Advice sad-woman-1

Published on February 12th, 2012 | by thevyne

5

He Was My Drug of Choice

By Chiquita Lockley 

As I sit here today, finally free of the elephantile weight I carried for too many years, I know exactly how a cleaned-up crack addict must feel on the anniversary of new life. There’s an unexplainable peace that has come over me, as lightweight and invisible as a saran-wrap cloak. I feel it even now. Thank you Jesus, I survived!

Oprah often says on her show that while many are addicted to substances that completely send their lives into a whirlwind, her addiction to food was no less volatile. I can say on today that my addiction to him had me completely strung out… out of my mind. Out. Those days, months, years were absolutely an out-of-body experience. Yet I remember every detail, every scent, every touch, every word… every wound. I remember it all- the highs that were higher than any height I’d ever known, and the daily chase to recapture that high when the lows tried to swallow me whole. I guess it was like that first hit of crack. I’ve heard it said that one can never achieve the high of that first hit, hence the unending quest to recapture that moment for those trapped by addiction. I feel the same way. I’m not in anyway belittling the very real struggle that many people have with illegal substances.  I just know that this path to recovery that I’ve been on was caused by what I consider my drug of choice- him.

I would like to believe that this love affair, if you can call it that, began with a mutual experience whereby we both felt that kinetic jolt of electricity shoot through our bones as Vanessa Carlton tickled the keys for the first song of what would become “our” soundtrack of life.  Or perhaps it was the late night/early morning chats we had when he couldn’t shake the demons that chased his soul and robbed his mind of rest.  Just maybe it was all of the time and energy that we both put into his dream as if it was “our” dream… That’s what I’d like to believe, but I know that that’s not when it happened. Not really. It happened when he confided his greatest fear and became vulnerable to me without realizing that he’d done so.  It occurred when he was up against the wall and I became that wall. I fell for him when, in the midst of all the drama going on in his life, he’d ask my opinion- genuinely wanting to know what I thought, and then take my advice. It happened on a bus ride in Texas the day that he finally came to terms with my method for loving. That’s when it happened… That’s when I made the choice to not only love him, but to be in love. That’s when I took my first hit, my point of no return.

So for the next few months, I lived in a state of drug-induced euphoria, with each text or call or visit adding to my high.  The people in my life who love me most saw the signs and tried to help, but it’s hard to help someone who won’t admit to having a problem. They saw that he’d cast a spell, and I’d been all too willing to fall under it.  They realized that he was definitely receiving far more than he was giving, since he was giving nothing. And deep down, I knew it too. My gut knew it.  There were days when my Spirit SCREAMED for me to wake up and run. I knew, but I just wanted one more hit. I kept thinking “maybe if I lose 10 pounds, he’ll love me more”, or “if I work harder on his dream, he’ll want me more”, but I knew deep down that there was nothing in me that could make a man who didn’t even love himself love me.  Yet I continued to tell myself that if I loved him harder, then maybe my love for him could compensate for the love he lacked for himself.  And so I loved harder. I squeezed harder. I think at some point I suffocated him, and he ran… right into the arms of someone else.  In what I thought was a move that would rob me of life, his intentionally hurtful words and behavior became the wakeup call I needed in order for me to acknowledge that I had a problem and do something about it.

Thus began my detox- a 12 month period of recovery and MUCH self-reflection. I had so many questions that only time could answer. I asked myself at least a million times a day: How could I, a 31 year old very intelligent woman, put myself in this position?  How could I let my life unravel to the point of rock bottom because of a man?  How could I allow myself to be treated and spoken to like I was less than nothing and had no worth?  I’d always been strong and independent, so how on earth did I let this man take advantage of my kindness to the extent that he did and never pump the breaks on our friendship, which according to him was actually a figment of my imagination and not at all a relationship of any sort?  How did I end up here?

These were the questions that replayed themselves in my mind on repeat all day, every day until I had what I guess would be considered an “aha” moment.  I decided that I didn’t want to be sad anymore about things that I couldn’t change, and so I pulled out my favorite cds, popped the “Purple Rain” dvd into the player, and became the host of my very own private party.  On that day, with 2 Krispy Kreme donuts in hand, I turned the page.  I pulled out my trusted Blackberry and wrote down all of the love and life lessons that the year had taught me, posted it to my blog, and shared my lessons with others.  Although I’m still learning and growing each day, here are some of the lessons that I learned:

*Life’s Love Lessons*

*Don’t offer your “private self” so freely to someone who hasn’t proven that he cares enough to take care of you.  (Don’t throw your pearls to swine).

*It is NOT ok to allow your mate to have sex with other women just because you feel bad about your abstinence choice being forced on him. If he can’t accept your choice as his only choice, then he is not the one.

*Don’t give the best of you to someone who’s not giving the best of himself to you.

*Don’t work for free. Period. If it’s your spouse, then perhaps. If not, then no indeed! It causes gray area.

*If he doesn’t explicitly state “I wanna be with you”, don’t assume that his actions are implying that he does.

*If he asks why you want to be with him, but he hasn’t answered that same question for you, do NOT answer! More than likely, he just needs an ego boost for that moment and doesn’t really care about your feelings… OR he’s bipolar and needs help that you are not equipped to offer.

*If he never says what you mean to him, it’s very likely that it’s because you mean nothing. Don’t assume that his silence has any significant meaning or that he’s just “not ready to talk about it because he’s dealing with
emotional baggage”. Accept that you mean nothing to him.

*Don’t EVER let him snap on you or talk crazy, using the excuse that “he’s just having a rough time or a bad day”. He’s having good days, just not with you, so accept it for what it is and recognize a manipulative liar for who he is.

*Never make his priorities more important than your own.

*Never allow him to shift the “blame” to you, making you feel that you’re inadequate. More than likely, that tactic is just a smoke-screen because you are getting too close to discovering his true self.

*Keep your spiritual gauge on the table. Listen to your gut instincts. If he isn’t interested in or never makes comments about a relationship with God, regardless of how often he goes to church, this is a sign that his priority
is NOT God.

*If it’s all “give” and never “receive”, it won’t get better later. It’s likely that he is selfish and self-centered, which is a character flaw that you can’t fix.

*If he doesn’t encourage you in your dreams and goals, forgetaboutit!

*If it’s not meant, let it go. Like for real, just let it go! Wish him well and release it so that you can move on into what God has purposed for your life.

*Don’t compromise your God-standards to win a man because there’s always going to be someone somewhere who can do it better, look better, cook better, etc than you.

*Laugh… A lot… It’ll make the good days great and the bad days…??? Well, laughing is like doing crunches, soooo, your waistline will thank you even on the bad days;-).

This is what I gained from my self-detox program.  And while I know that there’s a part of me that will always love a part of him, I am CERTAIN that I will never take that hit again.  With each single passing day, I’m better and stronger than the day before.  And on today I have the peace that I have and experience the immense joy that I feel knowing that I harbor no bitterness or ill-will towards him or our situation.  I have forgiven him, and I even pray for him that he finds love from the inside out—because I have.  I’m FREE!!!

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5 Responses to He Was My Drug of Choice

  1. Yasmine says:

    Chiquita,

    Your piece moved me so much I had a to reply. I am glad you are finally free and on the path to discover the path to discover the greatest love of all (Thank you Whitney!): self love.

    I am right there with you on lessons 1,3 and 5…after my last relationship, I promised myself to stop falling for the potential of a man/relationship and instead deal with the ‘now’ reality. That was one of my lessons:-)

  2. Cheryl says:

    Chiquita,
    My heart goes out to you. You went through a lot on this “leg” of your life’s journey, but….look how much you have gained! Wisdom, insight, self-love, confidence, self-efficacy, the ability to see things/people for what they really are. So many of us go through a whole lifetime and maybe only experience a small segment of what you have gained. Thanks so much for sharing your lessons learned.

  3. Dannie says:

    Shoot…did we date the same man? Lol! Great piece. I could certainly relate.

  4. Catina Buxton-Sease says:

    Chiquita,
    I must say I thought I was all alone. You have touched me in so many ways.
    Thanks for sharing
    , you just helped so many Queens.

  5. Latosha Frazier says:

    I really enjoyed this. You touched on a lot of things that I could relate to. It us so inspiring, I am going to share this with my family. Keep up the good writing.

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