Loving and being loved

I’ve been completely MIA for the past week or so. Everything is okay. I honestly haven’t felt like writing, mostly because I’ve been reading some books that a friend recommended. One is called Safe People and the other is called Boundaries.

Both books were incredibly enlightening, and I’m sure I will write a post about one or both of them in the near future.

On the topic of boundaries, I recently realized I am terrible at saying no, and last week, my therapist and I did some role play. My eyes were opened to the destructiveness of my inability to say no.

I am prone to resentment because of my lack of boundaries, and with her help, I discovered why that is. It was a breakthrough session for me. I left a little downtrodden because I came face to face with some of my toxic behaviors.

The two books I read in the past week just reinforced the lessons I learned in therapy.

The week before my last therapy session, I was having a hard time. Even on “good” days, I was having thoughts of suicide. My thoughts always manifest when I’m driving, and they usually come as “Man, I wish that heavy equipment would fall off that truck so that I can crash into it,” or “It’d be great if this bridge I’m on would randomly collapse.”

The thoughts were coming every single day, and they were strong. I had some nights where I’d think about doing something while I tried to fall asleep. I wasn’t sleeping very much, which probably contributed to the suicidal ideations.

Then therapy happened.

I talked to a close friend on my way home that night, and she said I sounded defeated. I felt like a kicked dog. I love my therapist, but that was a hard session and a hard pill to swallow. My therapist is great, and I needed the lessons she taught me.

My no matters.

My voice matters.

I had dinner with a different friend last night, and she told me about her brother’s depression. I realized as she was telling me about her brother that I haven’t had any suicidal thoughts in over a week. I was shocked. Sometimes they feel like they are a constant companion; ready to jump me and invade my mind at any time.

But I went a week without the thoughts. I think therapy helped, and so did the friend with whom I had dinner. I’m open with her about my suicidal thoughts. Whenever I tell her about them, she reminds me I’m in a better place now and those thoughts are no longer my deepest desire. She helps me remember I’m working hard to grow and laboring to improve my mind and spirit.

I need frequent reminders about the progress I’m making. Words of affirmation are helpful and necessary for my well-being. I’d be a sailboat without a sail without support from my therapist and close friends in whom I can confide and lean on.

I am thankful for the friendships I’ve built in the past couple of years, and because I am in a better place, I have the newfound ability to build intimate and healthy friendships.

I reach out when I’m struggling, instead of stuffing all of my feelings and emotions deep down where no one can see them.

I’m more open about my faults and shortcomings.

I’m more willing and quicker to forgive people.

I’m not as judgmental, and I can recognize when I’ve judged someone unfairly.

I used to condemn people I didn’t like upon first meeting them, and they could never regain my favor; I would fall victim to confirmation bias, and I’d be unable to see people’s good qualities. Now, however, my mind is more malleable and my opinions of people can change after more interactions with them.

I still have weak points, and I am easily annoyed by people. I’m trying to improve, though. I’m trying to see people as fellow humans despite their flaws and idiosyncrasies that don’t perfectly align with my own quirkiness.

The world would be a boring and terrible place if everyone were like me; a new revelation.

I haven’t always felt like I need people, but now there is little doubt in my mind that living on a deserted island with no one for company would be a sad and lonely and awful existence.

My friends anchor me in hope, and being loved is one of the best feelings in the world.

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