Memory – a funny old thing (and my week in review)…

Warning: This is a long post… I got sidetracked halfway through… My apologies in advance…
Before my next counselling session, tomorrow, I wanted to look back at my week, as objectively as possible, and figure out what I’ve done well/not so well…

So, the last post mentioned a few things I went over with my counsellor; my overthinking leading to a negative impact, my inability to be positive, as well as my natural and automatic tendency to be negative too and about myself.

These things are not the only thing I do that hurt me and hinder my progress, but they’re the main ones I’ve been focusing on because they’re the ones I’ve spoken the most about with my counsellor.

Since I’ve had the negativity pointed out to me I’ve been getting better at noticing when I do it. Naturally, the more I try to be self-aware the more I’ll notice it – therefore I should be able to start to combat it more efficiently. In theory.

What makes combatting these issues hard is that they’re so natural they’re almost subconscious. In that, I don’t even realise I’m doing them half the time. And when I do realise I’m doing them, they’re like the itchiest itch you ever had. And it takes a tremendous amount of willpower not to scratch that itch.

I often find myself discussing, with myself, what I’d say if I were to ever bump into (E) or her parents. They’re thoughts that enter my head and the fear I have of what might happen fuels those thoughts and before I know it I’m going over anything and everything that could happen or that I could say.

Not to win her heart and get her back, not necessarily, just things I would say, or want to say, or that she might say (and the things I might respond with).

It might sound like a trivial problem and that some people have actually said to me:

“have you tried thinking about something/someone else?”

Apart from that being a very shallow minded view of my situation, it’s not that easy. Because when I’m in a situation where I am thinking about such a scenario, trying to not think about it just makes my mind hang on to the thought that much tighter. Like one of those finger puzzles.

So, I have to employ a sense of realisation. To combat these thoughts, I have to first see my thoughts from the outside.

I have to realise:

1) that I’m having these thoughts.

2) that these thoughts are harmful and negative.

3) that I have to try and let these thoughts go.

Going through the above process is difficult as it takes a huge amount of willpower. Because the thoughts I have are led by some very strong emotions. Love, fear, panic.

I often upset myself with thoughts about (E), not because they’re sad or upsetting because they’re actually wonderful memories and my feelings are a good thing. They upset me because, no matter how I feel or how good the memories are they’re simply of a relationship, a person, that no longer feels the same way about me. And that is incredibly sad.

Thinking about how sad they make me feel simply exacerbates the sadness and upsets me more. And at that point, I’m caught in a vicious spiral that simply sends me sprawling into overthinking central. At this point it becomes even more difficult to return to a better place, because revelling in the pain and sadness, that I create with these thoughts, becomes safe and ‘easy’.

Feeling like that is horrible and is something I’d never wish on anyone. Hence my enthusiasm to make things up to my old friend.

I’m getting better at getting myself out of these ruts and becoming a little more emotionally stable. But it is a constant battle, a battle that is both tiring and prone to me slipping at any moment.

That’s not to say it isn’t getting easier, because the more I do succeed, the easier it becomes to repeat the process. But, and it is a huge but, the fact that I still get upset sporadically, sometimes for no apparent reason, shows I still have a long way to go.

However, as negative as that last comment may seem, I have found some positives I can look at and they do seem to be helping, kind of.

Instead of being upset that those memories will no longer be part of something special with (E) – a fact that does, truly sadden me – I have to appreciate the simple fact that they are all happy memories. That in the future, those happy memories are all I will remember. Not the bad times of the break-ups, but the truly magical, emotionally eye-opening moments that led to me falling in love with her.

I am aware that the pain those memories bring is still a little too strong to use them to combat the negativity right now, but in time I imagine they will be powerful tools for me to use against that same negativity. After all, she is a very special, wonderful person, and I feel incredibly honoured to have had her tell me she loved me – something I never thought anyone would ever say to me again.

I have to take joy in that fact that she opened my heart and allowed me to feel something I never thought I could feel. She let me prove to myself that I was able to push past the fears and insecurities I have because I loved her. She made me want to be the best person I could be. And that’s no small thing. For the first time in my memory, I was able to let go of my overthinking and not let it control me. And it was all because of my feelings for her.

When she broke things off it left a huge gap in my life. And that gap has been filled in by the fear and insecurity that I pushed away. The pain and sadness that came with the break up allowed it all back in. And to top it all off my overthinking came back with a vengeance.

I will always feel this way about her, I know that. Maybe I’ll move on and find someone else. Maybe I won’t. But I think I need to accept that moving past these feelings is as important as accepting them as a whole. I still want nothing more than for (E) to appear and for us to work things out. Even 3 months on, I still want her back in my life. I accept more and more each day that it won’t happen. But that doesn’t stop my heart wanting what it wants.

Of all the things I do not understand or know right now, the one constant is that my heart still wants the same thing it has wanted from start: (E).

With that said, it’s obvious I’m not that great at keeping on point!

So, let me summarise what my week has been like before I take my leave…

  • Last week’s counselling session went well and I was set a task of trying to see how often I turned something positive into something negative with the word ‘but’.
  • I didn’t have a distressing dream that unsettled my thought process for the beginning of my 4 day work week.
  • As soon as I got to work, my mind still raced into thoughts of (E), and when it didn’t it was me thinking about how useless I am for not holding on to what I had. Reminder: I couldn’t have done anything more. I loved her completely.
  • I spoke with my manager and updated her with how I was doing (she wants to keep up to date – what a nice manager) – a small 20/30 minute conversation which felt like it lifted such a weight from my shoulder.
  • Every night this week, without fail (through wind and rain), I’ve been on my 8.30pm-9pm walks.
  • Every night I’ve sat at the same bench since I started these walks. I sit there until 9 pm before walking the rest of the front and coming home. It might be windy or a little wet, but it’s calming and allows me some time to myself.
  • Every night (E) has failed to come and turn my life into a Disney story by sweeping me off my feet and into the sunset…
  • Sunsets: They’ve been pretty spectacular this week.
  • Last night I witnessed literally hundreds of Herring Gull’s gliding in unison. They appeared from the distance (behind me) and just effortlessly glided out to sea. It was mesmerising.
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