Without You, I Don't Exist
When someone else is your everything, and you cannot imagine your life without that person, it feels like you need that person to be complete. Without that person, you are nothing….or at least that’s what you think. Your constant thought is “without you, I don’t exist”. Maybe you have felt this way before, or maybe you are experiencing it right now.
When your whole world takes a turn towards someone you love, and then that person abandons you, your world shatters. All of a sudden, everything starts to lose meaning. You feel abandoned, vulnerable, and alone. You don’t know what to do nor how to act. That person was your everything… and now you feel like you have nothing.
“Depending on the person that one loves is a way of burying oneself in life, an act of psychological self-mutilation in which self-love, self-respect, and one’s own essence are irrationally given offerings.”
It is normal to feel this way. If you have shared your life with that person, you will feel their absence for a while. However…does your life and your existence depend on that person? What is this idea of “without you, I don’t exist”? At this point, we should think about the concept of emotional dependence.
My happiness depended on you
That emptiness we are talking about can enter your life when a loved one passes away or leaves your life. It may be a mother, father, brother, spouse, or close friend. It is something in life that cannot be avoided. Life circumstances, for whatever reason, have taken away the person that was everything to you. After this happens, it will take some time to be able to get back to normal and accept the emptiness.
However, what happens when a person who is a huge part of your life leaves it? What happens when your significant other is suddenly gone? In this case, if everything falls apart and you cannot move forward, you may be clinging to that person more than you should be.
It is impossible to keep someone by our side forever, just as we cannot pretend that all relationships are perfect. However, we cannot stop existing, stop caring for ourselves, and stop thinking about ourselves after that person exits our life. We should always think about ourselves. Even if you are with someone, never let your life, your happiness, and your well-being depend completely on that other person.
If you believe that is what true happiness means, you are sadly mistaken. You should be free, and be happy with yourself and who you are. When this happens, you can share your life with another person, but you should never give them the power to control it. Why would you all of a sudden let this person you love steal the wheel and sit in the driver’s seat of your life?
Maybe you have low self-esteem, maybe you are giving all you have. Maybe you are afraid of being abandoned and you need to anchor yourself as much as possible in the search for the safety and security you lack.
Although you are no longer here, I will not surrender
In order to free yourself from that emotional dependency, you should keep in mind the kinds of attitudes that block you from progressing. The first thing you should do is take care of your self-esteem. Love yourself and value yourself. You deserve it. Don’t put your life in anyone else’s hands. Only you have the power to decide its direction. What else should we keep in mind?
- Don’t allow your happiness to be centered on just one person.
- Don’t put anyone else’s desires before your own.
- If you only feel good when you feel loved by someone else, take time for some self-reflection and see if you can change that.
- Don’t accept being with someone who doesn’t make you happy, even if you know you will suffer without them.
- Never allow that person to control your life.
Many things can contribute to your happiness depending on others and not on yourself, as it should. It can be easy to confuse love or affection with need. This confusion does not usually bring anything positive, and the relationship turns into something not necessarily healthy. You should be able to be at peace with yourself without needing anyone else. Learn how to be alone, and through this teach yourself to not depend on anyone else.
“Learn to love without threatening your liberty.”
It is possible that you are afraid of being alone, but does it actually help to be with someone when you are afraid of walking alone? Maybe that other person will give you confidence and security, but the relationships that will be built will be unhealthy and destructive.
Don’t set yourself up to be unhappy in life, because it lies in your hands whether or not you will be happy with yourself. Free yourself from whatever is chaining you down and rediscover yourself and who you truly are. You are the only one who will never abandon you, and you will always be there for yourself at the end of each and every day. You will soon be able to say “without you… I do exist. Without you… I will still be me.”
Images courtesy of Mijail Khonch, Claudia Tremblay, Art Spheric