My kids were being silly the other day and one of them asked me if I was really thirsty, if I would resort to drinking pee. Although, obviously repulsive, I said that if a person were in a dangerous and desperate enough situation, they might do anything to help save themselves. I told them that it takes about a week to die of thirst, so someone trapped in the desert, without water, might consider it. Maybe they could try to filter it to drain the gross stuff and try to save their body. They ewwed, because gross, obviously, but were entertained. It sparked a conversation about doing things out of desperation and unusual circumstance, and making sure not to judge other people. I turned it into a teachable moment.
I thought back on it while doing the dishes later in the day, and I asked myself what I've done in my life out of desperation. One thing popped up immediately-- I have made a habit of taking less than I deserve when it comes to how I've been treated and I realized, that it's not because I was naive, or timid, or cowardly, but because I was incredibly thirsty.
I had become so entrenched with the idea of finding love that I threw myself into anything that felt love-like, even if it was disgusting. I had taken emotional abuse, shut down my own internal voice and told myself that at least I had someone to "love" me. I would take anything that I could get, even if that something was horrible for me in the long run, and made me completely miserable. I swallowed it up, happy just to be able to hang on for another day.
But little by little, I pushed my own boundaries, started to value my own feelings, and found a helicopter back to society. I found myself surrounded by people-- and not just anyone-- people who really saw me and validated my feelings. I finally found a clean drinking source, free of toxins. For the first time in my life, I've found true, honest, friendship and love. I feel whole. I'm happy. I am really, truly, loved.
And I'm never going to drink that piss again.