It is often said that people do not change. I think we do. Maybe our essence stays but we grow. If we want to. I am not even sure about the essence bit. Maybe by changing we just uncover what was already there?
I know that I have changed. Dramatically. For the better. Those who have known me only in the last 10 years will have noted a change in my weight and they way I dress. Those who have known me very much longer will have noted far more extensive change. No stutter. A positive attitude. Happy disposition.
For those who read my thoughts and are also in the recovery process, you need to know that as you change, so do those around you. By that I mean that you will have different people around you. You will repel some through your change and attract others.
I know that for me, I have gained new friends. I have lost old ones who cannot deal with the new Colin who is not helpless, easily manipulated, always agreeable.
At first I was resentful of the clearly altered relationships with some people. I could not understand how they could not like me now that I wasn’t scared all the time, not harming myself, not having panic attacks, not being so needy. It seems those people could only relate to the unstable, needy me I used to be and they too resented the changing relationship.
I no longer have some of those people in my life. Those close to me that have stayed have stayed because they truly wanted the change FOR me. It seems they always saw thru my damage to the real me.
I do have trouble with being compassionate towards myself sometimes. I cringe when I remember how I used to be. How I let people use and abuse and manipulate me. I was so convinced I was bad, I never ever thought others might be coming from a place not so good and they did not have my interests to mind at all. Put simply, if you hit me, I would wonder what I did wrong. It never occurred to me that you would hit me just because YOU were the problem!
I have been shocked and saddened to discover that one or two people whom I thought really cared for ME were amongst those that did not and have now left my life. Once a persons true colours have flown, there is no going back.
There is no need to spend time hurt and resentful over these lost friends. Yes, feel it at first but then let it go. To me, I always come back to what I DO have. Not just the good friends in my life but most importantly the new ME. A me I can live with and be at peace with. A me no longer self harming, running scared, and being the yes man.
I would not trade that for anything. Not friendship. Not love. Nothing.