Trying to Be a Good Person…

December 28, 2009

… to myself as well as others.

My ex-boyfriend’s relatively new Spanish girlfriend is visiting this week and I will likely run into them at mutual friends’ events.

I want her to either be extremely unattractive, to have a terrible time, to break up with him badly, and to decide he’s not good enough. I’m trying to pray for her and psych myself up to be really welcoming.

I want for him to realize that she’s not good enough, that I was the woman for him, that he’ll never find someone as wonderful as me. I’m trying to want what is best for him.

The problem is that this is so tied up in my self-worth. I know in my head that my worth is not defined by whether I have a boyfriend or husband or not. I know in my head that my worth comes from God. I know in my head that someone who is married or in a relationship is not better than me, just different. I know in my head that just because he does more thoughtful things for her than he did for me, that does not mean I am worse or not as valuable. I know in my head that it probably has more to do with where he was and is.

Why am I not able to get my feelings to understand all these things I know in my head?

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I Survived Christmas

December 26, 2009

I survived. Holidays are often very very hard for me. Last year, I cried and cried. This year, I had less friends in town, my ex is bringing his new girlfriend to town tomorrow, and I thought it would be horrible. But it wasn’t. In fact, I felt better than I did last year, and better than I have in a long time. I had breakfast with a good friend. I brought some presents to some kids I know. I napped and I took care of four dogs (only one of them is mine, the others are visiting). It wasn’t fabulous but it wasn’t bad.

Tomorrow I have “sibling Christmas.” It will be my brother and his fiancee and my sister and her husband. And me. Singular. Again. It was easier with a boyfriend and I hate that.


Measuring Up

December 22, 2009

It is so easy to compare myself. Now that the ex is dating someone (and we’re still in the same group of friends, he and I), I see what he does for her that he didn’t do for me. And I assume it must be because she’s better than me. She’s more worthy of love. She’s more worthy of his love. All of the above. Things that were a struggle between us that now he does so well with her – it could be because he’s learned something but I keep choosing to believe that it’s all merit-based and that I’m just not good enough.

It’s the same pattern I’ve had my whole life, really. Their parents don’t yell at them; it must be because they are better and more deserving than me. I’m not married while all of these people I know have found partners – I guess I’m not good enough for anyone to want me.

I want to change the thinking but I don’t know how.


Gratitude

December 16, 2009

I talked about realizing that I had a very violent reaction to the suggestion to make a gratitude list. That tipped me off that something might not be right and I’ve come to a couple of conclusions.

1. Part of why I am so opposed to the idea is that when one is depressed, people often try to counter that by offering gratitude as an antidote. “But look at all the things you’ve got going for you.” While that might be a good way to counteract apathy or a bad attitude, depression is far, far deeper than that. I have had conversations with myself that include “…and I have all those things to be happy about, so why do I still want to be dead?” I don’t know what anyone else’s experience is, but when I am really depressed and someone suggests I “just be grateful for what I have,” I want nothing more than to hit them, hard.

2. Part of why I am opposed is more complicated. I think I have an inherent belief that God doesn’t want good things for me, and that I have to trick him into it. Or beg. And that if I start being grateful for what I do have, that both makes my unmet desires invalid and gives God “permission” to ignore me because now I’m not needy.

Do I really believe that’s how God works?


This Time, I Caught It

December 8, 2009

I’m on two medications – they work really well together – and I’ve tried many. About a year ago, the pharmacy gave me a different type of generic than I usually get for one of them. I didn’t think it would matter, since they were both generic, but it mattered. I started going way down – all the classic depression symptoms. And I didn’t notice. I started feeling like this was how I have always felt and always will feel, my life was over, on and on.

It was the medication. When I went back to the regular kind, I was fine. But it took me months of being absolutely miserable.

This time, I caught it in two days. That’s a good sign, right?


Gratitude – or Lack Thereof

December 7, 2009

I have a lot to write about. I’m a fight with God and he is winning. I can be pretty stubborn, even when I know it’s not good for me, so I am not ready to concede yet, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to win. More on that later.

I was talking to a friend about this tonight – and kind of explaining the whole struggle. She is dealing with some similar things so it was good to talk to her. She said that she has started to make a gratitude list before she goes to bed each night. She suggested that I do it. My reaction wasn’t “Oh that sounds like a good idea,” or “Maybe that would help me see the good things in my life,” or even “Sounds like too much work, I don’t want to.”

My reaction was a super strong “NO!” No, I will not do it. I do not want to do it. I would rather have oral surgery than make a list of things that I have been blessed with and am grateful for!

What kind of reaction is that? The strength of it surprised me. For some reason, I don’t want to be grateful. I don’t want to see the good things. I really truly only want to focus on what I don’t have – how I can be envious, how God answers other people’s prayers and not mine, and why my life is horrible. I have a lot of really good things in my life – wonderful friends, all sorts of blessings. Why do I so strongly want to ignore those?