• Keegan White

Loving Myself Helped me to Receive the Kind of Love I Was Craving

When I first got sober, I was told to write down all of the things I wanted to accomplish or experience while being sober. I’d hear other members of the 12 step fellowship who had been around for a while talk about doing this exercise and far exceeding what they wrote down.

I took this task to heart and all I could come up with was love . . . because what I wanted most out of my sobriety was for someone to love me.Looking back I can see how deeply impacted by the loss of my mother I was and coupled with getting out of an emotionally abusive relationship, I just wanted someone to actually see me and love me.

That first year of sobriety finding myself in a recovery house after drug and alcohol treatment and finally breaking free that abusive relationship did something to my self esteem and ability to trust myself. I had a lot of work to do.

By the time I met Noel, I had been sober for 6 years, had been to several rounds of therapy to work through a good portion of my stuff and was in a place where I could finally receive the love I wrote about in my first few months of sobriety.The more we got to know each other the more I felt like he was my soulmate and that the Universe had made a point of bringing us together. We shared so many of the same values and had similar life experiences. I felt like I was in heaven when I met him.

Over the past 7 years we have helped each other heal and grow in ways that we couldn’t have own our own. We have also deeply hurt each other because even though we have both done a tremendous amount of internal work, we are still human. Learning to love each other through our mistakes has made us stronger.

If I had met Noel, when I first got sober I wouldn’t have been in a place to receive his love even though this kind of love was what I desperately wanted.I had to work on myself, heal myself from past experiences and traumas, and become a stronger woman. As cliche as it sounds, I had to learn to love myself before I could accept the kind of love that is unconditional, healthy, and drama free.

Learning to love myself meant forgiving myself for past mistakes and learn to look at them through the lens of compassion. Compassion was my greatest gift and tool to loving and forgiving myself.

Learning how to set boundaries, speaking up for myself and knowing my self worth as a human being, woman, and partner were key to growing my self esteem.

Loving myself prepared me for being able to love him and receive his love to me.

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