How Being Celibate For 2 Years Changed My Entire Life
This wasn’t for religious reasons. This wasn’t some sacred vow.
This was something I did to teach myself.
To teach myself that the choices I was making were not wise. To teach myself that my decisions were not healthy. To teach myself how to be a better human, person, and partner.
I’ve written about my experience as the ‘other woman’ and the fall out from the affair that I participated in for many years.
But how does one heal herself after such a ruinous journey?
How do you recover from acts which hollow your soul and riddle your conscience?
How do you claw your way back from the darkness of poor decisions and into the light of a new beginning?
How do you redeem what seems unredeemable?
For me, the answer was to shut it all down. To take a massive step back. To hit the reset button on all of my preconceived ideas about love, sex, relationships, and trust between two people.
The answer was to go back into the womb of my own sexual identity and figure out why I was making the choices that I was making.
Why was I being destructive? Why was I engaging in risky behavior? Why was I choosing broken people who had not done the work they needed to do on themselves?
The answer is most likely because I hadn’t done the work on MYSELF that needed to be done.
Being celibate and not dating for two years changed my perception of what I thought I needed to be happy. I dove into that cliche of trying to make myself happy first — and I have to tell you — it kind of worked.
It was uncomfortable at first. I didn’t like the skin that I was in. I didn’t like the memories I had made at that time. They were dark. They were sad. And they were so lonely.
When you don’t like yourself you don’t take care of yourself as well as you should.
But I learned. I learned in time that I could make good decisions if I could just get out of my own damn way.
Distancing yourself from the kinds of questionable choices you made in the past and acknowledging that you need to make better ones going forward is a cathartic process of essentially owning your mistakes, carrying them with you, and living with them every day in peace.
Once you accept that your mistakes are a necessary part of you like an old scar, you can then begin to create something new out of those mistakes. Something better.
It wasn’t really the sex that I was giving up so much as the unhealthy connections I was forming through sex and the partners that I was picking to engage in it with.
When I cut out all of the noise that I was creating around myself with unhealthy people and decisions I was able to become more in tune with who I was and who I had forgotten I was.
Romantic Relationships can take a lot out of a person. Good OR bad ones.
Staying out of any kind of romantic relationship for two years really did cleanse my palate to make way for discovering myself again.
After I got through the awkwardness of literally crawling in my own skin I started to shed that skin which was making me feel so low and ashamed.
And when I did finally venture out on to that first date after my two-year hiatus, I knew who I was again. I liked who I was again. I was ready to be a healthy partner for someone.
So, did celibacy cure me of all of my sins? Probably not. Am I fully redeemed? I don’t really think about that too much…
I’m too busy trying to be a good human being going forward.
More from Michelle: The Day I Confessed To My Lover’s Wife