Or why I have to scream
I don't know why I instigate
And say what I don't mean
I don't know how I got this way
I know it's not alright
So I'm breaking the habit
I'm breaking the habit tonight"
This is likely going to be one of my most personal blog posts to date. Don't get me wrong, all of my words are honest and from the heart always, but this one is more of a declaration in regards to my future as opposed to an understanding about my past. That being said, let's do this thing.
- regularly repeated behavior pattern:an action or pattern of behavior that is repeated so often that it becomes typical of somebody, although he or she may be unaware of it
- attitude:somebody's attitude or general disposition
We all have them, big ones and small ones, good ones and bad ones, they are present in all of us. I am truly a creature of habit...if I spent a day of "awareness" and tried to document all of mine, I think I'd even surprise myself. Just off the top of my head I can tell you that every time I get in the car I do the exact same things:
-Puts purse on passenger seat
-Starts the car
-Puts on seatbelt
-Plugs phone into car charger
-Adjusts radio/music until I find something suitable
-Then and only then do I proceed to put my car in reverse
I do these exact things every time without fail, whether I'm running late or just heading to the market. Habits. It's as if I couldn't operate my vehicle without performing these few steps, and honestly it would feel extremely wrong if I tried to do so.
Obviously I didn't decide to write this blog because I'm concerned with my pre-driving routine. I like it. It's comfortable. It's not hurting anyone so stop your judging! (Ha) I decided to write this blog because it has become painfully obvious to me that I have a few much more serious habits that have altered my life in ways that I'm not necessarily proud of, and that typically leave me sad and disappointed. My hope is that maybe you will recognize some of these behaviors in yourself that you may not have been aware of, and that in some way your quality of life will improve. (That's always my goal- JFox's Mission Impossible: Save the Brokenhearted World). This isn't going to be easy for me, as typically I write about things that have been done TO me and my reaction to them. This will be an honest confession of MY wrongs, against others, but more so myself. Bare with me...
Filling the void without healing the hurt.
I started this habit at 18 and it's one of the most common trends I see around me. It doesn't matter if you're the dumpee or the dumpor, break ups take a toll on you. Period. I believe humans are co-dependent by nature. We are born that way and some of us grow out of it more than others. You get used to having your significant other there even if you aren't happy. If the relationship had any sort of longevity, this person knows many of your favorite things and your pet peeves, and you've probably even gotten comfortable enough to pee in front of them. You've invested time, money, and your heart. When it ends, there's a part of us that goes into panic mode: "Who am I going to tell about my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day now? Who am I going to send those ridiculous cat memes to all day long? Oh. My. Gah. I can't just pee in front of someone else...not ever again!" We all have our own different panic lists, but we all panic nonetheless. Ok, so the theory is we should all panic, hurt, grieve, heal, THEN find our new Pee Mate. The problem is, a lot of times we panic so much that we rush out and try and replace the empty feeling before we deal with all of the other steps. Big. Problem. Some people call this a "rebound." I don't care what you call it, I call it unhealthy or a bandaid. Want to know how I know? Because I'm 31 and single because every time I lost a Pee Mate I replaced him with a new one before healing on my own. I'm not saying that these relationships won't work out, I'm sure a few of them do, but they won't start on healthy ground. You absolutely have to fill the void within yourself before jumping into something new. It's unfair to you and your Bandaid otherwise. "Oh hi there Bandaid, I'm a lot of fun and reeeeeally loveable. My ex? Oh. We just didn't work out. I'm soooooo over it. Here can you hold all my baggage while I pee? K thanks." Un-freakin-fair.
Putting new Pee Mate on a pedestal and making him (or her) my main focus and priority. (Even at the expense of my sanity).
In other words, I study them harder than the SATs. I learn all their favorite everythings and make them feel spoiled. I've always done this, it's a starvation tactic I think. "I want you to love me so bad and so much that I'm going to make myself into what I think you'd love most." I basically become a groupie. I feel this is something I've always done because at the time I'm craving love so deeply. My heart was hurting and I fed the craving instead of working my way through the hurt. It's really shitty all around for so many reasons! My friends suffer because I suck at replying to text messages while in a relationship. My work suffers because I'm all consumed by this new Super Hot Better-Than-The-Last-One Bandaid. Mr Bandaid suffers because eventually I burn out and wake up one day and realize "I reeeeeeally hate your small little POS dogs waaaaay more than I thought I did, and now I resent you and despise them." Lastly, I suffer. That leads us into my third habit.
I suffer because I put every aspect of my life on hold trying to cling to something would probably have been fine on it's own had I been healthier in the first place. I do this because I'm craving love and wanting my void filled. I continue to tell Mr Bandaid about my goals, dreams, and aspirations, but I'm so busy trying to help him achieve his that I don't spend any time on mine. I stop running. I stop working on my books and blogs. I stop reading because I'm spending all my wind-down time listening to him talk about his horrible day, or figuring out what super awesome girl friend thing I can do for him next. I stop being everything that is me, everything that I love, because I have made him my focus. My last relationship was just under 3 years. At any given time I couldn't tell you what the last chapter was I had been working on in my book, but I could tell you every one of his decathlon PRs. I couldn't have told you how many miles I ran over any given month, but I knew his class schedule. You see where I'm going with this? Because I always put all of my eggs in a Bandaid's basket, their every move affects me. I'm sure you're reading this and probably thinking, "What a hot ass mess," and you know what, you would be right. Before.... Winds are changing.
Honestly, my heart is still shattered. Six single months may not seem like a long time to you, but this is the longest I have been single in my adult life. This time, it's my choice. This time the hurt was so deep, and so debilitating the dating world seems unappealing. I've sampled it a bit here and there and met a few really nice guys, but I picked them apart, or I met some not so nice ones and they left on their own accord when they didn't get what they wanted. Here's what I'm realizing:
-I'm not ready.
-I'm not healed.
-I have too many bad habits.
-Guys are horndogs.
-Heartbreaks heal at a pace we don't have complete control over.
So, now that I've unloaded lots of my crap on you, I bet you're wondering what the point of all this is. I'm breaking the habit. That's the point.... In theory most say it takes 21 days to break or start a habit. Well, I'm one stubborn and strong willed hot ass mess (just ask my mother), so I'm going to double it. Here's the declaration:
For the next 42 days my focus will be on me. My life, my goals, my dreams. I refuse to add another Bandaid to my life list. I will give myself more time to heal while tuning out the loud voice nagging at me to fill the void faster. I will spend time with my friends and family. I will do the things that I enjoy regularly because I enjoy them. I will be alone, not lonely, just alone. I will read at least 2 or 3 of the books I have been saving. (Mr King is calling my name right now in fact). I will write. I will run. I will focus on my job and getting to that next step that will so drastically change my life. I will learn to love myself. That's the biggest AH HA moment of them all you know...when we get rejected we tend to be pretty hard on ourselves. When you are repeatedly rejected you can begin to believe it. I used to be very self deprecating, but that's because I allowed someone else's opinion of me define my worth. That is just so wrong! I mean, I'm pretty awesome and if you're reading this you obviously are too. When you learn to love yourself just as you are the right person will love you back. I truly believe that.
So 42 days of self focus and self improvement, that's a big deal. In fact, this is probably the biggest challenge I've ever placed upon myself. I'm committing to myself to break the bad habits while creating new and improved ones. I'm doing this for myself and my future Pee Mate who deserves a whole Jocelyn, not just the leftover pieces some asshole left behind. (Oops...my bad, my bitter is showing...guess I'll work on that too. I'm thinking yoga...).
I challenge you to look at your own life, single or not. We all have self destructive habits that we would be better off without. Look on the bright side, you're not alone. I'm here fighting my way through this as well. We can be self improving cranky messes together!! At the end of the day (or 42 of them to be exact), maybe we will be where we need to be or maybe we won't, but we will be a lot closer than if we just sat back and continued the bad habit trend. I don't have all the answers and I also don't expect Mr Right/Prince Charming/Christian Bale to come knocking on my door on day 43. You see, this isn't about him. Not at all. This is about me! (Although, Mr. Bale, if you're reading this, you've had a place in my heart since Newsies, which is basically longer than any other man so ...you know where to find me.) As for now, consider this my declaration of being single and not ready to mingle. So there's that.
The journey begins :)