying to make sure I don’t talk just about how I feel and what I’m going through, and use them to dwell (never fun for anyone involved), but that I move beyond myself and actually engage with people and the world around me. I want it to be a real conversation where I honour the person’s time and attention, because those are precious things and I should never, ever be taking advantage of someone’s good heart. I don’t want to become the kind of person who only talks to her friends when she’s miserable. So I’m trying to…clam up about my issues :o) I can vent them in detail here, where if people don’t want to read it, then can easily click out with zero interpersonal consequences.
I’m trying to be aware of how I feel and what I’m thinking. I’m reminding myself that pain does not last forever; Wardell always says ‘This too shall pass’, and he’s right. I let myself embrace the pain, but not stew in it and spiral (because then my self-control wanes and I’m back to checking messages every ten minutes just in case…). I refocus myself when I think I’m going too far, but I also give myself time to process when I need it (writing last night, for instance). And I distract myself with work, with feeding into my family here, with rebuilding friendships, and with The Vampire Diaries because it’s a really good show and I enjoy Damon’s sarcasm.
Yesterday was rough, but I know part of that was because I began the day indulging my heartache rather than refocusing myself. I let myself indulge in one of those spirally mindsets, and once I stopped, it helped. Then it was a learning curve, figuring how to refocus myself. And I was pretty much gearing myself up for several weeks of being in that haze of heartache…
Today, however, I’ve felt pretty good, and no one is more surprised than I am. Last night was rough; I think I finally let my heart break and mourn what I’ve lost, and the writing and crying was cathartic. Today I have been able to think clearly, I feel at peace…my emotions seem to have leveled out, which surprises me to no end, because it’s been a very, very long time since I had a full day where my emotions were this…calm. I fully expected to feel perpetual, physical heartache, to have those times where it even felt hard to breathe, to be barely able to focus on anything except rehearsing what happened, and desperately trying to figure out how to fix it, for a long, long time because I know how much more intense this relationship has been…but I can breathe, I can think about it and not want to cry, my mind isn’t obsessively going over everything. It’s really weird.
I feel like I’ve accepted that our future plans are gone, and I’ve let him go, and as such this relationship is loved and treasured in my memory. I still miss him, and there are certain things that definitely tug at my heart, although they make me smile more at the memory than they do make me want to curl up in bed and cry. I still hope and pray for a miracle; maybe we will get a second chance at another relationship. But it really would have to be another relationship, a new start, because I know that I don’t want to repeat this rollercoaster. I’ve had one full day of peace and I’m realising just how…intense things were and the toll that can take. And that maybe, just maybe, that relationship needed to be laid to rest.
My heart and mind are appreciating the breather. So for right now, I am content. It isn’t everything I want, I haven’t stopped missing him, and I definitely haven’t lost my hope. If anything, my hope is stronger because I feel less like this was a mistake or a tragedy, and more like this might be the best thing, for both of us right now. But I am content. Incredibly surprised that I had a good day so soon, but also not questioning it too much. God is good, and however this happened and however long it lasts, I’m still very grateful for it.