Thought Catalog
June 12, 2017

I Lost Myself When I Found You

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What is the issue?
Ian Dooley

I spent years living my life the way you wanted. As you made all your own choices, without taking me into consideration, I followed suit. If you wanted to move here or there, take this job or that one, I was just a step behind you. All I wanted was to make us happen and I was willing to give up all of my own dreams for you.

I was your number one supporter, your cheerleader, encouraging you to pursue whatever hobby was your current flavor of the week.

I did it because that’s what you do in a relationship. The problem was, you never did that for me.

You never asked about my dreams, never cared enough to know about the things that made me happy. Or worse, when I did try to tell you about these things, you told me I couldn’t; you told me they were foolish.

So little by little I stopped doing all the things that once made me feel whole. I forgot the simple joys I used to have. I lost my inspiration, my motivation. The things that used to light up my life were now being tossed aside to make room for you.

I purged myself of all my passions, the things that had once made me feel so alive. I was just hoping you could fill the voids I was creating.

Eventually I became a shell of the person I once was. And unlike what I had longed for, you would never be a replacement for the pieces of me that I had let go. I came to realize you couldn’t even fill yourself with the emotions one person should feel.

I was trying to take from someone that was only half full. Now I was living a life that was so far from my own.

And this is where the collapse happened. Sure we had other issues, but it killed me to know I had lost who I really was. When this set in, so did the panic and despair. I couldn’t believe I had let this happen and I was desperate to get it back. I threw myself into all my old habits, all at once, full speed. It was chaotic, it was messy, and it was futile. It felt fake and inauthentic while still being next to someone that would never want to understand the things I loved. It was obvious I was doing everything I could to feel something again but you couldn’t care less.

For so long I had clung on, grasping to those last glimmers of hope that you wanted anything but yourself. I wanted you to value my happiness, I wanted you to do what I had always done for you. But this would never happen, you would never step off the pedestal I had constructed for you. As you started to retreat, as it became clear that you would only ever think about yourself; I knew this was the green light I needed.

I finally walked away because I knew I would never find myself again within the fantasy world I had created for us. It was built with you in mind and no part of it had anything to do with me.

It was truly your game of Life and I was just a passenger there for the ride. But now it was my turn to spin the wheel. It was my turn to drive the car.

And as I did, as I took control, I found that the world started to look a little brighter. Suddenly my food started tasting better, the flowers smelled sweeter. I would wake up eager for my days and go to sleep feeling accomplished. My heart felt fuller than it had in years and it was filled with my own self-love.

I had found myself again in the pieces you left behind. TC mark