Secret confession: I am kicking a habit of drugs. Hold your gasps, I’m not talking about the narcotics kind, I’m talking about the boy kind. Let me explain to you the “drug” kind – also known as the “bad boy”. Often attractive, charismatic, popular and fun; guys want to be his friend, girls want to date him. Like a peacock, he knows how to best display his heavily ornamented train, puff out his chest and shake his tail feathers as he tries to attract a female peacock to mate with. And likewise, to attract the “drug” or “peacock” there are certain ceremonies the female has to partake in as well. Dress a certain way, flirt a certain way, look a certain way…
The “Drug” kind of guy feels good when you have its attention, its eye… and when you don’t; you are left craving and yearning for your next fix. You know in your gut that it’s bad for you, but the desire to have that moment of pleasure, that rush, is so overpowering that you make decisions that are against your rationale anyway. And as your friends are all shaking their head at the cycle of abuse you’ve signed up for, you can’t help but shake off that dangerous allure of the bad boy – their “I don’t care” attitude, their alpha male confidence, their unavailability…
Throughout the years, my same “drug” experience with this type of man has repeated itself in my life. To them, I’m just another high – when you provide them pleasure, they like you, and when you don’t, they don’t care for you. In my experiences this type of man gave me a strange feeling of validation, of being “special” – because out of everyone who showers him with attention in the crowd, he “picked me”. However, the primary reason why he liked me in the first place was due to the “Siren” extension of self I exuded –an Amy that is glammed up, ultra confident, flirtatious and sexy. And while I am busy maintaining my “ceremonies” for attracting, so is he – with his ego and alpha male extension of self – both of our alter egos doing the flirting dance.
Then there is another kind, the “Vitamin” kind. This person has self love, and therefore is able to give and receive love. He isn’t looking to you to fulfill him or provide another exciting rush or chase. He sees you for the beauty beyond your shell – your essence (which is a constant) and is patient and understanding throughout your various extensions of self (which is always changing). When you’re around him, there is a sharing of an honest, sincere and positive energy. It’s healthy for you and whether your experience with this person lasts for just a moment or a few years, your heart and soul are left just a little more joyful because of them.
Seems like common sense doesn’t it? But to this very day, my attraction to the “drug” still exists, and probably always will. It’s not easy changing patterns – the justifying, the lowering of standards, the cycles of abuse/mistreatment that we suddenly tolerate as a norm. But, while the draw may always be there to some degree, my decision to delve into it once again and allowing the high to inhabit my headspace is a conscious choice. Now I’m asking myself different questions before making my decisions. Instead of, “Will this feel good/exciting right now?” I use the following question as my guide: “Where do you want to go, and will the decision you’re about to make take you one step closer in that direction, or veer you off your path”?
It was fun while it lasted – the drugs, vitamins, Tylenols – heck, the whole gamut – but I’m quite ready to retire from the unhealthy choices and the excitement/ drama that comes along with it. I’m able to recognize the reality right away versus before, when I’d visualize a fantasy of what could be and believe I could actually tame a wild horse. There are consequences of grasping on to the temporary highs – not just the pain, but eventually, a chipping of self esteem, self worth and standards. You also get into such a pattern of the exciting bad boys that you may overlook and miss opportunity to the real gems out there…the Vitamin Kind.
Photo credit: Andreas Feldl