I spent 24 with a covert narcissist. This was after growing up with a covert narcissist and an alcoholic. I am 6 years, 3 months from the date my covert narc moved out, and I believe I am now in the final stage of recovery. Of course I thought I was in the last stage about a year ago, but apparently, this is the gift that keeps on giving and there is one more stage: living the new life. Sounds ridiculous, I know. This is what it is like.
Six years ago I crashed on a deserted island, & here is what happened.
Basic Survival. I spent the first year learning how to survive.
Accepting my new reality. Year two was spent walking around in a daze, day by day gradually accepting the fact that this new island was my new life.
Building a New Space. Year three was spent building a shelter. All alone, I learned how to create a shelter that protected me from the elements.
Establishing a New Normal. Year four I spent prettying up the place, and establishing a new routine. I became comfortable in my shelter, and I created a life. I established a daily schedule including exercise, gathering food, exploring my new surroundings, and meditating on my new life.
Tweeking this New Life. In year five I woke up and looked around and, instead of sinking into the next stage, I decided it could all be a bit better. I redecorated, rearranged, reestablished everything. Busywork.
Living Forever. In year six I woke up one day and started to cry. I hadn’t cried in 2 years, so it seemed out of place. I couldn’t figure it out; why was I suddenly crying? I had my shelter, I’d worked through the loss/separation of my old life, I was surviving and actually thriving as well as I could in this new place. What the hell was wrong this time?
One day I sat down and looked around at all I’d built. I marveled at myself for the strength it took. I admired my resilience, my ingenuity, my tenacity, to make this new life for myself. And it dawned on me: now it is time to live. Now it is time to live this new life, day after day after day after day.
Honestly, when I first landed on this island I felt fairly sure, in the back of my head, that none of it would last very long. I was bound to die quickly, so really all I had to do was fill up my days with necessary busy work and wait for the day I didn’t wake up. But that day never happened. I woke up.
That is where I am now. I kept waking up. The cancer that was supposed to kill me failed. No more living day to day, waiting to die. Now I have to figure out how to live, a limited, not at all what I expected, single life. A life that presumably will last a long time.