I sat at the dining room table across from my boyfriend a few weeks ago and listened to him tell me that he thinks I’m addicted to drama. I was shocked. Disgusted. How could he say such a thing. Me?!? Addicted to drama?!?! Absolutely not. But, for some reason I couldn’t get those words out of my head and I am still thinking about it. I’ve learned on this journey of mine that when I am that disgusted and irritated by something I must look into why it bothers me so much. This is what I’ve come up with.
I AM ADDICTED TO DRAMA
Yep, I’ve decided that the reason his words hurt me so much is because they are true. The truth hurts sometimes. What I couldn’t understand though is why. Why am I addicted to drama? I’ve thought about this day and night. Night and day. In fact my mind has gone crazy wondering how this could be.
I AM A PROFESSIONAL AT MAKING MESSES
I have been making huge messes of my life for as long as I can remember. I’m good at making messes. I make gigantic mistakes, I create drama in all areas of my life, I cause self inflicted pain, I create chaos. Then what do I do? I fix it. I put it all back together. I make it all better. I get tough and I make a plan and then I take action to fix whatever mess I made. I know how to get my kids taken away and get them back. I know how to total my car and still get around with ease. I know how to lose everything I have but somehow make it out better off than before. I know how totally f*^k up a job and have another one a few days later. I know how to create drama and fix it. You know what I don’t know how to do?
I DON’T KNOW HOW TO BE NORMAL
A few years ago I sat in a meeting and listened to a friend of mine explain how her day was going really well, in fact everything in her life was great, there wasn’t anything to talk about and that it didn’t sit well with her. The normalcy of life didn’t sit well with her. I’ve never forgotten those words.
If I don’t have a mess to clean up or chaos to calm, then I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know how to do NORMAL. My life has been a series of fuck ups followed by my incredible ability to put it all back together. My life is pretty normal these days. My kids are both home full time, they drive me nuts with their whining but nothing major going on with them (knock on wood). All my legal stuff is fairly simple, nothing to stress over. My jobs are going great as well as my nonprofit. I have some really cool stuff going on in the next few months. Plus a boyfriend who loves me and my kids. You’d think I’d be floating on cloud 9. But I’m not.
I remember years ago before I had kids sitting alone in my north Dallas apartment snorting lines of coke and texting a friend of mine that I’d known since high school, that boredom was my worst enemy. I hate being bored. After observing my behavior, it seems I’m causing drama in my relationship to fulfill a need to avoid boredom. A need to have a problem and fix it.
What I am also figuring out is I have major anxiety. One year ago, with the help of the doctor, I got off anti-depressants. I had either been drinking, drinking and on meds, sober and on meds, but never sober and off meds. I wanted to see how I am without alcohol and anti-depressants. What I used to call “breakdowns” were actually anxiety attacks. Walls closing in and feeling as if an elephant is sitting on my chest is normal to me. My anxiety is at it’s highest when I’m not in control. When I drank my anxiety melted away. Self medicating. But with the alcohol came problems, problems I was a pro at fixing, as long as it meant that I could still have my relief from the constant mind racing. Alcohol is not an option today. Instead I try to control every person, place or thing to keep the anxiety down. Mainly I’m trying to control my relationship.
IT’S NOT WORKING
I’ve never had a “normal” relationship. All my past relationships have been either soaked in alcohol or with men way older than me or both. Either way both types of relationships had lots of drama, I was never bored. I was either in control or I was drinking away the need to be in control. So now I’m in this normal relationship and I’m sabotaging it. I drive myself crazy! I’m not saying my relationship is boring. It’s not. At all. I make sure of that! On a serious note, my relationship is good, it’s exactly what I want when I’m not making things difficult. It’s crazy how well I can have my life together expect when it comes to this relationship stuff, I’m like a high school kid still. And I guess I kinda am in a way. I never learned to have a “normal” relationship without mixing alcohol into it.
I guess this part of my journey is learning or re-learning how to let things go. Let go of the need to be in control. I need to remind myself that expectations are premeditated resentments. I don’t always have to have my way, that was a tough one to type out. I have to remember that I’m still growing, I’m still healing, I have a long way to go and so much more to learn. In this case I have so much I have to unlearn. Like, I’m not the center of the world and relationships are about give and take not just take take take. I have years of toxic relationships to heal from, it won’t happen over night.
I have to remember to breathe into the anxiety. Recognize it and sit with and not let it control me. I need to remember that I am only human and so is my partner.