3/28/2006

substitute people

Last night I watched Elizabethtown, ever heard of it? I highly recommend it and it's not a chick flick either. In the movie Kristen Dunst refers to herself as a substitute person, the person that people keep in their lives for every reason under the sun except love. As I lay in bed last night I kept turning that phrase over and over in my mind, "Substitute People." Had I ever been one? Had I ever had one in my life? What makes someone a substitute instead of the real thing? I remember many times when I used other people to take away the pain in my life. People to make me feel worth loving. People to make me feel less alone. People to make me feel - something. As I look back at those not so proud moments I realize that they were my 'substitute people'. Part of me feels guilty but part of me believes that while I was using them to fulfill my needs, they were doing the same to me in return. Every person is a substitute at one time or another, a substitute friend, a substitute lover, a substitute conscience. Does that make us bad when we use a substitute for the real thing? I don't think so. Sometimes we don't have the power,the will or the way to find the real 'thing'. Sometimes we need someone if only for a moment, for a day, for enough time so that we realize what it is we're substituting. The funny thing about 'substitutes' is that most times we can convince ourselves it's the real thing; real love, real friendship, real feelings. No one really likes substitutes - being one or using one. But sometimes the calories from the 'real thing' seem much more hazardous to our health. When we heal on the inside we realize that having the real friendship, the real love, the real conscience is the only thing really worth having. Eventually we learn that even substitutes have calories.

16 Comments:

  1. AAwoken said...
    Whoah! Very deep. I like the way the music sets the mood for the blog posts. Brilliant!!!!
    Alexis said...
    Love the movie. love your comments. and I'm not just substituting! : ) LOL. Seriously, I'm guilty of being a sub and having subs.... even sober. I do my best to NOT do that today.... to make my words, actions and intentions all honestly match. It hurts to be a sub. It hurts worse to KNOW you're a sub and not have the self-respect to walk away from that relationship. I walked away and quit being a substitute this year... and loved myself for doing that.
    Leslie said...
    I really enjoyed this entry..REALLY. I felt this way for most of my life, it kinda comes with the baggage of being gay. Many, many, many times in my life I have been the "everything but"... The " Never enough" feeling can be overwhelming...I don't feel that anymore, but I can really tape into that emotion. Very well written...Love reading your stuff....
    Tab said...
    This post pretty much sums up what a codependent uses to cope until they are ready to change.
    Good thought provoking post today:)
    Thanks for sharing~
    k o w said...
    Might I add that substitutes have a nasty habit of becoming habit forming as well.
    Grace said...
    I watched the movie last weekend and highly enjoyed the movie, the message and a lot of the lines - so did hubby.
    I agree - I think we are all sub. people in other's lives and in our own. Are there friends you call just when you are down because they pick you up? I know when I was single, there were a few guy friends that I could call, go out, be told how smart and beautiful I was - sub.
    I know I've been for people and I use to call this "Convenient friendships". I notice some people only come around when they needed something - either they are lonely or other. I've tried really hard not to be a convenient friend to someone - but a true friend.
    e.e. said...
    interesting stuff to ponder... thanks for the insights....
    Shannon said...
    I love that movie... My husband loves that movie, definatly not a chic flick and makes you walk a way feeling good

    subsitute...I thought about that too when I first saw this movie, I think its just part of the growing processing, sometimes in life, we need those subsitutes, which in hindsite, I see them as blessings, to help me get by, or me help them or whatever...

    I am glad that I have the real things in my life todaay... real love/friendship with my husband, with my children, (still working on one of my step childres : ) real faith in GOD, my HP, real recovery... I am sooo blessed!!!

    thanks for posting this, I just love you view on things, and love how you write it so well!!! thanks NWC have a great day....
    Mellissa said...
    NC,

    You are a gifted writer. Your posts always make me think, and feel so many emotions.

    This is beautifully written.

    Ladybug
    NML said...
    Very thought provoking post. I think I have definitely been there, done that, and no doubt I was someone else's substitute. I think our natural insecurities generate this. Great post!
    Da Gal said...
    I have to see this flick now... I love you girl and your writing.. but mostly just you! :)
    Caterpillar said...
    Wow, this post has me really thinking now...
    Mike said...
    I've always wondered what the word is that describes this situation.

    I feel like I am a substitute person to pretty much just one person, not necessarily I love, but in friendship. It's like everyone likes me for who I am, except her. It really bothers me. What does she see that others don't? I guess it's more complicated than it seems. But it really bothers me.
    Guitar Master said...
    I wish I could blog as good as you, but what I can do is give you a nice Guitar Lesson!
    Dreamer said...
    Anybody out there still on this topic? So how do one walk away from being a substitute? How do you give up a longing relationship that is so non-existent that it feels like a pretence?

    To anyone who can help...
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