If anyone has ever read Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” he or she would know exactly what is meant by the title of my post. I can’t seem to escape CONFLICT. It seems built into the very fabric of existence. Whether I like it or not, life is about pain and suffering. Without being too metaphorical, it has occurred to me over the past several months that if I am literally having NO PROBLEMS with my love life, that doesn’t mean I won’t have problems in other areas of my life. Simple fact. But here’s more. I’d go so far as to say, if I have no conflict in my love life, the very nature of life is that I will have conflict in other areas of my life. It is a matter of logics. If this, than that… At least that’s what I’ve been thinking lately.
I’ve been thinking that I was really that stupid to believe that once I solved this issue of love addiction, my life would be perfect, and yet, it seems almost worse in many different areas now, more so than ever. And I am not sure if it is because I am FINALLY living my life and FINALLY have a career that I notice it, or if I inherently NEED pain and suffering to feel alive and because I don’t feel it in my love life, I create it elsewhere. Oh! I hope to God it’s not the latter. I have thought of this for quite some time now, though. Could I possibly be the type of person drawn to conflict, so much so that when it does not exist in one area of my life, I seek it out and create it in another area of my life?
Take for example grad school and teaching. Once I knew I didn’t have to worry about a man, I felt free to finally concentrate on my career. But instead of going into it slowly and carefully, I loaded myself up with far too much work that I am now rundown and stressed out, literally to the point of dizzy spells, crying fits and outburst of rage toward people like my brother, who pile more stress on me. Am I just not accustomed to managing my life because I’ve never actually LIVED my life? Am I just not acclimated to stress in general because, in the past, I’ve always run away from and avoided it?
In a good way, I am now battling the 500-pound elephant. But it is so difficult to do some days, that I want to crawl back in my hole and seek shelter again! Life is too hard. Whaaagh… This is how I feel. I become dizzy, sick, stressed, depressed, anxiety-ridden and worse, I believe that I will die at any second. SOmetimes, I even believe that D will die. Just drop dead in the midst of our beautiful love affair. It’s as if I do not believe nor understand that “happiness” is something accessible. It’s as if I believe more in the tragedy of life, than the beauty. Like all good movies, if the heroine falls in love and finally finds her hero, she must pay a heavy price for that love. He either dies, she dies, or she suffers in someway so as to offset the cost of her happiness. I know in my HEAD that real life doesn’t operate this way. Real life is tragic, indeed, and chaotic. But happiness is also random and chaotic and there is no “price.” Happiness is perspective. It is what you are willing to allow yourself to believe is good and deserved.
We say so often on the LAA boards, heck, I say it all the time, that everyone DESERVES love and DESERVES a good relationship and DESERVES to be treated well. But do I really believe it? Do I believe that I deserve this? If I did, would I constantly feel as though I needed to pay such a high price for it? If I did, would I be such a fatalistic thinker? Ugg. I suppose a large part of my growth in this department is not so much knowing that I deserve better and accepting a good man in my life, but BELIEVING that I have already earned it and that it is a gift that I am allowed to enjoy. I do not have to fall apart in other areas of my life as payment for my love life. But I do have to realize that I must work for everything. That things don’t come easy. That I AM CAPABLE of surmounting obstacles, but I must give myself more credit that I have been. Because I have never really worked for life, I never realized that stress is part of it. And that I must acclimate to this as best as I can. And I must STOP thinking in terms of Hollywood drama, that you cannot be in love unless tragedy strikes you down in some way. Not true! Millions of people are in love and it costs them nothing. It’s time to start changing perspective again.