How do we know when we're ready for change? When are we ready TO change? In many cases, it's easy to walk away from something that is causing you pain or feels difficult or is too much work. It's too hard to wait for the change that will lessen the pain, that will ease the work load, and that will ultimately save what needs saving. And it always leads to the same outcome: something ends, something gives, or someone gives up.
How does someone know when they've been unhappy for too long and it is time they leave? Perhaps when the unhappiness begins to leak into other parts of their life...when they can no longer concentrate on a book they were enjoying only days ago...or when they've lost sight of who they are as an individual... or maybe even if the unhappiness infects them like a sickness and they feel it physically, like an ailment, that taunts them and pushes them to the edge. I wonder, and I ask myself, how is it that things can get so bad? And then I remember who I am. I remember the things I do to cause these scenarios to arise. I remember the things I do that lead me to the saddest and darkest places. I remember the things I've done that lead me to be alone, hating myself, hating everything I do to people, feeling like there is no redemption to be had or found inside of me or outside of me. This is an awful place to be. And when I sit in these miserable places, I recollect how incredibly well I work under pressure and that suddenly, I have an abundance of inner strength.
Why couldn't I have found this before a beautiful thing wilted in front of me? The answer is fairly simple: I stopped acknowledging that each person has their own set of values, needs, opinions and perspectives. I forget these things when I'm emotionally unstable and lost, because I can't see my own two feet and all I want is to be rescued. And when I want so desperately to be rescued I forget that I am responsible for myself and that while I need some people, they may also need me at times. And I forgot these things because I stopped working on myself and I stopped being the great person I believe I am. I recently read an article about women with borderline personality disorder written by a psychiatrist who is very objective on the subject, which is a very difficult thing to find as many psychs have had awful and impossible experiences with BPD patients... Anyway, he mentioned that most men find relationships with women who have BPD are filled with passion and emotion and fun. That the greatest part about their partners is they are compassionate women who feel everything straight to their core and practice empathy to an uncanny degree. I agree with this. But he also noted the fact that often times, when these women become too comfortable, too co-dependent, they forget how incredible they are as supports to their loved ones and make everything about themselves because they can't bare to carry the burden of who they are on their own. Suddenly, their lovers' interest must only be their interest in her, otherwise they fall into a pattern of insatiable insecurity and self-defeat. This is all too familiar for me. The psychiatrist made it clear that when patients with BPD are in therapy, they can usually move forward and carry on healthy adult relationships that are mutually respectful and mutually affectionate. Ah-ha! Therein lies my problem. I stopped therapy, or rather, for a long time therapy was no longer available to me. And then I began working and forgot that I had this terrible disorder that impedes my ability to have stable interpersonal relationships.
So, why is it therapy plays such a major role in the salvation of someone like myself? Well, for one, it lifts most of the weight off my friends and family because I'm turning to them less frequently. Mind you, I will always want my friends or partner or family to trust that I'll be open with them, but I tend to keep the dramatics at a low when I'm in therapy. I save the theatrics for the professionals. I also become more aware of my behaviour and thus have more control over what I say or what I do, and how I say or how I do things, long before I do them. Whereas lately, I've just been a sporadic nut who can't think straight before she leaps.
Now that I'm entering therapy again, I'll update my progress on here as I did last year. In the meantime, I'm going to Value Village tomorrow, they're having a 50% off sale and I'm ready for some retail therapy. Luckily my new place is not so far from a pretty decent location.