This whole site is a somewhat disturbing journey through my deepest psyche.
It’s the stuff I am working out — semi-publicly — and often, it’s unfinished and messy and confusing.
I write more than I publish. Narratives shift and change. Intervening events occur.
And some of it is really really really dull.
I like that it’s dull. It’s an indication of the fact my life is less chaotic.
I can take a step back and realize what’s really happening in my world and everyone else’s.
So, here is an update on Things.
I essentially have three relationships, which are remarkably similar.
LP — kinda my boyfriend, kinda my boss, kinda my client. Our life together is very loving. We have learned to forgive each other and to become more patient. Our fight this summer was a trigger event on my journey back.
TW — the Writer, also kinda my boyfriend. He is the most consistent relationship in my life. I talk to him every single day and he’s warm and loving and supportive. We have been battling for weeks about our relationship because, well, it’s sort of stupid in actual real life ways and not entirely healthy, and yet . . . I feel better about myself and who I am because the Writer is in my world. He’s a remarkable man and I love the time we spend together. And the sex is still great.
LDF — the Long-Distance Fling who was never a fling, who loves me and “wants to marry” me, is a constant source of joy and concern and also kinda my boyfriend. We have plans to see each other. We are in communication daily. I am as deeply in love with him as I could be given our lives, but he’s amazing and his loss is a void I feel every single day I wake up and his handsome face is not on the pillow next to mine.
As ridiculous as it sounds, I could marry the LDF. It could weirdly randomly work. We met and fell in love and figuring out how to be together when we are in two different places in geography and in life.
Since I wrote the above three weeks ago (December 1), the Writer and I split up.
We had been battling a bit about whether we see each other socially. I told him before we started dating that was important to me. But because of his work schedule and a life thing in his family, I had really only seen him for mid-afternoon trysts. We had drinks, gone to a movie, and hung out for an hour or two at a festival, but our relationship has been us talking All The Time but really only seeing each other mid-afternoon on workdays.
We finally started dating more publicly — a work function for him where I was extremely glamorous among extremely unglamorous people (hilariously) and drinks at my chic secret bar from a bartender with whom I have slept. And his wife shut it all down ten days ago.
They always had absolute unilateral veto, and she told him she no longer wanted their marriage to be open. It wasn’t just about me. The Writer had gotten increasingly sloppy about maintaining his happy home life, which was always the risk, and something I told him was extremely important to me.
So, he had to break up with me and whoever else he was seeing. It was painful. We are friends because we don’t know how to do it differently and he’s important to me.
When it happened, I told my girlfriends I needed to find a new guy to sleep with. They insisted I instead put my energy into the LDF, who loves me and wants to be with me. (As he told them.)
So, I did.
I started texting him more. I stepped up my game with him more, which had begun since he was here, but now even more.
The reaction has been wonderful. When I reach out to him, he reaches back. I forget from time to time that I am unlike anyone else he knows. I forget sometimes that he loves me for real. It’s scary to love someone, to give them access to your heart and your head. And, yet, we actually love each other. From afar, but sincerely.
He’s busy all the time, and he’s doing so well in his enhanced role. I am so proud of him, which I am sure to tell him. That I am thrilled for him and that I am proud of him. He’s proud of me, which he tells me. We are in weird ways moving on the same trajectory. Finally.
A few weeks ago, I was having drinks with my two best girlfriends and we made a commitment to ourselves to push through fear.
It’s really as simple as that: confronting what scares us, which is all exactly the same thing: some weird perplexing fear of rejection.
To celebrate my first year with the LDF, I decided to make a commitment to him to be more supportive of him and more engaged in the relationship. I really hadn’t been. Before he was here, I never realized he was serious. I thought the things he said to me were lines. (I mean, they were lines, but he meant it, sincerely.) I am deeply meaningful to him. He geniunely loves me and thinks I am hilarious and amazing and he cannot believe how fortunate he is to get to me with me.
Which is crazy.
Except it isn’t.
Over the past few months, I have gotten better. It started slowly, but it has become much more obvious to me long after it was obvious to everyone around me.
I am starting to live the life I am supposed to be living.
I am taking myself more seriously in my life.
I look healthier because I am healthier. In part, I am a little heavier. Still a 4, but my weight is up to 20 pounds higher than I like. Which means all of my friends are SO MUCH HAPPIER about it. Anorexia is a shitty thing to have to deal with — whether you’re the one who has it or the one who has to deal with the fact that your friend has zero idea what she looks like. It’s annoying for me and for everyone and many difficult conversations with the Writer involved his asking “did you eat today?” (Are you actually unhappy or is this blood sugar? Weird that’s an actual issue, but sometimes, it was just food.)
Because things are better, I am gentler with myself.
I am kinder to myself and to people around me. I am no longer entirely wrapped in my own (1) need to survive, and (2) crashing depression.
I am more confident and funnier and more commanding of attention.
My life is sort of public all the time. I go to parties. I go to events. I date prominent men. When you hear my name, among a certain group of people, it resonates.
The more time has gone on, the more I have decided to regain the spotlight. I am going to parties and events to be seen, to be photographed. I am in society columns enough they don’t ask my name when taking my photo.
I am able — by working my ass off and doing it all on my own business accounts — to afford to buy some new extremely discounted garments at a chic store (dresses 50% off of 75% off or like $15). I get invited to parties at the chicest spas, which means my brows look amazing. I work with the best salon in town, so my hair cut and color are remarkable and cost me nothing. I subscribe to one of those cosmetics things so my skin and makeup are extremely chic and awesome. Even my nails look fantastic.
One of my dear friends asked recently, um, what’s with the blue nails? I told him I am taking myself more seriously, and that means stepping up in every facet of my life, including wearing very eye-catching nail color, as if it is perfectly normal. It is the most subtle form of attention grabbing. You don’t even realize that you notice it, but it makes me stand out, even if you don’t exactly know why. (I have an array of colors that are all very current and interesting, again, thanks to spa parties and salon parties, and gift bags at events.)
I have even returned more often to the Chic Hotel Bar, though being there reminds me so much of the LDF it hurts. We text each other when I am there. He loves me. He misses me. He wants — I think — a life with me more regularly in it.
That means I am writing EVEN LESS here.
I need a place to work these things out. I need a place to interact with all of you. I just don’t know where that is.
I am making more money. Not apartment money yet. But rent money. I am renting a room in W’s house in the far suburbs, which means that I am taking two buses or rarely an extremely expensive cab to maintain my schedule. It is a respect thing. I am paying rent, and eating regularly, and dining out with my friends, and living a life I like. In turn, it makes me happier, which is garnering more money for me to stabilize my life.
Within a few weeks, I may have an actual job again, instead of the freelance projects I am doing. But, at the moment, I have enough money to pay my rent, and live my life, and keep my phone on, and — somewhat surprisingly — plan to see the LDF. He is here with me in three months for a whole week of very high profile events, to which I am invited.
In the interiim, I want to see him, on his turf, to cement what we are doing. He told me, as he hugged me tightly before he left me in the nicest suite in the chic hotel: “you have to come to [city], your husband lives there.” His parents are buying a house in the same ritzy small resort town in which my parents live. When I joked it will make holidays easier, he enthused “it will!!!!”
The better I am feeling, the better I am doing.
It is remarkable to realize just how long I was holding myself back. I was afraid of dying, of being actually on the street. This summer, I was actually hungry regularly. I tried to hide it all, which just meant that things didn’t quite make sense, but in ways people couldn’t identify.
You never think the highly educated, famously successful, attractive woman next to you is homeless and hungry, no matter how threadbare a particular sweater may be. There were signs, but for the most part, I overcame them.
But I knew, and I was constantly terrified until I became absolutely fearless. Losing what I thought was important taught me that I am the only thing that is. I am, my brain, my heart, my relationships. I would not have made it here without friends who are my family.
And yet, I had to save myself. With their help, but I still saved myself because I had to decide each day to get up and do it. To push through the pain and the fear and the hunger until it hurt less and scared less and got better.
It did get better.
It is getting better still.
Every single day is better.
I am a work in progress, but I am healthy. The healthier I feel, the better I am doing, which makes me feel better, which enables me to do better.
I laughed with my friend W this week that I am all of a sudden getting a lot more new business coming in. He reminded me that is how it works. You do good work, you get more work to do. You do that well, they tell everyone. Even W is hiring me for projects, which means even more people will because he loves the work I am doing for him.
I am more confident in every aspect of my life, and that means I have the ability to change what isn’t working. I have the ability to say to men, to clients, to friends, “No, that doesn’t work for me.”
Everything is better because I am healthier. I am on this path because I got healthy. It was slow and tough and the pressure was unrelenting.
But I am no longer afraid of losing everything. That already happened. And I survived.
Now, I am better and getting better every day.