I went back to counselling few weeks ago. It seems to help me – if not a lot, then some. My self-digging was great and all, but my biggest issue for now is that I need to somehow internalise all those great conclusions I had made.
First and foremost – I need to learn to chill and relax again – my anxiety levels are through the roof these days. I used to have the healthy ‘I don’t give a shit’ attitude (to a certain extent, of course), but it’s gone – it’s a Freakout 24×7 team now.
My counselor tells me the key to fighting anxiety is anchoring to the present. Anxiety is in fact a fear for the future – you come up with multiple gloom and doom scenarios and try to fight them now, before it’s too late. That’s unnecessary, as you cannot control the future. So concentrating on the only thing you can – the present – does the trick. I loved the trick she taught me – how to snap back into here and now – using physical sensations as a bridge – where you concentrate on what you feel – like in your elbow pressing on the table, you being cold or hot or itchy – whatever you are currently feeling, seeing or hearing will do. You’re back in here and now, welcome!
Another thing that my shrink confirmed to me – I have very poor boundaries when it comes to romantic relationships. I am pretty darn good at setting them elsewhere (although I used to be a crazy intruder until quite recently, but was totally great at protecting my own), work, family, friends etc. But when it comes to relationships, I suck big time. The reason – lack of self-respect. Or rather I cannot find the middle ground between respect for self and respect for the other person. In my mind, I am either a giver or a taker. And it varies from one guy to another. Sometimes even for the same guy over time.
Underlying problem – I cannot exactly pinpoint the reason I need a relationship for. (My girlfriends were telling me this for some time, guess I wasn’t listening). Also overall huge overrating of relationship as such in my mind. It’s like I have this extremely expensive asset in my books where I cannot exactly tell what I need it for. It’s more of ‘Well, I do need it! Don’t you see, I do! I want it!’ – and I can’t tell why or what for.
I am a reasonable and logical person elsewhere, but it’s like a blind spot in my mind, I am a total toddler in it – who is ready to throw a tantrum whenever asked this question and cannot be reasoned with.
So the only way to solve this issue is to face the challenge again – and try it over and over again – until I figure it out. And I am intending to not put too much value – and thus expectations and pressure – on the whole relationship thing. I will also follow my girlfriend’s advice – and won’t do the exclusivity thing until I am asked for it. And they’d better be persuasive in their request – not cocky!