When the Going Gets Tough, Acknowledge That You’ve Changed

September 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s been a rough weekend and not the best start to a week that I hope will get better. As has been my habit lately, I’ve been trying to be more thoughtful about things in a methodical, productive way. While my relationship with Alec was very different than my relationship with Mark, I do think my feelings at their ends are similar, and of course, quite painful. My reactions to the ends of those relationships have been markedly different though, at least in action. I don’t want to list all the things I did around this time last year, but I will say that I was reacting to the pain in a very desperate “Make it stop right now” kind of way, similar to how people who are severely injured will beg for you to knock them out so they don’t have to consciously experience their pain. I was desperate and absolutely furious at Alec for not fighting for me, for letting us fail. Anger and desperation lead to some pretty self-destructive behaviors, but I pulled out of it and I got better.

I was also completely done with Alec. I knew after 5 years of being together, he didn’t deserve a second chance. He had plenty of time and plenty of opportunity to try to fix things, and he completely froze. Part of what I did was to ensure in the worst but most effective way that things were permanently over between us.

I haven’t had an impulse to go down that road again following my and Mark’s breakup, though I have to admit I was half-expecting to. I think it may be a direct result of the lack of anger in the breakup. I wasn’t angry with Mark at all and I’m certainly not angry with him now. He tried like hell to keep me, but I wasn’t ready to let him. We both tried like hell to make things work, we just weren’t successful in the end.

So mostly I just feel more depressed than usual because I’ve now gone through two major breakups in the 12 months. I’ve left two great men who loved me, I moved 700+ miles away from them. I left them behind. No anger really, just the feeling of defeat and the thought that there must be something wrong with me for this to have happened. Twice.

I’ve thought a lot about anti-depressants lately since my depression has been teetering so often on the edge of suicidal. Is the source of it chemical? Is it emotional? I don’t even know. To my knowledge, I haven’t had any major trauma. Growing up being me was depressing enough, add a trauma on top of that and I would have ended me for sure. My mind just leans so far towards depressing and upsetting thoughts, negativity and dissatisfaction. Would anti-depressants work? Counseling didn’t. I’ve lived my entire life with a severely depressed father so I’ve seen how ineffective and problematic anti-depressants can be.

For now I’m hanging on. Trying to celebrate little successes and find happiness in what I can, primarily in my goofy, adorable dog. I am trying to date (forcing myself to, really) as a search for answers more than anything, searching for the right path.

There are three possible outcomes that I see from dating right now:

1. I’ll remember how awful dating is and choose to be alone and be happy about it. (this I think is the most likely/realistic)

2. I’ll find someone who is a better fit for me than Alec and Mark were and I’ll pursue another serious relationship that will be healthier than the last two.

3. I’ll realize how much I’d rather be with Mark than anyone else and try to do what I can to fix things.

Last year, dating for me certainly went along the lines of #3, but I’m not sure I should expect that this time. It may be the case that I just need to be alone right now. Logic is certainly telling me that, but I want to experiment to prove my hypothesis. Maybe want isn’t the right word: I *need* to experiment to prove my hypothesis, at least so I can feel more convinced that I’m choosing not to date because it’s better for me and not because I’m scared of interacting with someone on that level again. Animals who are hurt often react in aggression and anger or in timidity and fear. I’m worried that my lack of anger right now means I’m hiding out alone because I’m scared. I guess the irony of it all is that when I dated Mark I kept telling myself not to get too involved because I  never again wanted to feel the pain I felt when I left Alec. Whoops! Had I been less afraid, I may not have had to go through this pain at all, because we probably would have still been together now.

Live and learn. Life is funny that way.

Two songs that I over-related to on my drive home from work today:

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