I am an "aholic". An addict. A Junkie. I have often mused (as un-funny as it is) if I ever tried heroin, I would be dead in a week. My compulsions are epic and beautiful and amazing. Also terrible and frightening and isolating. I've abused and over-used alcohol, food, sex, people, TV, love, sleep, and exercise. But I'm MOST addicted to beginnings and endings. I love starting over-the fresh, new page of a new day, month, year, job, move, relationship. I love the promise of tomorrow and the adrenaline rush list making, goal setting, and vision boards trigger. But, I also love endings.
I love cleaning house and cutting ties. I love trimming the fat from my emotional diet and creating a minimalist state for me to exist in. I love deleting old contacts from my phone and ripping old pages out of my journals. I love to feel cleansed, purged. This obsession has created in me a binge-purge cycle in my emotional life. I get really into something (or someONE) and I'm all about it. I proselytize and attempt to convert any and everyone I meet to agree with me on this amazing new find. I distract myself with this binge for as long as it takes before reality sets in and the purge compulsion surfaces.
Some striking examples in my life are my 7 month stint in a cult when I was 18, many of my relationships, some friendships, diet and exercise fads, songs, TV shows, and most recently the search for a place to call home.
The common thread is the need to be doing, evolving, achieving, and progressing at all times. Which is not, in its purest form, a bad thing. But, I fear, I often get involved in these projects to distract me from the thing that most needs purging: the obsessive, overthinking, highly sensitive thought patterns I have called normal my entire life.
The static that is buzzing at all hours of the day, despite exhaustion and need for mental rest. The humming in the back of my brain akin to an electronic device left on all night. I believe that is why I am shamelessly obsessed with the song "Blood in the Cut" by K. Flay, because the lyrics "take my car and paint it black/take my arm, break it in half/say something, do it soon/it's too quiet in this room/I need noise" speak to a deep and (let's call a spade a spade) troubling part of my psyche.
As I recently texted a friend, I have beginnings and endings down pat, it's the middle-the maintenance-that is difficult. Her response was apt: "Maintenance is boring." And it is. That is probably why I have been spectacular at beginning and ending relationships-maintaining a fun, exciting, sincere, and serious relationship with one person seems daunting and unattainable. Especially with all the distractions we have now. TV, movies, texting, every form of social media known to personkind, including dating apps where a dissatisfied partner could potentially spend less than 15 minutes creating an online profile and start talking to a newer and (hopefully) better person. There is even a fellow blogger devoted to revealing what cheating partners are up to on Cheating Husband Apps.
As a married friend and I have discussed, our generation (1981 babies) and younger seem enamored with the illusion and appearance of happy relationships via social media, movies, TV, etc. I can relate-I am often STILL moved to major life decisions based on movies and songs. It's not an easy thing to admit, but being a 90's kid where cable TV was available and romantic comedies ran on a loop every weekend, it makes sense that is how I established my core values in relationships.
My go-to movies are divided into two categories: teen romances and the "damsel in distress." I'm still a sucker for both. As much as it pains me, as a feminist, to admit this: I love and loved the classic story of a woman being swept off her feet by some beautiful, charming, and (of course) sensitive man and "rescued." My body is recoiling at me even writing these words, but truth is truth. I'm less gullible now, but in my formative years? Holy fucking shit. 💖
I thought that's how life and love worked. You suffered, you met some incredible human being, they fixed every problem in your life (down to wardrobe), and you lived happily ever after. No discussion on what happens in the absence of conflict, how one maintains a relationship through the everyday monotony of life. So, in my naive mind, conflict that tested love was essential in relationships. Therefore, in the absence of said conflict, I felt the need to create some to prove to myself and my partner just how much we could overcome. And boy did I!
Luckily, I have outgrown creating drama, but the craving for it still pervades. The absence of it suggesting there is *something missing* when really it's just life being life. Most of it is uneventful bullshit we have to muck through to get to the fun stuff, which (hopefully) does not get thwarted by someone else's drama addiction.
So, instead of longing for a person or relationship to fix this merry-go-round I have been on for 20+ years, I am creating my own happiness, fun, and excitement and hoping to find someone who thinks outside the box enough to want to jump on, instead of expecting me to jump off.
*Title credit song "Blood In The Cut" by K. Flay in 2016 (Because I'm STILL obsessed with it!)