January 2000

FIVE LESSONS LEARNED (I'm Still Working on the Sixth)

By MrPostman

It's been a real hectic year. It's had its ups and downs. For the most part you guys have been there with me through it. I've learned a lot, and I hope this next year will be that much better because of what I've learned. Looking back, I see I have a lot to share with the world, and I thought I'd share some of those things with you as they pertain to B.T. and I

Lesson #1-Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.

Man, I've done a lot this year. I went to my first rave, I joined the school choir (who would have thought I could sing), I let my grades slip (oh no!), and I've just lived life. Cool stuff and some stupid stuff, I suppose. I've gotten my act together, but let loose more than before. I'm tired of letting my life be run by everyone else. I'm going to do what I want to do. I know you can do the same!

Lesson #2-You can know a person better in a moment of honesty than ever in lifetime of lies.

On Thursday, June 3, 1999 I came out to my best friend and the crush of my life, B.T. He became the single person to know me completely. It's amazing the bond that can form when you're completely honest with someone. I encourage you... find someone trustworthy who you can be completely real and open with. You'll never regret it.

Lesson #3-Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a tear.

Man does it ever. B.T. repeatedly stated that even though he was my best friend, he could never love me in the same way. He was not gay. But he continued to lead me on. Flirted... cuddled... joked about us being together. Somehow I believed that there was a chance that maybe love would grow. Even though there were ups and downs... times of great happiness and others of deep depression, I still saw him every chance I had. It got to the point where at 1 AM on November 15, 1999, we had a little "make-out session" and other "encounters." That was the last time I saw him. I've called him several, times and he refuses to talk. He's hurt me too much... I love him dearly, but I'm done. I've shed enough tears over him.

Lesson #4-Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart, but if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours.

Love is a beautiful thing. I'm not so sure that I'll love anyone as much as did B.T., but I will fly again. I'm going to someday look back on the pictures and the trinkets that I've kept to remember him with joy and happiness rather than the pain I feel now. I'd never trade what's grown in my heart while knowing him. Maybe I'd trade the pain, but never the memory.

Lesson #5-Passionate hearts are destined to be broken...

Let's face it. Love hurts sometimes. I know. If there were one statement that I can summarize this year with, it'd be this lesson. I'm a very emotional person, and I attached myself to B.T. When it was time to move on, it hurt to detach myself.

This excerpt from Melody Beattie's THE LANGUAGE OF LETTING GO really helped me out. Perhaps it will help you out, too.

Sometimes, as a part of taking care of ourselves, it becomes necessary to end certain relationships. Sometimes, it comes time to change the parameters of a particular relationship.

This is true in love, in friendships, with family, and on the job.

Endings and changes in relationships are not easy. But often they are necessary.

Sometimes, we linger in relationships that are dead, out of fear of being alone or to postpone the inevitable grieving process that accompanies endings. Sometimes, we need to linger for a while, to prepare ourselves, to get strong and ready enough to handle the change.

If that is what we are doing, we can be gentle with ourselves. It is better to wait until that moment when it feels solid, clear, and consistent to act.

We will know. We WILL know. We can trust ourselves.

Knowing that a relationship is changing or is about to end is a difficult place to be in, especially when it is not yet time to act but we know the time is drawing near. It can be awkward and uncomfortable, as the lesson draws to a close. WE may become impatient to put closure on it, but not yet feel empowered to do that. That's okay. The time is not yet right. Something important is still happening. When the time is right, we can trust that it will happen. WE will receive the power and ability to do what we need to do.

Ending relationships or changing the boundaries of a particular relationship is not easy. It requires courage and faith. It requires a willingness on our part to take care of ourselves and, sometimes, to stand alone for a while.

Let go of fear. Understand that change is an important part of recovery. Love yourself enough to do what you need to do to take care of yourself, and find enough confidence to believe that you will love again.

We are NEVER starting over. In recovery, we are moving forward in a perfectly planned progression of lessons. We will find ourselves with certain people-in love, family, friendships, and work-when we need to be with them. When a lesson has been mastered, we will move on. WE will find ourselves in a new place, learning new lessons with new people.

No, the lessons are not all painful. We will arrive at that place where we can learn, not from pain, but from joy and love.

Our needs will be met.... be grateful for middles, endings, and new beginnings.

Lesson #6-...Broken hearts will be healed.

I know this is true. I'm just waiting for the truth of it to kick in. I'll let you know when it does.

MrPostman is better known as Nick. Check out his poetry in this month's POETRY section. He's into theater, music, and dancing. E-mail him at pobox469@hotmail.com HAVE AN AWESOME 2000!

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