I have a cactus on my desk at work. I got it for three reasons: first, I asked for the plant. The other two reasons were the person who gave it to me needed the space it was taking up and they wanted to show their appreciation for some work I did for them. The cactus is a small desktop plant and I was going to make it a “her” and name her Medusa as her little branches/leaves/stems (whatever cacti have) look like little, prickly baby snakes…but once I got the plant settled, I decided it was a “him” and named him Charlie. Charlie has survived a move, ridicule (a co-worker put a biohazard sign in front of him) and my black thumb. He now needs to be re-potted…he has grown and is thriving and is too big for his original pot. Except I have no idea how to go about the process, and he is a cactus….re-potting the plant will take up time that has to be off the clock and I have dealing with his bristles a source of discomfort.

No one likes discomfort and not many can handle it well, but we have to learn. Life itself is filled with discomforts and we all have our (multiple) turns with it. When we don’t handle it well, we like to say we are fucked up or this is how we have always been…as if we are unique or different in some way but all those are cop-outs. Not even excuses…cop-outs. An excuse offers an apology for certain acts or behaviors; a cop-out is an evasion. We use being fucked up as a way of saying we are not “normal” but here is the rub in that: none of us are “normal”…we are all fucked up and it is only the matter of degrees that we are able to hide and handle the issues that qualify us as “normal” or not. So those of us who use how we don’t handle  the discomforts of life very well to justify simply inexcusable behaviors are not fucked up…we are just  rude, self-centered people who want to play the victim.

Nothing in life starts out with discomfort…if it did, we would not be bothered with doing anything. Everything starts out fun, happy and with good feelings all around…it is only later when the play is gone and work has to be done to maintain and/or re-capture the good feelings…that is when the discomfort begins…and when play becomes work, it is no longer fun. I am not sure if this is making sense to anyone but me, but it is like that saying: work hard, play hard. When play is hard, it is work…and who wants to work at having fun? Fun should be effortless and easy…but discomfort comes with all things, even those  that are supposed to be easy and fun. Sometimes we are so used to things being a certain way that when they aren’t…that is discomfort out of the gate. No one wants to be outside their comfort zone in any form or fashion…hence air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter and pills for everything all year round…but how to deal with and work past discomfort? How to be comfortable in our skins again?

Unfortunately, you have to go through to get over. No one can wave a magic wand to make things all better….you can, however, take a pill. It won’t make the discomfort go away but it can make the process a bit more bearable. I know for me, with all I have been through in my life, I always have the same wish while going through a process: why can’t things go back to the way they were? I asked that question every day while processing through my addiction and learning to embrace recovery…once upon a time, I could not imagine my life without drugs being a part of it; now, I cannot imagine drugs having a place in my life at all, and today, what was once such a huge part of life (hell, it WAS my life)  is non-existent. I remember when Married Man and I broke up one time…I swore that this was the end of the line for us and I cried and cried. I took off work for three days, just being while I let my love for him bleed out from my broken heart, wishing things could go back to the way they were…of course, we reconciled and they did;  it would be another 3 years before I realized that whatever I felt for that man had left long ago and I simply did not want to deal with the discomfort of finding someone new.

This fiasco with Him has me feeling discomfort on all levels…. I still have zero levels of self anything and I am working on that. But it is also a blessing in disguise…since I have no self anything, I have no expectations of me or anyone I meet. So when I talk to the cute guys at work or flirt with men in the streets, it is just that: me being me, having a conversation and flirting. No hidden agendas, no thinking he could be THE NEXT BIG THING, no wondering am I pretty enough. In the beginning, I felt that I had to please people who felt I should be moving on and over him…but I am past that. I am proud of the progress I have made and Morning Person said it best…I fell for more than the superficial and went deeper than anyone expected; once the feelings resolve themselves, I will be a better, stronger person and him will be in for a world of hurt and loneliness. And the feelings will resolve themselves when they resolve themselves. No need to beat myself over having them or allowing others to do so…it’s a process.

I do not want to have to go through the discomfort of getting to know someone new….I am not in the mood to reveal myself to someone who may not understand or get it. I do not want someone who has not interacted with me before; I am too complicated and to try and explain who I am….impossible. I need to find someone who ‘gets’ me pretty much right off the bat or will at least accept that I am pretty much off the charts in a good way. Which is why I recycle relationships…no need to explain, start over or experience any discomfort…except that at some point there was discomfort; if there wasn’t, would we be recycling? So maybe there are levels are discomfort we are willing to put up with and we will suffer at the hands of someone we already know because we know the brand and levels of discomfort they will dispense? We all know the expression: better to deal with the devil you know versus the devil you don’t.

However, I am done dancing with the devil, and I am no longer wishing things could go back to the way they were (at least for today)….it is exhausting and I need a break. I am not going to lie…I do wish him would return…. but for what, I have no idea. Things would have to change because they were damn near impossible the way they were before. I do still love him, but I love me more today. Yes, the sex was great, but all that came between the sex was ridiculous…walking on eggshells, wondering how what I conveyed would be perceived, one week of “normal” behavior on his end, followed by six weeks of depressions and silences and the efforts I exerted to bring him back and build him up. Yet, all I had to work for, he freely offers the BTH and gives her even more than either of us ever wanted or expected ….and now I can only say there would be no them if there had not been an us first. And do you think I got a thank you from either of them? Nope….he leaves without a goodbye and she emails me at 1am to tell me I should happy for them. Really?  I say they are both ungrateful bitches. Their misery shall be my happiness.

I read something the other day: don’t love, can’t hurt….and it almost made sense for about 5 minutes. Then I realized, that is simply another form of discomfort…and have you noticed I am using the word discomfort instead of hurt? Because I don’t hurt anymore…I feel discomfort; I feel pressure versus pain and I think it is the healing taking place. I am NOT healed by any means but I am no longer in the ICU. But, back to the original thought…you cannot NOT put yourself back out there at some point in time….if you don’t, you will end up lonely or surrounding yourself with people who make you feel lonely because you are so desperate to fit in with anyone or anybody.  You can be alone while you suffer through the discomfort but natural instinct will take over and as people, we naturally do not want be alone; but discomforts, processes and life itself help you realize that time is short and our lives are finite so you need to be a bit more discerning as to who you share your time and your life with. And this is my time to be alone and figure out what type of man is worthy of sharing my life and time….to figure out who will be worthy of reaping the benefits of my current discomfort.

Okay, I have no idea how this post got here…it was just a bunch of random thoughts knocking around inside my brain while I was trying to figure out how to re-pot a cactus that has grown on me. I love my little Charlie and I have him being worth a pair of gardening gloves and a little discomfort…the end results are I won’t even remember the discomfort and he will be bigger, happier and around a little longer…which makes me happier. So maybe what I am trying to say is that anything or anyone you thought was worth it….maybe they were and the discomfort of adjustment and growing with them seals the deal on a good thing. And if  they weren’t worth it….the discomfort you go through  post-breakup prepares you for the something/someone that will be worth it. I hope so.


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