SA the one thing I know about you is that you are extroverted. You were likely surrounded by some kind of support that did aid your recovery. I'm impressed that you overcame by just reading books.
I was a shy, introvert who had no one to vent to. I have been on my own since the age of 10. Until therapy I didn't even know books like that even existed. Now of course I've read 100's of them.
On your own since the age of 10 !@#$%^.... how did that work ? I am not familiar with your story, who did you live with? Or maybe you meant alone.... emotionally.
True for me, I had a best best friend, her family, some other friends ..... then I met my husband at age 15.... My relationship with my best best friend was slowly going downhill, she was getting on with a wilder crowd, smoking pot, the partier type & this was not really my thing -plus my step mom would have killed me...
So the boyfriend kinda took her place... I couldn't ask for any better support than him - he's never let me down....... he was the shy introvert --but he came from a loving family, no issues. We were both very very good for each other.
When I hear so many say.... OH don't get into a relationshiop until all your baggage is gone, you know who you are
... . I just think to myself.. this is not always true, sometimes another can help you get on your feet and help you love yourself , find yourself even. That is what he did for me. And at the same time...I know I boosted his confidence as well. We built each other up.
Everybody needs somebody. Most of us have some dysfunction, that is pretty normal accually. Even once we find ourselves ... still some dysfunction remains. We're human afterall.