The search for success...

“First start with doing what is necessary. Then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
--St. Francis of Assisi

You’re in such pain right now that you feel like you’ve just gone through surgery without anesthesia. Someone has removed your vital organs and you are gutted. Weak. You feel like a ghost wandering in the fog. Every step feels like sandpaper scraping against your raw skin.
You want someone to tell you that you’ll feel better soon. That you will get over this. That there is hope that you’ll really meet your prince or that the frog you wasted so much time spinning over will change, come flying back into your arms begging your forgiveness and you’ll live happily ever after. You are surprised at how much you want to wish that could be true. But you've read too much now, and you know it’s crazy to “want” your tormentor. Why do you "want him" so? You feel that question holds the key to your very soul.
You are glued to the board, to The Path Forward Forum, filled with sorrow, confusion, doubt. Wounded.
You want these feelings to stop and success stories would really distract you from the hurt and confusion you feel stuck in. You want it all NOW because the “now” you’re in feels like hell and hell is where you’ve dwelled for so long. You want to fastforward to the happy, fulfilled part.
Instead, the Mods on the board talk about “doing the work” and “fixing yourself” and “looking within” and “read, read, read.” Ugh. Another thing you must “accomplish” and “endure” when it’s already so difficult to lift your head off your pillow each morning and slog through the day.
Through your tears you start to notice the strength in their voices and you like the sound of it. You see how cut and dried everything seems to them. You want to be like them but you’re afraid. To be like them—which means healed—you have to give up all your clinging to and dwelling and obsessing about him and how could he do this and that and maybe he’s not really disordered and maybe you were too mean or not good enough and you’re just not sure you can do that. You think “What will life look like when I let go of all this?” A scary thought because it’s scary stepping into the unknown.
You wonder how the Mods can sound so strong and confident, you sort of remember what it was like to feel that way a long time ago. You want to get there immediately because the pain and confusion is relentless and you’re fucking sick of it.
You read posts from others, too, and realize that they’ve been out of their “relationship” for months ...some for years. This frightens you. It’s also scary to think you’ll still be this affected by a hollow mask-wearing destroyer for so much time to come. Ugh! More to consider when you just want to jump right to success.
You slowly begin to pay more attention to their posts and the tone they take. You see that some of them are jovial...laughing at some of the stuff they put up with and some of the antics their particular freak of nature pulled. You see that they have a ready response because they’ve been there, done that and have the scars to prove it. Except their scars are now a badge of courage. It inspires you. And then you realize that’s what success is.
The success stories you’re looking for are all over the board. Lisa and the Moderators’ posts’ and blogs, the compassion of members, the community building and sharing, the mere fact that the forum draws so many to heal, so many who have come and gone and so many who stay or check in periodically to help and encourage others all spell success.
You realize “success” doesn’t lie in hunting down non-existent validation from an abusive freak, or in finding another relationship or man or woman to fill the void. Success is finding yourself again. Finding your voice and liking the sound of it. And so you start to shift the focus off of your pain and onto really trying to listen. And share. And to risk letting go of all you used to believe to take a leap of faith.
You start to understand that you have to write your own success story. You have to find the success in every choice, in the sharing, in the knowledge that if you continue to work the steps and choose yourself, you can attain your goal of healing and happiness.
You get to work. It’s a long process. It’s tough. You cry a lot and don’t feel so hot quite often. You keep going. Yoga. Meditation. Smiling at strangers. Going out of your comfort zone. Being scared and going for it anyway. Reaching out to old friends. Being kind to others. Cooking for yourself. Living in the moment. Finding reasons to laugh. Taking care with your appearance. Reading self-help books. Listening to music and dancing like a lunatic alone in your living room...A promise to do just one good thing each day...
People start to notice and respond. People start to say you’ve changed or that “you’re back!” and it feels like a light is shining.
You’re almost “happy” again, for the most part, and not the least concerned about finding a “relationship” anytime soon. Then a chance encounter at a grocery store turns into a long term friendship/relationship that’s fun and actually hot! You attract other friendships that are interesting and exciting. Life is an adventure and you’re amazed at how shifting the focus really works. You look at what you have instead of what you don't.
Is this success? You wonder. All you know is things are really great. Your life is better than you ever thought it could be and ever dreamed it would be. Somehow, you changed the script. Broke out of the destructive pattern and began creating something good. One choice, one thought at a time...


To my sisters and brothers in this amazing community, start to focus on your success now if you haven't already. Commit to it and stick to it. Change your thoughts, change your life. It really is that simple.

Most sincerely and with deep gratitude,

(not) spinning. IT IS A CHOICE AND I CHOOSE ME.

Oct 3 - 12PM
MyTurnToBe Free
MyTurnToBe Free's picture


Oct 3 - 12PM
sallym's picture

the search for success

Feb 21 - 6AM
Toni's picture

Spinning (not)

Mar 15 - 2PM
brokenacc's picture

God is good

Feb 15 - 4AM
Janakita's picture

This is beautiful Spinning!

I can relate to your experience- this is food for the soul to read. I love the Assisi quote and "success is finding yourself again. Finding your voice and liking the sound of it." And I'm so glad you're not Spinning =) Thank you for the warm welcome, and Happy
Jan 20 - 1PM
Run4it's picture


Thank you.
Jan 20 - 11AM
Maggster's picture

wow the tears are pouring

wow the tears are pouring down my face. I feel your hopefulness. Thank you!
Jan 4 - 10PM
sista's picture

Thank you!

Thank you!!!! I look forward to the healing when I too can see and feel more than the hurt and the pain!!
Dec 23 - 1PM
Lisa E. Scott
Lisa E. Scott's picture


OMG, Spinning - this is amazing and so inspiring! I love this: "You realize 'success' doesn’t lie in hunting down non-existent validation from an abusive freak, or in finding another relationship or man or woman to fill the void. Success is finding yourself again." "IT IS A CHOICE AND I CHOOSE ME" Thank you so much for sharing your incredible wisdom and insight with all of us! You are beyond inspirational, my dear friend. xoxo
Dec 23 - 3PM (Reply to #9)
Goldie's picture

Beautiful inspiring post Spinning

Thank you for another great post Spinning. I love it, it's a choice and when we have had enough, we chose recovery. God bless, Goldie
Dec 23 - 8AM
Anonymus's picture

NOT spinning

You have no idea how much your words have meant to me... This brings hope and optimism in times when these are lacking. You are an example (NOT) spinning, and one I wish to follow. Hugs and have a very happy christmas!! C
Dec 22 - 8AM
wannaletgo22's picture

I love this

thank you!
Dec 21 - 9PM
Done sourcing
Done sourcing's picture

What an awesome Christmas

What an awesome Christmas gift you wrote for us here. That says it all so clearly and so well. The pain and suffering looks so impossible to endure, and digging out of the rubble so endless and sometimes seems so pointless because nothing goood is waiting on the other side. In other words, there are times when being new at this really sucks. But I notice that when we post on the 1-3 forum we get response, so when new we get lots of feedback and support here, and I know it really really helped me with my lonliness and with my feelings of not wanting to be judged by my friends anymore for being obsessed with this mess. Anyways Spinning, great post and Happy Holiday to you! ds
Dec 21 - 6AM
Used's picture


This is so AMAZING AND SO TRUE.... You have gone step and every emotion I once felt. I even used to go to bed and never want to wake up, and never DREAMED that one morning I would wake up and think SOD THIS...I am getting dressed up today and going out, He drove me mad when I was with him, and now I am letting him still drive me mad now I am not with him... Its time to get me BACK....and I have. Has it been easy?...NO sometimes the depression was better than the ANGER Iused to feel when I got another LIGHTBULB MOMENT OF HIS LIES.....but with the help of the boards, some members and THE MODS NOW...... I have made it...there is life after the narcs, and it is a CALM CONTENTED FEELING... I know my part as well, as to why I am drawn to these toxic people, I have worked out all the why,s and wherefores,ALL DATING BACK TO CHILDHOOD ISSUES.... I NO LONGER CARE ABOUT THE CHILDHOOD PART, THAT TO ME IS AS DEAD AS THE NARCS.....My days begin and end with me, and the bounderies and lines I have now put in place.... It will not happen self esteem is in place, in part when I was asked to become a mod,ON THIS BOARD THAT IS THE BEST ON THE NET....My confidence is at its highest, in that if I need to say no now....THEN I SAY IT....NO I AM NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THAT...IT HAS BECOME MY MANTRA.... IT IS HERE TO STAY....NEVER AGAIN WILL I COMPROMISE MY ETHICS FOR ANOTHER HUMAN BEIGN.....I WILL NEVER FORGET EITHER ,HOW I NEARLY WENT UNDER, THAT WILL STAY WITH ME FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE..... LOVE TO YOU DEAR SPINNING, GOLDIE, HUNTER, AND JOURNEY, AND ANYONE ELSE WHO HELP ME GET HERE....THANKYOU..XXXXXX
Dec 20 - 11PM
bgirl's picture

I read this everyday. Thank u

I read this everyday. Thank u :)
Dec 20 - 10PM
Run4it's picture

Needed this

Thanks Spinning (not)
Dec 20 - 4PM
Hunter's picture

Excellent, my friend!! Oxox

Excellent, my friend!! Oxox
Dec 20 - 10PM (Reply to #1)
Narcbuster's picture

It would be fun if we could

It would be fun if we could all dance together like lunatics!