I keep reading advice columns, even though I know it’s going to be terrible advice.
It’s kind of like watching Dr. Phil: it’s annoying, exploitative, and only succeeds in deluding people into believing there is a simple solution, or an “easy fix” to… anything important… but I keep consuming it anyhow, all the while feeling annoyed, and at times even amused at the sheer ridiculousness of some of these things.
No one really has good advice though, do they? Even when they do, we like to have ourselves believe we came to it on our own anyhow. If you’re feeling down, or missing something/someone in particular then you know what will “fix” it (short term). Sometimes people just want someone to bitch to. I tend to not really talk to anyone and then get accused of “isolating” myself. I just know that no one has the right thing to say, and that I need to come to a resolution on my own.
Sadness is uncomfortable. Especially when you are used to chasing it away with drugs and alcohol (more drugs), or at least finding some way to repress it. This is how the same problems in life keep resurfacing, because sadness is uncomfortable so we find a way to cope with it instead of just being uncomfortable for a while.
We jump into new relationships, hook up with our exes, get really, really, drunk, get high, fuck or fight… whatever it is, it’s a way to stifle growth in the end. Drugs are how you find yourself at 21 years old with the emotional capacity of a 14 year old.
Even now, I’m 24, I’ll mark my three years off of heroin in September, I’ve gone through a lot of therapy, but still… my first instinct when faced with emotional turmoil was to kill it with drugs. Logically I know that I need this time, that I spent my addiction in a relationship, and when that ended I dealt with it by getting blackout drunk (and met my good friend alcohol induced psychosis) for four and a half months, and then began a new relationship. I never dealt with those emotions by myself, I dealt with them while I began this relationship… which but a huge strain on things.
My partner didn’t know how to deal with this, so he cheated on me. That destroyed my self esteem and the image I had of him previously. Who was this man? But I felt so miserable without him. I took this as a sign that we should give this another try, and I would change. I did, but then after a few months, finding other small lies on a regular basis, I felt suspicious constantly, he started to drift… didn’t want to touch me anymore, I got angry because I knew he had stopped valuing me. I was resentful, and bitchy often, which I’m sure made matters worse. We didn’t communicate effectively on either side about what we were upset about, but because we loved each other, and because of how fast and hard we fell in love in the beginning we held on. Maybe things could have worked out if I had taken the time I needed either to begin with, or at least when the cheating happened. I believe in forgiveness, especially when it is reasonable. Forgiving mistakes, I am in favor of. God knows I have made more than I can ever hope to atone for. The issue was that I didn’t take time to weigh my options, and make sure I was acting on a balance of logic and emotion and not just one or the other. (Use those DBT skills, right?)
I know what I did wrong, and what not to do in my future relationships. I’m glad I can do that instead of feeling anger and resentment towards him, of course he did things to me that make me feel underappreciated to say the least… but I also know that there is no good that will come out of resentment, or blame. I can only take accountability for my mistakes. That is all I have control over, and the only way I can control my anxiety is to have control over myself.
It is so easy to hate someone, even though it takes a lot of energy. What is truly difficult is to forgive someone, especially someone who may never know that you have forgiven them and that you, too are sorry… to let go, and move on.