The good thing about getting older is that I’ve learned what my bad patterns and habits are. Unfortunately, there is a huge difference between knowing what they are, and knowing how to stay the fuck away from people/situations that trigger my patterns and habits.
This is just a fancier way of saying that I will still be going on a date with the Arab (which is not good) but I’ve more or less stopped obsessing about him constantly (which is good). When I start to obsess about him, I know I’m doing it, and I’m able to get outside my head a little and observe the obsession, and ask myself what it means.
The only downside to this is that I then start to obsess about the fact that I’m obsessing, if that makes sense. I’ll catch myself obsessing, and then I’ll try to think and analyze my way out of it. For most situations in life, I would say that intelligence and intellect come in handy, but I’ve learned the hard way that both these attributes are utterly fucking useless when it comes to addiction and obsession. You absolutely cannot think yourself better.
A few days ago I found myself on my meditation cushion obsessing about the Arab; and then I found myself obsessing about the obsession, beating myself up for not being able to control my thoughts better. I was disconsolate, but then I decided to ask God/My Higher Power/the Universe – whatever the hell you want to call it – to take this obsession away. I actually spoke the words out loud. There wasn’t a huge flash of lightening, and the obsessive thoughts in my head didn’t – poof! – disappear to be replaced for evermore by serene, happy ones. But my thoughts did quieten down considerably.
This is what people mean by “letting go”, I guess, and by “handing it over to your Higher Power”. Before I truly understood what “handing it over” meant, I always thought it was a bit of a cop-out really. It seemed to me to be just an excuse for bad behaviour, a way not to take responsibility for yourself. I still think that sometimes but, honestly, I’ve reached a point where I don’t really fucking care about the million and one intellectual arguments I could come up with against the concept of “handing it over”. I’ve reached rock bottom, and I have no option but to try it.
The interesting thing about the situation with the Arab is that I’ve spiralled in and out of obsession with him for about three months now. There was a time when I’d come into work, and I’d be literally holding my breath as I logged into my computer to see whether he’d chatted me yet. If I did receive a chat message from him, I would then spend ages agonizing over what would be an appropriate amount of time to wait before chatting back. At a certain point, however, I lost interest in him, and the obsession disappeared. The fact that it has ebbed and waned has taught me that it is not fucking real. I am not genuinely interested in him as a person.
What is it then that I get out of these obsessions? It’s hard to say exactly but I guess I use certain men the way alcoholics use booze – to forget about the present moment. Most of the strongest obsessions I’ve had have been with men who have something about them that hints at adventure and excitement – something that allows me to escape from the humdrum drudgery of my daily life. I wasn’t obsessed with MM because, well, it’s hard to get lost in a fantasy about somebody where you are whisked off to the…..Midwest. But, well, the Arab….I see myself flying myself flying across the Sahara with him on horseback, his dark eyes flashing in the sunlight.
Keep in mind that the dude, like me, works in a fucking cubicle, but that little inconvenient fact doesn’t get in the way of my obsessive thoughts. Poor guy. When I think about how much I’ve built him up and how much he’s going to disappoint me when we finally meet, I actually feel sorry for him.
It makes me sad that I am not able to connect with men (or at least those men who are potential love interests) as real human beings. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to have a committed, honest, open relationship?
I don’t know the answer to that question. All I know is that right now I am going to meditate for thirty minutes and put all such thoughts out of my head.