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Category Archives: Starting Over…again

Complacency Kills

Today I got a little reality check cashed that I wasn’t expecting.

I thought I was doing so well with my depression and my coping issues for months and months and months now. I’m no longer on antidepressants, my therapist released me from ongoing therapy, and my life has been on quite the upswing. But today was proof that even when everything seems to be going right, shit can still creep up on you and flip you ass over tin cups.

I work with a girl who frustrates me to the point that I have become obsessed with everything she does wrong, just to shake my head, tsk-tsk in her direction and say things like “I don’t know how she still has a job”  behind her back. Her lack of work, while I bust my ass, and the way I feel that management has allowed her behavior with no consequence, straight up makes me resentful. You see, I have a job where I do what I’m supposed to do, my manager and I sit down every couple of weeks to go over my case load, and unless someone starts jumping up and down in the meantime, I’m pretty much left to my own devices otherwise, and expected to just do my job. This girl I work with takes advantage of our freedom and often spends more time during the day texting or surfing the internet than she does actually WORKING and I’ve become too concerned with what she does, or doesn’t do, each day that I’ve been making snide comments to fellow coworkers. Apparently others have heard my comments and went to my manager about them, thus resulting in a call today. I can be an awful bitch at times, for sure, and heaven help those who get on my bad side as I can say some nasty stuff with proper motivation – and you best believe that this girl gives me proper motivation. Through all of this, I have not lost control of my caseload and I do not have issues with unhappy or neglected clients, but I have certainly delved into the zone of negativity which is a place I strove for a very long time to climb out of. It’s a place I haven’t been in a while, and slipping back into it was so easy, it kind of scares me.

I feel a lot of shame, too. Shame for being so petty about this girl, shame for being naive enough to think that management had no clue of her shenanigans, and shame that I made my manager waste some of her precious time just to tell me that I needed to get a grip. I can’t believe that I’ve forgotten where I was when I started this blog years ago – miserable, negative, hating everything, feeling nothing and being just plain depressed and anxious – and how long and hard I struggled and cried and learned and fought and what I implemented in an attempt to change all of that. And here, I have allowed one co-worker, in a matter of a few months, to ruin that for me and start to take away what I worked SO HARD to obtain.

My manager was ultimately right, and I thanked her for bringing this to my attention. Sometimes, it’s hard to see how extreme a situation has become until an outsider points it out. I promised her that I would let it all go, and starting tomorrow, i intend to do just that. I’m going to let go of the resentment, let go of the shame and let go of the negativity – I don’t want to be that person again because at this point in my life, I have too much to lose.

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My newest realization

I’m learning an interesting lesson in life as of late. It seems that forward momentum isn’t necessarily a fast thing, even small steps continuing in an upward trend can be considered as successful when you’re building something. Previously in life, I always felt forward momentum was an immediate thing – it took energy and perseverance and your goal could be quickly reached if you just put enough effort into it – but I’ve had a couple of experiences as of late that are blowing that entire theory out of the water. Albeit in a great way, but it’s still slightly disconcerting to be this far out of my typical comfort zone.

So, I’ve met this guy, and I gotta say, he’s pretty awesome. We’ve been taking our time getting to know each other, getting comfortable with each others sense of humor and our similar interests and we’ve reached a point where we’ve been talking for a few months and we’ve finally decided and managed to set up some time to spend together. We live a few hours from each other, but truth be told, I’m really OK with that. My reasoning behind that insanity is that I often manage to force people into a relationship, well before it’s the right time for either of us to do so. I get so enamored by anyone that indicates even the slightest interest in me, that I immediately think he’s THE ONE that will heal my heart and the issues I’ve blamed on loneliness for years and years. Yet thanks for therapy and some time alone for introspection, I’m realizing that *I* am the only one who can heal my issues, and that I shouldn’t expect anyone else to do that for me, and with that knowledge I gotta say that I’m totally confident, comfortable and excited about the progression of this situation.

I won’t call it a relationship, because it isn’t one, or even anything resembling one, as of today. We’re building a friendship from scratch, and it’s just lucky that we have enough in common, and enough mutual interest in each other that it’s continuing to move forward into some next steps, whatever those may be. There are already a few other tentative plans on the horizon where he’ll either come up here, or I’ll go down there and I’m excited about getting to spend some face time with him, but I’m not anticipating or expecting anything, which is a huge change of mentality for me. My desperation to be loved usually triggers me to freak out and get too deep into my head when in situations like this and I loose all logical thought and rely entirely upon my emotions – which often prove to be disastrous on most occasions. But! I’m not going to do that this time! It’s too important, and there is more than just companionship involved here; my ability to find happiness within myself is my main goal. Anything after that is just a bonus.

 

I reap what I sow

I’ve heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same things, over and over, while expecting different results. And as logical as that may sound, it’s proven to be a lot more difficult to follow in life than you might expect and by definition alone, I’m most assuredly insane. I’ve become accustomed to living my life in a certain way, looking for certain things, surrounding myself with certain people and trying to force things into my life that I should just allow to fit naturally. I tend to take the ‘get a bigger hammer route’ and beat things into submission and shape.

An ongoing topic for me relates to my boyfriends, and lacks there of. I’ve spent the better part of the last 10 years in a relationship with one man or another; they’ve all ended prematurely and none of them ever left me with more than I gave. At my therapists suggestion, I’m trying to take stock of my decisions from the past, analyze them and see where I’ve allowed inappropriate behavior to rule me, and where I’ve inappropriately chosen a situation to be in. A common theme that I’m noticing is that doing things the same way is getting me the same results, so I’m thinking it’s time to try to break free since they’ve managed to provide me with little more than momentary comfort and lasting feelings of rejection. I’ve spent too much time and energy in my past trying to MAKE a relationship work because I was always looking to someone else to fulfill something that which I have been missing – Love. Love is complicated though, and you can’t expect it from someone if you don’t have it for yourself and that has been, and continues to be, a painfully hard lesson for me. I’m not totally convinced I’ve learned it en total just yet, but I am recognizing that I can’t find what I want from life if I don’t appreciate myself and respect myself enough to demand it.

This is not meant to badmouth my ex’s. In fact, each and every one of them has taught me a lot about myself and I would not be on this journey to self discovery had it not been for them all. That is also not to say that they were good relationships or were entered into for the right reasons. I fall for all of them immediately upon learning that they had even a small attraction towards me and I throw everything I have into then nurturing a relationship that had little chance to begin with. I’ve chosen men who are emotionally unavailable, unable to deal with life on life’s terms and/or were just a plain bad choice. One was more intelligent than me and one threw me into walls; one was never able to let me in and one was not able to live his own life, latching onto me like a parasite. My point is that my same actions created, ultimately, the same results.

To fill some of the open time in my life, I’ve been spending a lot of time in my gardens this year. I have a veg garden that’s already yielded me zucchini for zucchini bread, a couple of cherry tomatoes as snacks and has more peas than I could eat almost ready to pop. I have day lilies blooming in full force and beautiful blue hydrangeas filling up a bed on one side of my house. A large patch of Black Eyed Susans are opening their petals to the sky, one yellow bloom at a time, and there is a cattail reed forming in my fish pond, after 3 years of having the plant itself. When I’m planting or pruning or harvesting, my efforts are with the intent of assisting my plants to manifest into stronger, and healthier plants. The long term is my goal now, not just the immediacy of what I have TODAY. Gardening is teaching me patience and appreciation – I cannot make pea pods ripen any faster than nature intends and I can’t make the day lilies show their beauty after the sun has gone down. Nature runs on Nature’s time and nothing can alter that – be it to speed or slow it. One must simply go with it and allow things to happen in their own time and nature is proving to me that the time and patience involved in doing something RIGHT, is almost always worth the results.

This time, I’m not jumping into anything, not even a pool. In fact, I have no interest in dating at this current time because I am too focused on me. I have one guy I’m talking to and it’s on a really nice, mellow level. He’s funny, intelligent, gets my humor, artistic, can deal with and throw out a little endearing trash talk and I gotta say that I’m really enjoying his attention. It’s obvious there is interest from both parties, but neither one of us is stressing about making anything HAPPEN. Things either will, or they won’t and it’s been a refreshing change of pace to get out of my head when it comes to guys, lately. If he doesn’t call me for a day or two, I know it’s just because he’s busy and sure enough, I hear from him as soon as he has the time. In the past, I would worry myself over not being in constant touch; assuming something had changed in the day since I last spoke to whomever the him of the moment was; but today, I’m cool with it and actually kind of appreciate hearing from him more so than if it were a constant thing. I’m not basing my schedule on him, much less basing my happiness on him or what he does or doesn’t bring to my life. I’m simply enjoying the conversation, the attention and the flirting. Oh, how did I ever forget how much fun flirting could be?!

My long story shortened here is that sometimes, a person has to take a good solid look at themselves and what they do with and in life. It’s hard to accept blame for your shortcomings, and it’s even harder to be aware enough of them and, to actually do something about them. I’m all about growing emotionally and learning how best to allow the universe to bring me what I need out of life and I’m now working on allowing good things into my life, in whatever their form, and just taking the time to see what develops. Instead of buying a root bound plants for that instant gratification, I’m germinating the special things directly from seed – lovingly placing them in soil, watching them sprout, watering and giving them the sunlight they need to grow into beautiful things, all by themselves, in their own time.

 

Predictable

I had the first conversation in probably 6 months with my ex last night. All told, it was about 5 minutes or less because I forced it to end, but it was still probably the hardest thing I did all day. If it isn’t inherently obvious, I still have a lot of unresolved issues with the end of my last relationship. From my standpoint, the relationship did not end because there was a lack of love for him; in fact, even today, I still love him in a very real capacity, somewhere along the way though, I believe he lost his love for me. And the where and the when is what I feel I need to know – that is what I feel prevents me from being able to let go of what was, and try to move into regaining some sort of friendship with him. At least that’s what I tell myself. Although beings that I’m STILL in therapy, still discussing the loss and anger that I feel over ex boyfriends and the lack of emotion my family as a whole shares, which is why I’ve always felt I should stifle my emotions down, thus causing my issues with NEEDING someone to vocally and physically need and want me in order to feel useful and worthwhile, deducing the emotional relevance of situations such as this are not my forte. That sentence took me 6 months to learn and I’m still not able to say it out loud.

We had a nice, albeit brief, conversation and short exchange of texts last night, and I will admit that it felt good. It was nice to hear his voice, and to be able to genuinely wish him well and to let him know that I DO miss him. I miss his unique sense of humor that never failed to make me laugh or at least look at him sideways, I miss ‘us’ and the fun we used to have a long time ago when we were together, and I mostly miss the friendship that we had, all those years ago. It seems like its been an eternity, things have changed so much, and I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to where we were…but it was nice to have the opportunity to say hello.

If *YOU* read this, please know that I understand I had plenty to do with the way things ended. I apologize for the bullshit that I put you through – looking back at this point, I can see how difficult things must have been at times. Thank you for sticking through as long as you did. I don’t know where exactly it was that you decided it was over in your mind, but I will say that it hurt me more to have you at arm’s length than it did to have you maintain your “radio silence” in another state. Funny how emotions work, isn’t it? I am doing OK – emotionally and mentally – as I am in a much better place than when we last talked. I’m obviously still working through things, as I told you last night, but it’s only because you meant so damn much to me, on so many levels, for years…a friendship with you is better than never speaking to you again, but last night illustrated to me that it can also still hurt MORE than never speaking to you again. As Ani said “Baby, you’re right as rain about the benefits / But you might be wrong about the costs.” Heh, I remember when you introduced me to that song…

Soon, I hope the benefit will outweigh the cost…….soon.

 

Congratulations! It’s November!

Yesterday, I was thinking about the leaves falling and how beautiful it was here in Pennsylvania about a week ago, with the gorgeously bright yellows and reds that look like they were painted on leaves with super pigmented acrylic paints. In the midst of my wonderment, I was taken aback by the sheer SPEED in which this year has gone by. We were just having conversations on how the year 2010 would be pronounced: 20-10, 2000 and 10, 2-0-10; then I chronologically aged one year closer to thirty and now HOLY SHIT its November. It seems that the older I get, the faster I, and the world, ages.

With age, besides wrinkles, I do seem to be gaining some odd sort of clarity and understanding about me – who I am, what I want to do and with whom – and I’m finally figuring out how to actually embrace these things. November has started out pretty good for me so far: I’ve finally gotten my NEW new couch, work has been busy ergo I have been productive, I’ve been having a lot of good times with great friends and I’ve even started doing some stuff for ME. I’ve gone out more in the last 4 weeks than I have in 4 months and while I do find it tiring in its own way, I’m ENJOYING myself. I’ve started dating again, in the lightest sense of the word possible mind you, and I’m analyzing these men more for what they will give ME, as opposed to what I can give them and I gotta say that I’m actually finding an eerie sense of fulfillment in being single, flirting and enjoying my femininity. And while I won’t go as far as to say I don’t have my moments of loneliness, I definitely have more happiness than not.

I think that one of the deepest reasons behind my past relationships not working out is because I never saw men as being able to contribute to my well-being – I tended to only see them as companions, as an assurance that I didn’t have to die alone and as a vessel that should have given me the love and fulfillment that I needed. Most often, as soon as I started realizing I was emotionally supporting myself and them, things started deteriorating. I became exhausted giving myself to them and getting nothing in return that I started to become resentful of them, and of myself and why I could never find the “right” person. I became disheartened and desperate for that love that I thought had to come from an outside source. I jumped from relationship to relationship to avoid being alone; to avoid myself.

Now, I’m learning that I should be looking for a man who compliments my personality, and has the same wants and future aspirations that I do, a man who doesn’t NEED anything from me other than the love that we share. In my recent past, I think I was simply was looking for that title of “girlfriend” as I saw that as a commitment to me and my future, despite the fact that it was nothing ever of the sort. This is not to say that I never loved any of my ex’s – I did, some more ferociously than others – but I know now that love isn’t enough to make a successful, lasting relationship. The time I’ve spent on my own, thinking about me, since my break up has allowed me to see this and has ignited a non-desperate fire in me, wanting to find someone who falls madly in love with me just because of who I am, not because of anything I can give them. I’ve chased men in the past – acted suave and witty and alluring. I’ve even pretended to have interest in activities that I really did not care for, just to try to win their attraction, and I fell out of love with activities I used to not be able to live without. I understand now, why that never found me a man who I could connect with – if he was looking to me to be something I’m not, then it’s no wonder he never turned out to be what I wanted, either.

So now that all of that depressing shit is out-of-the-way for today, please remember this, if nothing else, about what I’m learning from my life lessons:  Cheers to November, cheers to Fall and all the fantastic colors that it brings with it, cheers to setting the clocks back an hour this weekend, and getting an extra hour out of the day. Cheers to life and actually LIVING it, to happiness and not giving up until you find it and to love – real, true, heart numbing, stomach flipping, speech impairing love; cheers to having enough self-awareness to see that YOU are the problem, not everyone else,  and then doing something about it. And most of all, cheers to my therapist, my friends, my family and even my ex’s – without all of you, I would not be who I am today. And I’m becoming rather fond of this person.

 

Bigger fish to fry

I often play out scenario’s in my head, imagining what could be and what would happen if only certain items fell into place. I don’t dream of flying or gaining super hero powers, or even of winning the lottery; I dream of  mushy shit like happiness and love and romance and getting married. I long to feel that I am wanted and seen as invaluable to my partner and that no matter what, he will always have my back. It’s a sad reality that sometimes, dreams just cannot come true, no matter how hard or long I believe that they will, or wish that they could.

As I am sitting here right now, watching movies about people falling in love and fulfilling each others needs emotionally and physically, I pray for some of their bliss to transfer to me somehow, since my own life seems less than ideal in comparison. I realize that they are actors playing a part, but I cannot help but feel that there must be some truth to be had in their portrayals. Otherwise, how could they have the knowledge to play that part, if it didn’t exist in some way, shape or form, somewhere on this earth. I hear my friends talk about how wonderful their partners are – how in love they feel – how they are treated as if they are the most important thing in the world. Instead of being able to understand where they are coming from, I find myself at a perplexing loss, as if I were trying to understand someone explaining astrophysics to me in a foreign language. How is it possible that their love is so different from what I seem to have? How do they manage to have more laughs than tears? How do they maintain such high levels of trust and reciprocity? Then I realize that it’s because all of those things are something that my partner cannot give to me, nor I to him.

As of this moment, I no longer pray for happiness or peace or marriage or children or bliss or that dream I’ve always dreamed. I no longer wish for that intrinsic love that I’ve been missing in vain. The man who at one time loved me fell out of love with me a long time ago it seems, and the man that I was in love with simply does not exist any longer. He’s been replaced with someone who seems to have no regard for me, or for himself and who’s feelings of self worth are directly related to how hard he works at his job. Not at his relationship. He’s changed into something that I no longer recognize, and I do not wish to facilitate the facade any longer. My relationship is over.

As each acidic tear rolls down my cheek, I feel the loss burn deeper and deeper into me. I feel deceived and fooled, as if the last 2 years of my life were just a way for him to waste time. As if the relationship as a whole was nothing more than a coma induced dream. I find it difficult to even reminisce about the good times or the happiness that once adorned our faces as I cannot, with absolute certainty, say that they were truly as I recollect them. Today, I struggle to recall what it was about him that I fell so deeply, so quickly for. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be loved by a man; I may not have ever known in the first place.

Tomorrow comes at a pace that I cannot slow. The earth rotates, time moves on and the sun will set, only to rise again. If the universe truly puts situations into our lives for us to learn and grow from, I beg it to expose what it is that I am to have learned from this. I can accept the fact that this does not make me a terrible person, and that I will recover from yet another heartbreak, as I’ve always managed to do. But that logic does not help me with the pain I am feeling every second that ticks by. I am losing my best friend and once lover, and everything that we’ve built together over the last 2 years, all at once, and with more sorrow than I would wish upon my worst enemy. He became my everything and I, his nothing. Love is a fickle thing – it cannot be bought or sold or manipulated – it must be earned and maintained. Once anyone in that love stops wanting those things, it’s difficult, if not damn near impossible to recover it. Best to cut losses and move onward, taking care of oneself, because no one else can be trusted to do so.

 

Letting a little crazy out

Today was not a good day. It wasn’t the most HORRIBLE day I’d ever experienced, but it definitely wasn’t one of the better ones, either. In fact, it’s defining distinction would have to have been it’s ability to make me feel like a complete dumbass who could screw up ice, if given the opportunity.

Most people know by now that I have issues (some of which revolve around my lack of self esteem) and my dips and climbs in and out of a depressed affect are just part and parcel of the emotional roller coaster which I call my life. Today’s dilemma proved to be blown slightly out of proportion by myself, but when you use work as a reference for how much you should value yourself, it’s easy to let your first mediocre screw up turn into a job threatening, multi-million dollar lawsuit. Mountains out of molehills, folks. Mountains out of molehills.

Sadly, my greatest talent is also my greatest flaw and it’s where I have bursts of reality and logic, which DO take their sweet time, but eventually bubble up to the surface enough to be acknowledged by my heightened emotional state.  Visually, it looks like brief moments of clarity coming in more frequent waves, washing over a face with swollen red eyes and a snot filled nose who is using her shirt as a tissue.  Why, you may ask? Because it’s always easier to be irrational first, that’s why. Especially when you are as ashamed of failure as I am.

Regardless of the outcome, I will sleep poorly tonight, if not medicated. You see, in the course of this matter, I have already envisioned this to be a job threatening situation – a situation in which I DEFINITELY contributed, but in no way was soley responsible – and yet while I logically know that it could have been much, much, much, much, much, MUCH worse, I still will not be able to get past this until the issue is completely resolved. Each time I get an email, my stomach will end up in my throat and my palms will get a little sweaty.

I wish I was one of those people who was able to cope with making a mistake. Those folks who don’t always have uncontrollable tears when they feel like they’ve disappointed someone, be it at work or at home. I want to be one of those people who can handle contructive criticism without taking it as a personal attack. Like those who also feel like it’s ok to not live up to some preconceived notion, and who in fact, can feel comfortable with screwing up once in a while. Ya know, people like that. Here’s to my up and coming Anniversary in Therapy.

*all together now, escalating*  YAAAY Therapy!