Having a life of gratitude, something I’ve found is so crucial to maintaining a positive outlook in life, is the very reason why I began this Grateful Heart Monday series a good bit ago now. In light of that, what I’m most grateful for today is reconciliation that took place just recently with my dear friend Dexter.
Quite often, I’ve found on my sober journey that not all of my past addictive damage will get rectified even with any strong efforts I make to do so. Sometimes the damage I’ve caused upon another is permanent because the pain I inflicted upon them from selfish actions was just too great. Recently, I began to wonder if that was going to be the case with Dexter, which led me to having a ton of regrets about my addictive past and feeling a lot of shame because of it. So, I sat down one night and spent a few hours composing a heartfelt email, expressing an amends to Dexter, as well as letting him know how much I missed him. I had no expectation that he would even respond and frankly, I didn’t feel I deserved a response given all the ways I once treated him and given some of my recent actions surrounding his personal life that were me still being selfish. But, if there’s one thing I know I’m good at doing nowadays, it’s looking deep within myself and owning my shadows, my flaws, my shortcomings, and where I’ve been at fault, which I think Dexter truly felt in the email I sent him. Because I did get a response, which did lead to a phone call, which did lead to the beginning of reconciliation between us, something that really means more to me than I can put into words here.
Dexter has always been a very loyal, kind, and compassionate individual and is someone who stood by my side and unconditionally loved me when I didn’t do the same. We could have made an incredible couple if I hadn’t been so selfish and self-centered and caught up in addiction with another, focused mostly on pleasing my own needs, wants, and desires and often overlooking his. While I’ve always had deep feelings for Dexter, the life of an addict led me to be more in love with pleasing my addiction than him, especially in our early years of getting to know each other. I have often lived with regret because of this and have tried the best I can to forgive myself for the pain I caused him and for the loss of the partnership we should have had together. For years I tried to rectify this, but the pain I caused him made it very hard for him to forget the wounds I inflicted. Sadly, I made things even worse as the years went on by getting jealous of the times he explored new relationships with others. That jealousy came in the form of passive-aggressiveness and guilt trips that only drove an even stronger wedge between us. Thankfully, I finally saw the err of my ways and owned that in the email I sent him, which he felt both in it and in the subsequent phone call we had a few days later.
Losing Dexter permanently from my life would most definitely leave a gaping hole in my heart, like it has been with a few others who have chosen to not rekindle any connection with me. In all reality, as I said before, given how I acted over the years with Dexter overall, I actually more expected I was going to lose him too. But, Dexter is one of those rare individuals who have been willing to work through this and forgive me. So, I’m filled with gratitude today both for him giving me another chance and for God allowing this to happen, which is why I’m dedicating today’s Grateful Heart Monday to building a far healthier friendship this time around with a beautiful soul named Dexter.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson