When I told my friends I was going to marry myself, they were elated. “This will be the most equal marriage in the history of the world,” one said. “You will make the dinner AND you will wash the dishes.” There were endless jokes about my wife—what was she into, how well did I know her, was I really ready to tie the knot? I took it all in good fun.
As I said to the friends gathered on my rooftop for my ceremony, it was both a ridiculous stunt and incredibly meaningful. It was a way of assigning value to myself in a world where not being married or partnered suggests that there’s something wrong with me.
I wanted to make a statement—that you can be single and be okay. That the bedrock of any good relationship starts with how we feel about ourselves. That there are ways to be celebrated and to celebrate ourselves outside of the norms of traditional marriage.
I didn’t solve everything all at once. But I certainly made a commitment to myself that is lasting.
My sense of playfulness also brought out a movement! I started it in 2014 and it’s called Army of Lovers. We make valentines and give them to strangers on February 14th so everyone can feel loved.
Erika Anderson is a writer and facilitator living in Brooklyn, NY. Her personal essays have been published in the New York Times and Vanity Fair, and she’s working on a manuscript on spirituality and vulnerability. She has a Masters in Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a certified Facilitator for the personal development organization Woman Within.
#addictionrecovery #whyImarriedmyself #emotions #drugtreatmentprogram #shadowwork #alcoholabuse #armyoflovers #erikaanderson #creativeexpression #addiciton #selflove #alcoholtreatmentprogram #traumawork #alcoholrehabilitation #drugabuse #dependency #feelings #alcoholtreatment #integrity #gratitude #toxicshame #arttherapy #authenticity