Happy October everyone! Today’s blog is going to be about something that has been annoying me about myself for the last week or two. I think a lot of people can go through something similar from time to time so I hope some of you can relate to it.
Have you ever had one of those blessed times in your life where everything seems to be going your way? Your career is going in the right direction, your surrounded by friends and family that love and care about you and you’re in an honest and loving relationship with a partner that supports you? A lot of us spend countless days wishing to be in this exact situation. Sure, maybe not everything is 100% perfect, but for the most part we are happy and fulfilled with our life in moments like these.
I am lucky enough to be in a moment like this in my life right now. I start my masters in psychotherapy in just over a week; a career step I have been wanting to take for years. I live in a house with my brother and friends who care about me and get on well together (for the most part!). I’m being more social and seeing more people I like to spend time with, and I have been in a relationship for about a month now with a wonderful guy that is very loving and supportive and who I can be totally honest with. To a lot of people I am living the dream.
So why am I terrified?
Sometimes there is a little voice at the back of my head that reminds me that all of this could fall apart at any moment. I might not be smart enough for my masters. Everyone in the house could start fighting or decide I don’t belong there. My depression could hit and ruin any motivation I have to be social. My boyfriend could suddenly get bored of me and leave. I have spent so long wanting all of the things that I now have but I’m constantly anxious about trying to make sure that I get to keep them. After all the time and work I have put into myself over the last few years to try and find what makes me happy, I’m still not allowing myself to be happy because I’m afraid of losing it all now that I have it.
It is frustrating to watch myself be like this. I feel I should be able to sit back and enjoy what I have, but instead I’m living in constant fear. Why I am doing this? Why am I waiting for it to all fall apart instead of enjoying it while I have it? Am I that ungrateful? Is it just impossible for me to happy? Some of the answers came in the form of my most recent therapy session.
I have had issues with rejection and abandonment for many years. It is something I’m aware of but didn’t realise just how badly these issues can affect me in my daily life. While having another talk about my needs (see my previous blog post about ‘Needs’ here for some context) it hit me that I won’t accept the happiness in my life because I am in a constant state of anticipating rejection. I can’t ask other people for some of my needs to be met because I feel like I don’t deserve to ask that of anyone. Then, when people are trying to meet my needs without me even asking by giving me things such as love and support, I can’t truly accept it because I expect it to be taken away. So what do I do? I reject them and myself before they have the chance to reject me. I tell myself (sometimes without realising it) that what they are trying to give me is temporary and that I shouldn’t get used to it. I reject the idea that they want to give me these things simply because they want to, and don’t have any intention of taking it away. I reject the idea that I am deserving enough for them to want to do that for me.
Though it is not impossible for the things going well in my life to suddenly go wrong, I will never truly be able to be happy if I live in constant fear of this small possibility. I am spending all of my energy focusing on something that may never happen. How long am I going to allow myself to stand around anticipating the worst case scenario instead of enjoying the happy scenario that I’m already in? They say that worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere. I can’t see the future so why am I trying to? I can see what is happening right now, so I should be focusing on something I can do, instead of something I can’t.
Happiness shouldn’t be scary, it should be happy. Happiness is happy, it is me that is tainting it with fear. I think it is time to get out of the rocking chair…..