These writings contain my experiences and opinions. The opinions are personal in nature, not professional. I am not a professional; I have no degree. These are the insights I have gleaned from living four years in a polyamorous relationship.

Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.



State of the Union Address

I once again struggled with what exactly I should write about this month. I simply have no advice to give, this time around. Yeah I know; it's hard to believe, but it's true. As I wracked my brain and wracked my brain, I finally realized that while I may not have any particular advice to give, I do have plenty to say, and just maybe it will mean something to someone. If not, it means enough to me.

Iíve been rather closed mouthed about what happened between my family and me, and even tighter lipped about what happened between (ex) Hubby and me. This is because I donít think I was really sure what happened myself. After he and I broke up, I rapidly got caught up in a downward spiral. The spin was so fast, and the vortex so strong, that I had neither the time nor the energy to figure out much of anything. All I could do was curl around my pain and attempt to ride it out. Despite the best efforts of my friends to draw me out, I isolated myself in my apartment. The only place I went was to work. I didnít eat. I didnít sleep. I didnít communicate. I spent a large amount of time wondering if I was actually brave enough to jump off of my balcony.

Then I got damned tired of being morose alone. Not tired of being morose mind you, just tired of doing it alone. Misery does love company. Iíve always said that a clichť is a clichť for a reason. So out I went, trying to delude myself into believing that I was going out to have a good time, when what I was really doing was simply accelerating the spiral, and it was still going down. I found myself almost desperate to connect to someoneÖto anyone, and that, as you all know, is Not A Good Thingô. Boing boing boing. I was on a mission. A mission to find someone to make me happy. I damned near made the mistake of a lifetime with the only friend I have here, one that would have really screwed up a perfectly wonderful friendship. Luckily, he was thinking far clearer (and was, not to mention, far more sober) than I. Rescued from mistake number one. Barely even two weeks after that episode, I came damned close to walking out of a bar and into a hotel room with a complete and total stranger. I was once again saved from that particular mistake by a friend. Rescued from mistake number two. Then I became convinced that I should date one of the maintenance men on our staff. Why not right? I needed someone after all. Thankfully, I didnít make that mistake either. The difference being that I rescued myself from that one.

Thatís when the spiral started to reverse direction. I was heavy duty into counseling by this point, and with a lot of help, I realized that every action I was taking was done out of spite. Pure spite, and it was aimed at (ex) Hubby. I was dead set on hurting him as much as heíd hurt me. I wasnít even really acting at all, I was in reaction mode. I stopped. I did a LOT of painful soul searching. I admitted that I had been deluding myself for a very long time and that Iíd been quite unhappy for a very long time. Iíd purposely ignored all of the relationship warning flags along the way. And there were plenty. I just chose to hide them from myself.

I stopped hiding. I took full and total responsibility for my own part in everything that went wrong. I stopped running. And I stopped searching. I came to the realization that no one else could make me happy. I am the one responsible for my own happiness. I am the one responsible for meeting my own needs. I internalized that fact. I sat with it. I mulled it over. Then I became happy with it. For the first time ever, I had an opportunity to put me first. To find out who I really am. What I really like. What I really want.

I started to open up again, but in an entirely different manner. I started leaving the house again on the weekends, not to find someone or something, but to enjoy myself. To have a drink. To listen to live music. To chat with friends. I went back to the gym. I got out the pen and paper once again, or the keyboard as the case may be, but I started to write again. Thereís an author in my soul, and Iíd almost forgotten that fact. When I was feeling down, I reached out. I picked up the phone and called someone instead of trying to be the same old strong, calm, rational Anna that everyone has always expected me to be. Learning to reach out for help, friendship, support was a HUGE step for me. I found my laughter again. I remembered how good it felt to laugh over something silly. When I started living for me an amazing thing happened.

I stopped running, and I stopped searching, and thatís when something found me. I find myself laughing again. Hoping again. Feeling again. Feeling some things I never thought Iíd feel again and feeling yet others that I donít think Iíve ever felt before. I find myself looking forward to the future, as opposed to dreading it. I donít dwell over what happened anymore. Do I think about it? Sure I do. Sometimes it makes me sad. Most of the time I look at it so that I can learn from it and not repeat past mistakes. More and more lately, I donít think about it at all. The continual mind movie is officially over. Itís amazing to me how fast and how well Iím healing. Iíve got strength in me that I had no idea was even there.

I went to see my psychologist yesterday, and he proclaimed me to be "pretty much cured" or at least well on my way. He said that the change in me is nothing short of astonishing. I'm ready guys. Ready to move on with my life. Ready to learn and grow and love again. This time in the right way. Not because I need someone to make me happy, not because I need someone to complete me, but because Iím already happy, and Iím already complete. Now I want to share that with someone.

So for the long term future, we'll see. I have hopes. I have plans. Someday Iíll share those. For the short term future, it's off to visit with Pegasus and Renaissance Man for Christmas. Off to visit with a new and already dear friend as well. (I can't wait I can't wait I can't wait! Wheeeeeee!! Iím gonna freeze my ass off, but I still canít wait!)

I have no idea whatís going to happen, but I do know one thing for sure. It is possible to love again. But ssshhhhhhÖIím not saying that out loud just yet.

PolyAnna; November 07, 2006

PolyAnna is a contributing writer as well as a member of this online Community. She can be contacted here or through our message board Forums.

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