• Ana Break

I Cheated and/or Everything is Actually Fine

The other night, I got a text from The Comedian. He said ‘hey, I’m driving through town tonight, would you want to hang out?’ [NOTE: “dtf” implied]. Now, this is somebody that I’ve only ever met once before. We had lived in the same city, even gone to the same university at the same time, but never actually met until he was in town doing a show a couple of years ago. We both swiped right. He came to my apartment. He was funny. [I mean, I’d hope so as he is a touring standup comic]. We had a lot in common in terms of identity and background and life experience. We had a nice time. It was very pleasant and comfortable. He didn’t stay the night. I was fine with that.

Later, we did become friends on Facebook and would occasionally comment on each other’s posts or chat a little bit about some funny thing or whatever, but that was it. He became like a friendly acquaintance, someone I know and have pleasant associations with, but for whom I harbor absolutely zero attachment or resentment or longing. It’s rather nice, actually.

So anyway, he texts me and asks if I want to hang out and then I have to make a decision. Ultimately, I’m supposed to be taking a Break from all of that nonsense, right? I told myself I would take six months. I wanted some time without anybody else’s needs or wants or attachments or resentments or longings interfering with my own. I wanted a hard reset. I wanted time in a bubble, time without bonds, freedom.

In that moment, though, if I was being honest with myself, I wanted him to come over and it didn’t seem like something that would set me back or hurt me or make me confused. So if it wasn’t going to interfere with my goal of having some time with just myself, why not do it, right?

This is a psychological process with which I feel very familiar. I go through it all the time, particularly with food. I have always struggled with food choices, overeating, eating when I don’t even want to eat, and eating things I know I’m not supposed eat specifically because I’m not supposed to eat them. I reach this space pretty often where eating becomes compulsive. This is especially true when I’m dealing with stress or difficult emotions or boredom. I think that’s pretty common, right?

I go through these phases where I do really well with eating. I have cut out sugar and dairy and processed simple carbs for long stretches of time before. It is possible. I have done it. I felt great, too. I noticed that my hair and nails got thicker, my skin was clearer, I lost weight, I slept on a regular schedule, I menstruated on a regular schedule, I experienced less inflammation. It was amazing. So why isn’t that enough to make me want to eat like that permanently?

It checks every box:

It is healthy ✓

I would be taking care of myself ✓

It’s more environmentally sustainable ✓

I feel great about it ✓

It is correct for me ✓

You’d think that would be enough, right?

Is it, though? Definitely not.

Why is this? Honestly I have no fucking clue. What I do know, though, is that food is more than just fuel. It’s more than right or wrong. It’s more than my body.

I’m not always sure about why I do it, but I know that there are times when I will actually be saying to myself “you shouldn’t be eating this, why are you eating this? You don’t even want this, etc.” AS I’M EATING IT. I mean like, I will be thinking those things as the bite is heading toward my face hole. It’s like I’m just watching it happen, powerless to stop it.

The same thing happened with The Comedian. I told myself I was going to take a break, but he asked if I wanted to hang out and I did. So I said yes, obviously. OBVIOUSLY. If I’m being honest, I knew I would. I knew that if the opportunity came up on its own, I would take it. Part of me was lying to myself about it, while another part of me was saying “that’s OK, if it doesn’t hold you back from what you’re trying to accomplish here, it doesn’t matter.”

Which leads me to this question: What the hell am I trying to accomplish here?

The parameters I set up for myself were: six months, no dating, no sex, no relationships.

My reasons were that I had become bitter and angry and distrustful and resentful. I was full of desire for these guys whom I loved, but who didn’t actually take care of me or themselves. [oh boy] I didn’t want my well-being in the hands of people who didn’t care for it anymore. I didn’t want to feel hurt anymore. I didn’t want to pine over some guy anymore. I didn’t want someone else to be the center of my choices to do something or not do something. I just wanted to be rid of the pressure of always thinking I should be on the lookout, always be hunting, always be checking or questioning whether somebody else might want me or feel the same way. I didn't want to chase anymore. I wanted to breathe for once. I didn't want to want it. I was sick of sitting at home and not being able to relax because I wasn’t doing everything in my power in that moment to look for somebody. After all, if you want it, you should do everything you can to get it, right? It’s the American way, right? It shows moxie and tenacity and bravery and all the other good things, right?

I don’t know, man.

So The Comedian came over. I asked if he wanted to spend the night because I knew he was on tour and always needed a place to spend the night. He said yes.

I did cheat on my break. But I didn’t hunt for it, it just came to me. I didn't want it, it just was. I didn't pursue it or feel pressure to find it, it just crossed my path. I didn’t feel any attachment or resentment or longing. I don’t have any feels for him. I didn’t mind him in my bed. I didn’t particularly like it or dislike it. It was pleasant. The skin contact was nice. It was a feeling I know and am comfortable with. It was neither exciting nor off-putting. His smell didn’t linger.

I’m not trying to make excuses. Part of me feels guilty because this Break was a goal I had and I didn’t do it. Another part of me realizes that this didn’t actually interfere with my own perception of my progress and I feel fine about it. There’s also a third part of me, though, a tiny nagging voice in the back of my mind that wonders about why I couldn’t stop myself. If I am being honest, again, even if I wanted to say no, I wouldn’t have. I was always going to say yes. I didn’t really ever believe for a second that I would have said no, that I could have said no. I don’t do what I think I should do, I do what I want to do.

If you thought this post was going to be making up excuses to justify my behavior....you'd be totally right.

I truly don’t know why. I think there’s something deep there, some reason or fear I have that sits like a wall between my comfortable brain and my brave brain. I can feel it there, but I haven’t ever breached it. I think I will have to eventually. Maybe that’s what this whole thing is about. IDK.


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