When I was 16 and I could drive, I had a fairly active social life. Nothing out of the ordinary, but I had a lot of friends and liked to spend time with them. Sometimes, however, I just stayed at home to read or watch a movie. I noticed that when this happened on a Friday or Saturday night – whether I was home because I didn’t have any other options or because I wanted to relax – I felt like a failure. Like I wasn’t measuring up. I was supposed to be out with friends on weekends – that’s what teenagers did. This feeling continued through college. If I didn’t have something to do on a Friday or Saturday night, or even if I did but chose not to, I wasn’t good enough. Something was wrong with me. No one else ever told me this – it was all internal.
I’m almost 36. It’s discouraging that after two decades and a LOT of therapy – not to mention considerable healing – this still enters my mind. I went out dancing last night. I could have had dinner with a friend tonight. I chose to stay home and finish some work and take the puppy for a walk. It was my choice and it was relaxing. But I still have this little nagging feeling in my head that I’m a failure. Not only do I not have a boyfriend to go out with on the weekends, I’m not even doing anything fun.
Where did this voice come from? I don’t want it taking up space in my head any more.