By Kenneth Stepp
I was speaking with a friend about the single life and the dynamics it brings. When I was married, I knew who I was in the eyes of my family. I knew I was loved and respected, I was stable because we were stable, and last but very important, I was accountable to someone. That’s all gone now. It no longer exists.
Being single brings a lot of things. It can bring loneliness, it also brings secrets. You see, what I do with whom or what is between myself and the person or thing I do it with. A great example is drinking. I know so many people who drink way too much. Why? Because they lack accountability to anyone else. It’s a, who cares mentality.
When I first became single, after my first breakup, I had what I call, my crazy year. One minute you’re chatting online, the next minute you’re ravaging one another in private. Why not? It’s just between us and it felt good. But this kind of behavior can lead to terrible things with terrible consequences. Disease, a much deeper loneliness I named aloneness. It can also lead to lower self image and many other things that follow.
I write for many reasons, one, it’s therapy, but more than that, I believe my writing helps others. I receive messages all the time reflecting this. For that reason, I must be honest and bring my secrets to light more than others. You see, I feel accountable to those that need me to be honest. Not something I expected when I began writing nor something I will ever be completely comfortable with, but will do anyway.
My friend I had this conversation with, is a girl, a very good girl with responsibilities and people who depend on her. Like me, she has done some things in the dark she’d rather keep in the dark. I believe all of us have these things. There were times when I just wanted someone to touch me. I didn’t care what happened next, I just needed that human contact.
What comes next? Those words always tell their own story. A man buys a motorcycle because girls like to ride. The reason he bought it comes from a place where other issues reside. If he has no accountability, he’ll drink too much one day and still ride home. Disaster waits for the unaccountable.
I’ve interviewed over 220 women. We have candid conversations about just about everything you can think of. From getting drugged at a bar and waking up half dressed in her car, to meeting a complete stranger for a liaison with desire. I can honestly say that during my crazy year, I left a piece of my soul behind every time. I doubt I’m alone in that.
Learning to be accountable to ourselves isn’t easy and there really isn’t a great self help book on the subject. Those moments when you want to say yes for all the wrong reasons. Without accountability, yes will always fall out of my mouth.
Today I am working on me. I am learning to discipline myself more as time moves on. If I overdo something, I catch myself and reign it in. I’m actually getting pretty good at it. It takes time, tenacity, and a desire to be a better me. I believe we all struggle with these things. I only mention a couple here. There are more, Amazon Prime, drugs, porn, etc. It doesn’t matter what it is.
When you see it comes from being lonely and unaccountable, it’s time to do a full stop and find that responsible human I know lives inside all of us. See you on the other side of you my friends. Good luck.