I don’t feel alone anymore, and as trite as it is, it’s a really big deal to me.
A genuine sense of belonging and acceptance is essentially all I’ve ever wanted emotionally, and I’ve done a lot of fucked up things over the years in search of it.
A lot of really fucked up things that I’m not going to dwell on.
As a kid, I thought it was a profound personal failing that I couldn’t attain the sense of wellbeing I sought. I mean, what kind of shitty person doesn’t feel connected with their own family or friends?
When I got older, it didn’t concern me much where I might stumble across acceptance. I certainly wasted time doubting myself and attempting to make outward sacrifices in authenticity in order to feel closers to others.
It only startled me a little that I honestly wanted something so commonly coveted by others. If so many people wanted it, why couldn’t I find it? I thought I came close a few times, but I was forcing myself or trying to force others.
Being alone ultimately felt better.
I became much more concerned with being able to feel completely comfortable as myself than finding outside acceptance. I spent years emotionally inaccessible, resigned to the idea of being alone as a form of compromise, because I’ve never fully fit in with anybody. It felt like a complete waste of time to do a social song and dance I don’t value.
I know who I am predominately because I’ve spent years arguing with myself about who I should be. I don’t have all my shit together, but I’m okay with being alone with my thoughts. I’m okay. I’m damaged, but complete, and it was only when I knew that I was okay with myself by myself that I found someone else to be myself around who accepts me.
It’s not perfect, but it really is all I’ve ever wanted.
I think the glib paraphrasing amounts to the horrendous cliche: You have to love yourself before you can expect anybody else to love you, too.
You also have to field and process a shit load of fucking rejection, mutual or not.