A year or so ago I met a man at a cake shop. He was shy and sweet – pretty apt now I look back.

I became his “cupcake girl”. Cautious form the sharp and hurtful memories of all to recent past experiences, I took it slow. He made me a mixtape and dinner, held my hand and welcomed me into his life.

He had a tattoo over his heart of a man hand holding a mirror showing the reflection of a dead and dark skull. He wasn’t even the “tattoo type” if that’s even a thing.

Looking at his tattoo told me something about this man but I didn’t think on it too much. I was cupcake girl, and she felt great! Basking the in the warm rays of attention and validation I came to feel little bit more whole.

Every text and date was a little rush of confidence – an addiction I’d later realise I’ve been battling for a long time.

Eventually I decided to spend the night with him, confident in the fact that perhaps this man could give me what I needed- maybe even more?!

The next day I was confronted with a distant, cold and unavailable person and I completely fell to pieces. I cried in his bathroom, left and went to wallow on my friend’s balcony for the rest of the morning like the failure and fraud I was.

I felt sad for weeks because it made me confront the uncomfortable truth that was eating away at me. My self-worth was directly attached and proportional to whatever affection a man showed to me and I was addicted to it like a drug. In this case it was in the form of a man with a damaged, skeletal heart…

Cupcake girl was not someone I wanted to be anymore. I wanted (and still want) to become more than the sum of what others judge me to be. Secure, whole and able to spot the blazing red flag (or in my case the chilling black tattoo) telling me to run.

The hard part is getting there. What I’ve come to realise through therapy is that I’m not weak for being the way I am; insecure, unsure and confused. I’m not flawed because I’m not the confident and secure person I want to be just yet.

There is NOTHING wrong with me – I’m the completely natural product of my life experiences and my choices, especially the painful and bad ones, and so is everyone else.

But I’m trying to kick the habit and that counts for something! But like most addictions it’s not easy and I still get cravings but I’m still going clean with the help of my sponsor, therapist and friend.

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