Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Dope Box

Relationships are a lot like recreational drugs. They both make you feel good, make you forget the outside world, and help you not be alone during the bad times.

Consequently, coming off them is also very similar.

For example, it's a week, a month, or even a year since your breakup. You think of something that you know your ex would appreciate and you pick up the phone to call them, only to remember that you can't. Because you broke up, and, for whatever reason, are not on speaking terms.

It sucks.

Sometimes the craving to call them is so bad, you have to call someone else, anyone else, just to get it out of your system.

Just like drug withdrawals. Instead, they are person withdrawals. Your brain is still programmed to want to share your life with that person, and it's hard to resist doing so.

Fortunately, just like drug withdrawals, it gets easier over time. You find comfort in other things and people, hopefully healthier outlets, and the desire to call that ex dulls, and the pain of not being about to do so eases. Every once in a while, you might still get a craving, but they pass quickly. Of course, it's hard to remember in the heat of a particularly poignant craving, but it really does get better.

Another similarity is the dope box. For a recovering drug addict, their dope box might include a marijuana pipe, a joint roller, a syringe, or whatever paraphernalia their particular addiction required.

My dope box is a little cedar box that contains a year's worth of love notes, and probably should contain a certain pair of earrings. Of all the things I've collected from boyfriends past, these are the things that are just too personal to actually use or display. I do have some gifts for boyfriends past that I have out or use, like some jewelry, a book, a glass sculpture, and they often do remind me of the ones who gave them to me, but not like the notes or that pair of earrings do.

And I just can't bring myself to get rid of it.

Like a successfully recovering addict, I have no intention of doing anything with the items in my dope box. Every once in awhile, I might see it and read an old note or two, but I mostly keep it tucked away, with a mental note of sentimental value and a reminder of how far I've come since then.

I miss the writer of those notes sometimes, but I don't crave him anymore. In fact, since the writer leaving on a mission was the reason we broke up, I was prepared in advance for the relationship's end, which could be likened to a nicotine patch or a step down program, if I were to keep making the metaphors.

Incidentally (meaning I was planning this post before I found out), the ex I was most addicted to just got engaged, and I'm feeling rather unsettled about it. I don't want him back and I don't usually crave him specifically anymore, but it's still weird. It also means that all of my ex-boyfriends are engaged or married, leaving no one in the same single predicament I'm in. That probably deserves a post on its own. Also, sadly, the version of this ex that I know wasn't ready for a temple wedding, and hearing that he's getting married in the temple, I don't really believe he's ready, even though enough time has past that he could be.

You can, honestly, be addicted to anything - food, drugs, sex - anything that stimulates the pleasure center of your brain. As always, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.


TRS said...

I understand that.

I have an ex who just had a baby with his wife. The guy was pretty much a player when I encountered him... (mocked me for wanting marriage at all - and particularly with him ) So it blows my mind that he's settled down and started a family... when I... who wanted that all along... have been unable to attain the same.

It's weird.