I’m losing track of time. My Facebook reminded me today that it was time to celebrate the anniversary of My Year Without Sex. I can hardly remember when it started. My life is as polar opposite as it possibly could be… in all the best ways. It has now been four years since I started this whole journey. Back then, I felt as broken and lost as any person could. Now, I’m whole, confident and happy. I have a sense of where I’m sailing, but more than anything, I’m just happy to be on the water at the helm of my own ship. I’m at peace.
Two pretty big events have occurred recently. Firstly, I finished the initial draft of my first novel. The biggest struggle was overcoming the voices in my head that told me I can’t. It took me nearly six months to tackle the final fifteen thousand words and three months to do the first eighty-five thousand. There was a block. I couldn’t do it. Finally, I gave myself a drop dead date of the July 31st. If I didn’t finish by then, I was never going to do it. That set the stage for the final battle with myself. Did I give up on myself? Did I give in to the voice saying it was just a pipe dream? Fortunately, I wasn’t ready to lay down and die just yet and I pumped out the last fifteen thousand in four days, like I was possessed. I came through for me. That was the lesson that became really clear this week – I can always count on me. That’s nice to know. It’s hard to know.
The second major event, is that I have a boyfriend. For real!! For purposes of this blog, I will call him Angus. He is wonderful. And everything happened at the right time and everything has been really simple… for the most part – battling personal demons aside, but I will get into those in another post. I’m so unbelievably happy that it is almost too much to bear… almost…
Which brings me to last night, when I had the strangest dream…
I dreamed that I had an affair with The Ex and got pregnant with his child. I talked to him about it and he said he wanted to keep it. We began living together with the child. I waited around the apartment with the child for him to come home. When he finally did arrive, he was carrying a pair of ladies’ boots. I knew that they belonged to another woman and confronted him. He said he didn’t choose this life and he wasn’t going to give up what he wanted to play house with me. I was devastated. I began screaming and beating on his chest, while screaming “I didn’t choose this. You said you wanted this. I gave up Angus for you. All I want is to love you.” – That was pretty much when I woke up.
I haven’t had a nightmare in quite some time, but that was the closest I come these days. When I woke, my chest was tight and I was panting. Even recalling it makes my chest seize up. It took a couple minutes to see the many meanings within the dream.
As I’ve said before, dreams about former lovers often signify a release of emotion. In the past year or so, all my dreams involving The Ex have ended with me telling him off or running away from him. All I can gather from this is that my subconscious is working out all the things I wish I had the opportunity to say in person, but likely never will. Therefore, they happen in the dreamscape. This dream plays to the feelings of abandonment I experienced by The Ex’s unwillingness to commit to the relationship.
It also brings up my feelings of unworthiness. In the dream, I left a happy situation to be with a man who didn’t appreciate me. I think that was the scariest part of the dream – the idea that I gave up Angus to be with The Ex. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. There is a part of me that struggles with the fact that life is so good right now. Whether it is waiting for the other shoe to drop or wondering how one person can possibly possess so much joy, I can’t say, but there is a weight to all this happiness that terrifies me.
The one thing I take away from these dreams is that I never back down. I always stand up and fight. I may never stop fighting these battles in my mind. I may never fully heal all those old wounds. But I know that I will never stop trying. I will fight for myself.
While trying to finish this post, I kept thinking: so what? What does this all have to do with anything? I think the greatest thing that I’ve learned over these past four years is that nothing comes without sacrifice. The new joy I have found in this new relationship brings the letting go of old dreams. The success I have found in work, has meant that I miss out on other life events, as I type this in my office while two of my dearest friends are getting married miles away. I’ve had to let go of dear relationships that turned toxic along the way. Make choices about what’s best for me, even if it was the harder path. With all the joy I’ve found, there has always been a price to pay. I guess, that’s why it is always important to know yourself, otherwise, you may discover that the price you pay is too high for what you get. One of the things I realized when reflecting back over those years I spent lost at sea, I came to realize, back then, I was so afraid to lose that I didn’t realize what it cost me to stay. I’ll never pay that price again. That’s what this journey has taught me. I choose me.