Ask yourself this and keep your answer in mind.
Now, ask yourself, “who is the person I spend the most time with?”
Then,”How well do I know this person? Does this person really matter to me?”
I’m guessing you thought of someone other than yourself. If you did, ask yourself these questions again. This time fill in the blank with your name, and see what you come up with. One thing I have observed with people dealing with loss is that they go into a spiral of desperation to fill the void that was recently created. They may turn to drugs, alcoholism, self harm, shopping or adopting more pets than their house can hold to try and cope with their pain, either to try and dull it or run away. Grieving is a normal part of the process of going blind or dealing with any type of loss, but if it consumes someone’s life after too much time it can be damaging.
When I was 18 I lost my sight completely from one moment to the next one cool October night. I also had to contend with the loss of my first love a few weeks later. Tough doesn’t begin to explain how difficult the time was, especially because I was a young buck who hadn’t experienced much life, let alone have the coping mechanisms to deal with such a major set back. I had just started college and my friends tried to help me, by helping me drown my issues in beer. This worked for a whole second, then my issues were back plus a hang over. This was my first encounter with a negative and ineffective coping mechanism. Did it stop me from trying it again? Nope, I’m a bit of a slow learner, but I thought maybe one day it would help. I will admit during this time I was a bit depressed, I was having surgeries once a month on either eye (from September 2006 to October 2007 and constantly was told I would never see again. Not much of a moral booster, but hey life isn’t rainbows and sunshine always. I was trying to run away from my issues and pain instead of dealing with them head on, eventually I came to terms with them and was able to pick up the pieces.
In December of 2007 I met the woman who would eventually become my wife. She had informed me that she had negative experiences with people dealing with alcoholism in her life, so that night I decided if I am going to be worth this girl’s time, I gotta put the bottle down. And I did. Do you see what the issue is there? I did it for her, not myself. Although it worked, and I don’t drink nearly as much as I did then, it wasn’t for me. For the next ten years I did everything I could to make her happy instead of myself, I set myself up for failure on day one, and was never fair to myself.
now we are June 2018, I am now divorced, but 12 years wiser and way more self interested. The above questions I began asking myself when I did some soul searching. I thought at the time that my wife was the person I spent the most time with, I thought I knew her as well as myself, and I knew she mattered more than anything to me. These statements were all true, but not the correct answers. When I realized this, I came up with more questions for myself.
When I wake up, who is the first person I feel. When I fall asleep who’s breath is the last I hear? it is always me.
Make some time for yourself, and ask yourself these questions:
- What is most important to me?
- What makes me truly happy?
- What am I doing that is compromising who I truly am?
- Is the person I am now the person I want to continue to be?
- Do I need to make changes to live a more fulfilling life?
- if you answered yes for this last question, What are they?
- and finally, am I willing to make these changes?
You don’t have to come up with all the answers at once, but take time to think about this. It took me a while to come up with everything, but I have discovered who I truly am, and realized that I matter to myself a lot more than I thought, so I am going to do what I have to do to be happy.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re single, dating, or married, you are always going to be with yourself and only you will know if you are compromising the person you truly are. Be honest with yourself, and don’t get caught up with the little things in life. I now live my life with the 5/5 rule, which is: is this going to bother or affect me in 5 years? If yes, do something about it. If not, give it 5 more minutes of your time to be sad, or upset about it and move on.
Love is one of the greatest gifts that can be received. So why don’t you give the person who matters most in your life some, and have a great day.