Perceptions – Reality or Fantasy?
This will be my last post on this subject because I realized today that it is interfering with my progress in making positive changes to my life and way of thinking.
As I have mentioned before, I suffer from major depressive disorder, which affects not only my thinking but also my reactions to situations that come up. To others, something that appears so simple, is compounded within my thinking. It sometimes seems bigger than it is and my reactions are often not good. It is hard to draw back sometimes when you want to lash out knowing inside that is exactly opposite of what you would like to do. The thought processes are just not working properly to counteract the negative thinking.
In previous articles I wrote about this person that I met online. I wrote about all the wonderful things he said and the way it made me feel. That was the positive side of it. Now here is the negative.
I’ve had trouble my whole life with making connections to others whether it was friends, boyfriends or just general acquaintances. Having the perception that I was always alone or at least feeling that way made my thinking about the person in question, irrational. I took everything that was said or shared between us to heart and it influenced how I felt about myself and about us.
It made me scared. Why? Because in my mind no matter how hard they tried, it would never be good enough or that I thought that I would never be good enough for them.
In my women’s coping skills group we talked about the fact that feeling scared could be a form of anger. That’s how I would feel with every interaction I had with somebody. Anger. Anger toward myself because I knew that I would inevitably take it out on them and they would see my true nature. This insecure, anger-filled person who disliked herself so much the emotions spilled over and it would take me into even darker thinking that life wasn’t worth living.
It is something that I work so hard at trying to contain that it turns me into this big ole’ mess sometimes. Those that are closest to me know this and they try their best to understand or to help me but I have to learn how to help myself. I don’t want to end up being a burden to others and that is what happens. That is why so many relationships and friendships have ended.
So when I started talking to this seemingly perfect person the negative thinking went on autopilot. Every message that was sent no matter how innocuous the topic made those automatic thoughts come up about myself. “I’m not good enough”. “I’m worthless”. “I’m not beautiful enough”. “If he ever meets me, he’ll regret it”. “I’m a mistake”. “He’ll never want me”. “He’s too perfect and I don’t belong in his world”. “He will never really love me”. “He needs someone better”. I was scared at the thought of someone actually loving me. I had pushed so many people away and never gave them a chance. Why would he be any different?
Then the positive words he spoke of love and devotion started changing my way of thinking. I had already sent pictures of myself, we had talked on the phone so he knew what I sounded like and looked like yet the conversations still continued. It was and still is overwhelming.
Then one day he sent me more pictures of himself and the negative thinking went into overdrive. I knew there had to be something wrong because based on perceptions of my own reality, I thought there was no way that someone who looked like that could possibly be interested in me. I’ve always been in awe of what I call the “Beautiful people”. Those beautiful men and women who don’t seem to have any flaws. They seem so confident and sure of themselves. I envied that. My perception was that I could never be a part of that. It was the insecurity about myself talking and I realized that they are just people like everybody else. They have issues too.
Shortly after he sent me these pics is when everything started falling apart. My children started questioning everything. I panicked and felt trapped, so what did I do? I lashed out just like I knew I would and I couldn’t contain or control it. The word vomit I spoke of in the previous post just started spewing forward. I felt so bad afterwards. I still have regrets even today and I know it will be awhile before those subside. The last time I felt that way it took a year to get over it. So I know right now, working out, changing my diet, maintaining focus on my recovery and doing other things will help lessen the effects of it but I’m still a work in progress.
Will I ever be able to have a normal relationship? I don’t know. It will take a mighty confident and strong person to be able to take on the demons that I carry with me because I’ve been dragging them around for over 30 years.
My hope is that one day I will no longer carry such a heavy burden. Right now I know that I do need to be alone so I can focus on myself. There’s no sense dragging other people into this mess. It’s not fair to them to have to deal with my mind.
So I will take it one day at a time. Find the patience I need. Keep working out to make my moods more manageable. I will continue to maintain my hope, faith and belief in good things for my life. I will learn to embrace not only the inner beauty that’s been waiting to be unleashed but also learn to love who I am, what I look like and what I can offer to others. I will expand on my strengths. I will continue to learn new things every day. I will continue to build on the confidence plus self-esteem that I got from this experience and make it stronger.
So one day I can confidently feel like a beautiful person too.
Thank you for stopping by.
Have a good week!