I want to start off by explaining what my addiction was/is. It was/is always a subconscious addiction. I am a giver. I am talking about overextending myself for someone. I would put their wants and needs before mine. I would sacrifice my time, money, emotions and so much more just to make someone else happy. I feel like it’s my responsibility to solve everyone else’s issues before mine. I never thought of how it could negatively affect me, which most of the time it did. I found myself ending up in the same situation time and time again.
Over the course of my life, I have come to realize that I had/have an addiction to toxic relationships and people. It has become abundantly clear to me that I would involve myself with people that were only with me to get something out of me. Whether that was an emotional need or a physical need, I was always the person to fulfill it.
I found myself getting hurt time and time again because I would just give everyone what the needed without question. I know being a giver isn’t always a bad thing, but when it starts becoming an obsession and addiction, that’s where it becomes unhealthy.
Through many sessions of therapy, I am realizing that I was my own worst enemy. I would bounce from relationship to relationship, always looking for someone to fulfill my need of feeling wanted or needed. I never realized that I was doing this until now.
I was always involved in relationships that would have a super high peak then quickly change to a super low downfall. I would feel like I was on cloud nine with the person, trust them with everything in me, then once they got what they needed from me, it would crash and burn. This applied to both romantic relationships and friendships.
Over time I have learned to not give 100% of myself to just anyone. Whether it was a romantic, friendly, or even work relationship. I learned to set my boundaries and open up to whoever I choose to at my own pace. I think this is so important to guard yourself. Unfortunately, we live in a world where so many people are two-faced and don’t have our best interests at heart. They disguise themselves so well that you believe every thing they say.
It’s always such a hard realization when you finally figure out what people’s true intentions are, when they are negative of course.
In the recent years, I have surrounded myself with people that I know genuinely want the best for me. I have a small circle of people that I can truly be myself with and open up to. It’s these types of people that I don’t mind stretching out my neck for.
There is one person that sticks out to me when I realized their true intentions. It was not an easy pill to swallow either. This person was supposed to be one of my best friends. I would talk to them about everything and anything. They were my sounding board. There were times I thought there was more to the friendship but was always reassured that I was wrong. There were always comments and innuendo’s thrown around to make me think that this person wanted more. I always told myself that I was reading into it too much. This person would come and go as they pleased, proving to me that I was only fulfilling their needs when times got tough. They would make me feel bad if I couldn't drop everything be at their beck and call. It was starting to get difficult for me to keep up but I cared so much about this person that I put my needs aside and continued to be there for them.
Years go by, and the truth came out. I was right the whole time. Naturally, there was a part of me that was drawn to this feeling of being needed by this person. However, I noticed that I was falling down the same rabbit hole again, the old Emily’s addiction to being a giver was kicking in. I started questioning myself, my morals, and my sanity. I wanted to be there for this person so badly, but I felt so guilty allowing this person to control my thoughts and feelings. I realized that this person knew me so well, and whether it was a subconscious action or not, they used it to try to get me back where they needed me. They knew that by reeling me in with the fact that they needed me would work. I also realized that I was so easily drawn back in because after all the years of waiting for this person to just admit to me that everything I thought was true, finally came out. The satisfaction of finally knowing brought on curiosity.
I can’t tell you how much stress and anxiety this caused me. Like I said, I was questioning everything in my life. I didn’t know if I had missed out on something with this person, whether I shouldn’t have made certain decisions that brought me to where I am now, or even if I should have kept this person in my life.
There was so much confusion and emotion that I was feeling. It started out with sadness, then progressed to guilt. Once I really took the time to dig deep into what was going on, these feelings of sadness and guilt turned into anger and resentment.
I hated that I felt this way since I really did have such an amazing connection and friendship with this person. That being said, I realized that I couldn’t be that person anymore because I was just feeding the old Emily’s unhealthy addiction of wanting to feel needed. I have created a life for myself that I am proud of and love. I was sick of making the same mistakes repeatedly that give me the same results. Not only that, but I was also giving in to the manipulation this person had.
I now know that I have this inability to say no to people who need me. I try my best to stay alert when it comes to new relationships with everyone I meet. I need to remember to not make the same mistakes that I have in the past. I try to be kind to myself when I do slip back into it, but I need to stay focused and remember that I am the most important person in my life.
We all have flaws, and this is one of mine. Being aware of it is just another way that I am choosing to help myself grow into the best person I can be. I believe, the best way to help heal yourself from your past, is to acknowledge it, accept it, and continue to be aware of it. Try to stop yourself from making the same mistakes. Stop yourself from letting other's dictate your life. You are in control of your life and your decisions. Addictions and habits are hard to break, but it can be done. I am proud of myself for how far I have come with not letting others control me anymore. I still have a lot of work to do, but at least I am on the right track.