September 19


“Do not hold your breath for anyone,

Do not wish your lungs to be still,

It may delay the cracks from spreading,

But eventually they will.

Sometimes to keep yourself together

You must allow yourself to leave,

Even if breaking your own heart

Is what it takes to let you breathe.” ― Erin Hanson

This is a heavy piece of writing, but so necessary, when we are discussing freedom. The freedom to make amends and let it go is absolutely one of the most beautiful benefits of being in recovery, in my mind.

I must first acknowledge that I have been missing in action for several days. That said, I want to write about this wonderful piece. We don’t always know when to call it a day in relationship. Sometimes we cannot walk away, sometimes we won’t. There is a tremendous lack of self-respect in staying where we are not wanted or needed. Most of us are in this position throughout our lives, sometimes more than once.

We allow ourselves to be held hostage to what “looks” right or good or because of what others might think. This is horseshit. And it does not matter if we do it for family, friends, co-workers, bosses, the government or whomever we believe we need to shapeshift for.

The ability to believe that this is what is necessary to maintain that relationship (aka: hostage situation) is the first step in anger and rage that can blow up the world.

Every inventory we will ever do is based on our expectation of someone to be who we think they are supposed to be; or theirs with us. And we call it “love” to do this. Parents, spouses, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, bosses, employees; it doesn’t matter the role we serve. If it is done by losing some aspect of ourselves, it is wrong.

It will be necessary to step away from relationships with people who do not value you or some aspect of your life. The only reason we do it is to appease the ego and its demands that we be “liked” by others or some other crazy notion. The truth is, they don’t like you anyway. If you have to be other than who you are, they don’t like you or that would not be the case. They only need you to reflect some version of themselves that is not in existence.

Even then, NO ONE respects us when we become that kind of a doormat. If we do it for money, there is a word for that too… it is whore. If you sell yourself long enough and lose all sense of self-respect, it is sold too cheaply. Happens all the time. Now you are a cheap whore and you know it. Funny thing is, the ego tells us it is their fault. Oh!

I have had the good pleasure to walk away from significant relationships, jobs (a lot and you all know it!), friends, sponsors, sponsees, family, you name it. Toxic is toxic. There is no combination that works to become healthy. And where there is no respect, there is nothing. No half-measures here either. No results from “wanting” to work it out. BS!

And the one thing I don’t agree with in the writing is the last bit, it is NOT a broken heart that is happening when we extricate ourselves from the claws of insanity, but a broken ego. The heart is singing joyfully that it is on its way to a happier, healthier way of being in this world. And is entirely free at last!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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