I have no idea if I’ll post this.
I have no idea if I can write this.
It was nearly two long years ago that I stopped my five years of a complete nomadic existence, hitchhiking and wild camping my way around 36 countries on next to no money. I had developed a severe coke addiction, which led me to return to Canada for a rather unusual detox with Iboga, one of the strongest naturally occurring hallucinogens known to man. I had decided, while still in Mexico, that this was in fact the end of my travels. I was ready to have a sedentary life. I don’t know what came over me, but I just sat in awe in my hotel room, realizing I was done. I never thought the day would come.
The Iboga was a disaster. For about two weeks, though, I didn’t use.
And then I met him.
We met on Tinder, and the conversation flowed so beautifully. We were excited to meet from the first chat. There was just one problem: he did, occasionally (or so he said) use coke. It was as “occasional” as my use had been. Which was anything but occasional.
This was a problem. On the one hand, I wanted to steer clear of coke. On the other hand, I desperately craved two things: to be loved, and I already adored talking to this mystery man, and in truth, to do coke one last time. Or three. Or five. Or a hundred. A part of me knew there would be coke, and it made him more enticing. Or was it less enticing?
Regardless, we met, and he was doing coke that very night.
After two weeks, I was back at it the first night we met.
And I never stopped.
So that’s my confession. I did not quit coke two years ago like many of you may have believed. It’s not that I lied and claimed to have quit. I merely omitted it. Besides, I’ve had writer’s block for two years, it’s not like I’ve said much at all.
Our relationship was a mess, and right from the beginning my mom told me what it would take me nearly two years and a breakup to realize was true: we were highly codependent.
What did codependency even mean? Were we not just completely in love, there to help each other every step of the way? Were we not just close? Was this not normal? It just felt like love.
His depression was the main point of contention with our relationship. While I have depression as well, mine was not as severe during our nearly two year relationship. But his was bad. He would lie around all day miserable, napping as much as possible (even though he often wouldn’t even fall asleep), grunting one word answers when I tried to speak about anything. His, “I love you”s only came as a quiet grunt, only if I said it first. Did he truly love me? I think he did. I think he was genuine. But he was troubled. To get him to the store was an ordeal which would end in a fight. The store was a mere block away. But it would always result in a small fight if I asked him to go with me. He tried various meds, but was never on top of refilling them or getting new ones when the current ones weren’t working (which they never did).
I had to do a lot of things for him. The budgeting, applying for income assistance, keeping track of things he needed to do to remind him, or, more often than not, just do for him as it was like pulling out teeth to get him to do anything. In turn, this caused me to become bitter and angry, and treat him as such.
I have to back up a moment here. I want to clarify something. I do NOT blame him. I do NOT think the demise of our relationship was due to him. I believe we both played a part in our relationship failing. I mention all of this because I have just started reading Codependent No More by Melody Beattie, and it is absolutely eye opening. I was very codependent. In my efforts to help him, I lost myself, I became more depressed, and I lost all hope. If I couldn’t help him, I thought, I couldn’t help myself. For if he was miserable, so was I. I loved him, but perhaps I loved him too much. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves, and even in love, there is only such an extent we can take care of others. If they won’t help themselves, we can’t help them.
He was such a good guy. He wasn’t a narcissist, or an alcoholic. He wasn’t cruel, he didn’t hurt me. When I was in pain he was always there for me, no matter how severe his depression. He was a downright good guy. An amazing man. A man I still love. In many ways I wish he had been any of these awful things to make it easier. But he just wasn’t.
Regardless, we couldn’t have worked, for he couldn’t care for himself, and I needed to take care of me first and foremost. Unfortunately, his mother is also a codependent, whether she realizes it or not. Between the two of us he was coddled unconditionally, and never had to figure out his own problems. He wasn’t thrown to the wolves, so to speak, which is what he needed and needs. It is very likely his mom will continue to pick up the slack where I left off, making it impossible for him to face up to his own demons.
I can’t help but make this post all about him, because he’s all that has been on my mind.
It’s been two weeks since he left, one week before Christmas, to the day. He hasn’t said one word to me, and I highly doubt he will read this. Perhaps that is for the best.
Today, however, I was walking to the post office, one of the few times I’ve left the house since the breakup. And I just thought to myself, “I am ready. I am ready to pick myself up, dust myself off, and learn to be me all over again.” For I met him not two weeks after my travels ended, and I never learned how to do this whole sedentary thing without him. I need to do this on my own. And, in truth, the coke problem remains. But I’m ready to quit, perhaps for the first time since Mexico. I am ready. And I’m not sure he was, though he was attempting for me.
I am ready to quit coke.
I am ready to be my own person, no longer codependent.
I am ready to find dreams and goals again, as they were lost after my travels ended and my coke addiction flourished.
I am ready to deal with my mental health and be the best me I can be.
I am ready.
I have one tattoo that represents my depression, a dragon, for I feel when I am depressed a dragon is breathing fire in my brain. But when I’m not… oh boy, I’ve got a mother fucking DRAGON on my side.
The dragon is on my side.
Here we go.