We have all been through a challenging relationship at one point in our lives, and the older I get, the more comfortable I become with being single.
After years of reflection and taking a break from dating and sex, I have realized the “why” underneath my reasons for needing time to myself, away from the dating or relationship world.
Each relationship we go through leaves an imprint on our emotional bodies. That first kiss, that first love, our first twin flame partner who drives us crazy—these are all pivotal moments in our lives that leave mental scars that are sometimes so deep, they leave us in cycles and patterns we are unaware of.
When I was younger, I dated a heroin addict who served as my gateway to trying heroin and other opioids, along with the already prominent use of uppers like cocaine on the weekends. I say this openly now, after almost a decade of reflection on my past relationships and the cycles and patterns attached with them. My series of romantic relations were built on incredibly unstable grounds of codependency and narcissistic abuse, a common thread that I witnessed during my childhood.
My strong mother who gave me the best childhood I could have asked for regardless of the bankruptcy and losing our home, regardless of the days of food stamps and collecting free boxes of food from church basements. She was independent and resourceful, but she was also a codependent empath. Of course I didn’t have this vocabulary back then, so when she leaned into a new marriage fresh out of divorcing my father, and moving to a new city, followed by a new state, the dark clouds of resentment toward her settled in.
I paint this picture for you so you can see how our childhood and family dynamics can make an imprint onto us—a mental scar, an emotional tattoo that we wear on our forehead.
But how exactly did that young girl get out of that naive and stuck place? Toward the end of the school year, my father found out from my school that I had been hiding a black eye for at least a week. My school was worried that I was being abused at home, so when my dad got the news, he immediately gave me the best ultimatum I could have ever asked for.
He gave me the option to go to art school in Florida and he would cosign for my student loans, or I could stay in New Jersey, but I would no longer have a place to live. It was the most clear and obvious choice I have ever had to make. There was no energy in my body that wanted to stay in my predicament. (To hear the deep dive about this, listen to my podcast episode all about it.)
Habitual and family cycles: breaking the patterns
You would have thought I had learned my lesson, and that my self-worth would have risen from that scenario, but that unfortunately wasn’t the case. This is common when it comes to the feminine collective and toxic relationships.
The habitual pattern of attracting toxic men into my life continued to follow me regardless of where I lived. So through college and after graduating, I went through several more “rounds” of relationships that broke me a little differently each time. I had the awareness of what was happening and the negative impact that was connected to my relationships, but I needed help in order to break off that cycle for good.
Our upbringing can impact the way we view ourselves, our self-worth, and the type of relationships that mold our lives. Through years of therapy, yoga, meditation, and shadow work, I have been able to see my life from a larger lens, get tactical advice and ways to integrate it all to allow myself to step out of the frame, and enter into a story that I can rewrite and mold to cater to the new soul I am today.
Not your typical teenage activities
Instead of hanging out with my friends and doing what teenagers do, my nights and weekends had been controlled by what he needed, a constant fix. We would drive into one of the worst cities in the country to score drugs, and our evenings consisted of cocaine and heroin on an almost daily basis. This was the new normal, and I didn’t know any better.
The codependent in me just wanted him to be happy because that meant I was safe and good. Sooner or later, he also became mentally and emotionally manipulative, and as mentioned earlier, physically abusive.
Tracing addiction to the beginning
It’s funny, because when I think back to my substance abuse trail, it started when I was 14, with diet pills or caffeine pills that gave our little bodies the high it was looking for. That transformed me into a young high school student sniffing Adderall off bathroom surfaces in coffee shops during innocent art shows or open mic nights. That high was only a cry for help, an escape, a blindfolding of what pain I felt within my being that was all connected to that confusion about how things went down in my childhood; the abandonment I felt, the resentment and anger I had toward my mother, what felt like a ripping apart my family, and the lack of honesty I felt from them from such a young age.
The truth is, as kids we don’t know how to properly analyze what happens in our young lives, so we soothe, hide, find ways to diminish the pain, and be a “good girl.” And by being a good girl, that means: be happy! Don’t be angry! Don’t yell! Basically, don’t express your negative emotions. So, of course, that leads a child or teen down a dark road of self-medicating in order to live out that socially acceptable calm, not angry, not aggressive, not depressed person.
Finding meaning and medicine within the darkness of our lives
By the time I was 22 years old, you name it, I had done it. Drugs, abusive relationships, toxic sex, binge eating, purging, starving, overexercising, self-harm in a myriad of other ways. This is what I call the entire trauma variety pack of confusion and low self-worth.
And guess what? I’m glad I lived through that suffering because each day I get older and find meaning in the darkness. I find synchronicity within the dark rock bottoms. I find the alchemy and medicine within the harsh life lessons. We can transform our messy and beautiful breakdowns into medicine for ourselves. It’s a testament for us to see how strong and empowered we are.
So through my mental health journey, the highs and the lows, what I have learned is that it’s not my fault for what has happened in my life, as it happened for me, not to me.
After tripping over rocks and stones for two years through a Saturn Return, Dark Night of the Soul, rock bottoms, and a handful of emotional breakdowns, I realized what my mission is. I created my podcast to help others find that inner power within the hidden dark truths and meanings of the variety of rock bottoms, the terrible breakups, the addictions, and phases of crying on the floor for months and months.
The isolation, the depression, the panic attacks—they’re all moments threaded together in this fabric we call our lives and we don’t have to ruminate on what was, instead, we can use it as fuel to see how strong we are.
If online therapy is something you feel you could benefit from, check out Better Help and use this link for a discount.
Check out the podcast episode below and click here to subscribe to The Vibe Within for more episodes about mental health, spirituality, synchronicities, rock bottoms, and relationships.