admitting you have a problem is the first step


ok yeah, lot of directions i could go here.
but here goes.

(if i were this cute, i wouldn't BE single.)

i am todd whitley and i am single. rather, i am alone.

i was chatting earlier with a tweep and I made the statement

for me, being out of a relationship is what it must be like when an addict has to go with out the booze or heroin…

i suppose that’s why i’m having such a hard time right now. (well, one of the reasons.)

let’s get this clear, though. i asked to be single. i behaved in a way that derives a single outcome. and regret causing pain to yet another good person.

but i’m glad i’m single.

really.

it was time.

in fact, it is time.

but singlehood is about as foreign to me as being straight was.

no wait: it’s even more foreign because at least I had 37 years of practice trying to get that one down.

excluding the my first 2 years of college, i have been single less than 12-13 months in the last 23 years. ONE YEAR single in my entire adult life. the last time was just 2 months.

perpetually out of one frying pan [or other appropriate metaphor] into….yeah.

now: i don’t regret these relationships because each of them—from the first experienced as an innocent to the most recent experienced through the innocence of someone else—taught me something about life.

but for several weeks, i’ve grappled with this unsettled feeling and this hunger i have (careful people). but it wasn’t until about 15 minutes ago that it hit me: it’s been about three months since i became a single and i’m getting that old familiar itch. (NO! not THAT one. OK yeah, maybe that one too.) kinda gettin the shakes, people.

you see:

  • i don’t like parties of one, particularly in restaurants or in bed.
  • i don’t like fifth wheels, especially when i am one.
  • and i rue being the awkward single—and now we can add “older”— man alone at the bar or in the movie theater.

i’m learning to do those things and be ok with them. (four weeks ago I actually went to a movie by myself–only the 2nd time in my life!)

actually, I think that was like advanced singlehood stuff—like step 3 or 4 and i did it. but that doesn’t mean i liked it. it was rather like doing something else you can do by yourself but it’s really more pleasurable if you’re doing it with another person. [ok potty-brains: i’m talking about baking! geeze!]

solitude in my household—now i could get used to this. particularly not having to tiptoe around the feelings of a hyper-sensitive, well-meaning but incompatible companion. or one who is violent. been there, done that, have the scars.

but I digress.

i am single.

and I feel quite alone.

BUT

i’m resolving each day to accomplish something that puts me closer to goals i have set for myself. what better time to be out of a relationship, to give those things—and the ones who need my attention this next year—priority.

i have close friends but they have lots going on that keeps them more than busy. and i don’t need “babysitting.”

i have this amazingly huge, out-of-state family (CA! NY! NC! FL!) but they all have their own hectic lives. i try to remember that they probably feel as neglected by me as i do them. that’s just how life works. (thank God for The Facebook or we’d never see or hear from each other!)

but it’s not their responsibility to “complete” me, either.

in fact, the great experiment i’m forcing myself to undergo here is learning that NO ONE can complete me.

nor should I expect him to.

i have to find it here

[points to chest]

within my self. and those of you who know me even a little bit understand the struggle this represents.

and when i am ready, the Universe will cause my path to intersect with that of someone truly remarkable, who will bring resonance to my life, flesh to my desire, warmth to my touch, and companionship in my ongoing journey.

[some of you reading this have provided some of this for me through the years—but you know what I’m talking about and i know you won’t take offense.]

so here I sit with my knock-off, homemade Key West Mango Margarita without the mango or the cute little umbrella and resolve that

  • i will be single.
  • i will remain single.
  • and I will be ok.

that I will accept this state and its intended purpose in my life. and do something productive with this time.

heck! i’m almost to Lost season 4!

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18 thoughts on “admitting you have a problem is the first step

  1. The last time I was suddenly single, a friend sent me a .wav of Barbra Streisand singing “Free Again”. I’m not sure if they still have .wav files but this is Babs on Youtube. Enjoy being single while you can, Todd (I sure as hell did! 😉

    • thanks my blog mentor (http://gaygroom.wordpress.com) for commenting and for the encouragement. i suspect i’m not really one of these “enjoy being single” types … but what’s the converse, to just whore around…? wait…perhaps that was your point??? hahaha *cheers ya canuck! 🙂

  2. I understand what you mean completely. I know what your going thru. After my first relationship, in high school, it took me 9 years to start again. Then 2 years after my second one.

    • apparently getting into “the next” relationship is not my problem hahah it’s: WAITING. 😉 thanks for the comment.

  3. It seems that you and I are at a cross roads of sorts, being our age(I know I have a few on you) I have found all of my life being the one who liked being alone or rather, without a relationship. I had friends and family, when I didn’t want them around, they weren’t. It’s a Cancer trait of the protective shell, don’t let in, they can’t hurt. Now as I grow older I find that I long for a someone to hold, wake next to, laugh with, caress, love. I know the waiting is the hard part of the lesson, but you are a hopeful romantic, your passion will never stop searching for that love as will I. Take this time to find the happiness that lies within but seems to evade you at this time. BTW, want to catch a movie Wednesday night? I’m down for it. Peace find your mind.

    • what a lovely, heartfelt comment, skooter. pleased to have your friendship as we learn contentment with today and search for “the one.” 😉 we’ll catch that movie soon…. best // t.

  4. Great post! I can related to a lot of what you said here. I have had a few dry spells between relationships and during each period it seems I handicap myself. I become home bound and refuse to do any social activity without a group of familiar faces. I went to a movie alone for the first time about a year ago and to my surprise it was not as bad as I had imagined.

    • thanks for sharing your story in your comment….i was shocked to find that seeing a movie solo didn’t kill me hahah take care

  5. Wow , My friend!!! What to say to you?? Truest statement, That you have to be happy with yourself first !! I know all to well how hard that is, but i know you can do it! We love you and will always be there for you! I look forward to watching you grow and living through all of lifes greatest adventures with you!!

    • i’m workin’ on that being happy thing! 😀 gotta get that right! 🙂 appreciate your love and constant friendship my special friends….

  6. In reading the blog post I get the feeling you did a lot of ‘soul searching’ on your life. I dont think any of us enjoy that ‘alone’ stage in between relationships, but sometimes it can be good and maybe you appreciate the next relationship a little more because of it? I think sometimes you were putting too much pressure on yourself and I think what you laid out in this blog post makes sense for you at this time. I hope your search does come soon because you deserve it.

    • i think you have a point: i really haven’t done enough soul searching! i believe i’m a relationship person tho not perfect AT it. being WITH someone feels comfortable, familiar. and affirming (that’s my addiction! haha). i’ve never lived by myself…even when i was briefly single, i’ve always had my kids around (and will for at least another year). so i have some things i need to learn and experience…if i can keep my “relationship addiction” in check. 🙂

      thank you, derek, for always being such a sweet and encouraging friend!

  7. I feel so sad to know you wrote this yesterday. If only we could have been together on that last day of my 30th year..but sigh..not about me..about you! You are right, we are unable to complete you (i.e. your family,) alas though, that is not what I necessarily want to do with you. All I would like to do is give you a daily hug..a real one, not a virtual one. Doing this will help you remember although you have no beau in tow, you are not single, you are independently self sustaining. You are walking, sometimes running and sometimes sauntering through this windy, bumpy, unpaved, pot hole ridden road we call life. And..I might add, doing it well, whether you don’t see it or not. You are. I must say, as with each new blog post that I read of yours. You impress me. You write from the heart. Your heart bleeds onto the computer and it makes me feel, it empowers me. I recommend if you haven’t done this already to reread through your blog posts, as you write them, and look at the posts from an outsider’s perspective. Realize how strong you are, realize the decisions you come to through your soulful outpouring and realize big brother how absolutely amazing you are, single or otherwise.

    • sweet, sweet sister…. i’m not sure what makes me smile more broadly and chuckle more deeply…. the sentiment expressed by your reply, or the thot of you wishing i were there to celebrate such a momentous occasion by your side. alas, i’ll have to go with the former! 🙂 (i am SO ROTFLMAO right now!!)

      ahhh dear Jenn…in complete seriousness: how i’d love to see you and the others (there are so many of us) on a daily basis–heck, even monthly would do! your words strengthen me and reassure me what my thoughts sometimes tune out: there is strength in our people. we all of us are strong.

      you know, i’ve felt alone my whole life even though i never really have been, especially not now. your place here in my life encourages me and brings me great joy.

  8. oh T! how i wish you loved yourself more! it’s a hard thing to do; i struggle with it myself. but, at the risk of sounding cliche, you really DO need to love yourself before you can love someone else.

    i love you so much…..enough to make up for your not loving yourself enough. but even after you are able to, i will be here for you.

    • i’m working on it!!! 🙂 thank you sister, and i suspect we’ll still be loving each other when we’re in the home together!

  9. i just love ur blog; ur an inspiration to all gay men who arent teens; writing from the heart and all; that u share ur angst is so helpful to us

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