Obviously, unhealed and still devoid of any positive feelings for myself, the relationship ended about 6 months later. Rife with arguments, breakups, crying, and unhealthy coping mechanisms, the breakup felt like a death to me. I was convinced I was going to marry this man and have his children, so you can imagine the upset at being broken up with for good. But this triggered a very important next few months for me and the most significant and important relationship with another that I have ever had.
Once I took off the rose colored glasses and saw this past relationship for what it was, I began a journey back to myself that I so desperately needed. I finally got counseling help….NO, I REALLY FUCKING DIDN’T (I know you are all disgusted at this point). But I did start to do some self introspection that led me to discovering I was bisexual and meeting my first girlfriend.
Despite us not working out, the nearly two month relationship with my girlfriend was the most important to date. I truly love this woman more than myself. AND THAT WAS THE ISSUE. In previous relationships, I was much more selfish (not that I wasn’t in various ways with her), but I definitely loved myself much more than my ex boyfriends. Although I would say I loved them more fervently in action, I still loved myself more selfishly. With her, it was different.
She intuitively knew that I loved her more than I loved myself. And unlike my previous exes, that actually bothered her because she has a high emotional intelligence. At one point she expressed that she wished I could love myself as much as I loved her. That hurt to hear because of how alarmingly true it was and still is. So, the major question is: how do you love yourself?
It isn’t an easy question, as you have seen in my tortuous ramblings about relationships. But everyone has to start somewhere. So here is where I start: COUNSELING. YES! I actually am seeing my counselor again. Counseling is such a healthy way to combat all the lies we tell ourselves, get outside perspective from a trained healthcare professional, and challenge our current thought patterns and practices. Challenging my own personal thoughts about myself, my worthiness, my shame, my fears of abandonment, and my irrational fears of inadequacy, are where I must begin.
Other ways to really take care of yourself are very simple, yet not always so intuitive when we are feeling depressed. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep consistently (or whatever your body’s requirements are) is so vital to having a clear mind upon waking and basic cognitive functioning. Sleep hygiene is rarely practiced, but imperative to a healthy sleep cycle. Going to bed at a consistent time, waking up around the same time, and avoiding naps longer than 1 hour can be easy ways to get into a regular pattern.