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iKiwi
12-17-2011, 03:21 PM
In January I ended an eight year relationship. Now it's almost a year I can see that I've improved so much than how I was a year ago but I've been reading a few posts which make me feel that I should be further on than I am.

I'm in T, I have my own apartment (yay), and I feel like I can just about look after myself, be healthy, and manage a budget. I've made friends and I go out more than I have in the past.

But I'm constantly feeling like I've not done enough, particularly after reading stories here. A year after the breakup and I am nowhere near healed. I am nowhere near at a stage where I am confident enough to go out and join the kinds of activities I'd be really interested in. I am nowhere near okay enough to start a conversation with a stranger, or feel confident in the words I say, or look in the mirror almost every day without falling apart.

No way would I be ready to go on a date, or share a kiss, or go for a walk on the beach with someone. No way am I strong enough to flirt or feel or love. No way could I believe in another person right now, not until I could believe in myself. I'm not close to grasping what trust really is, what is good, what is normal.

No way could I just go off and do my own thing without worry or fear. I just about believe that my life isn't going to collapse any moment, but I still believe it might collapse in the future.

No way am I even stable enough for close friendships right now. I'm still "living in my head," walking around with one foot permanently in my mouth after each excruciating social faux-pas.

No way am I over my anger from my last relationship. No way am I even close to being healed. Am I supposed to be further on than I am after a year? I'm stronger but not strong. Or I'm strong but not stronger, one or the other.

No, I haven't created a strong network of friends, I haven't recreated a completely new identity. I'm trying, I'm learning, I'm doing new things. Many of them are solitary, others aren't. I'm so far away from the horrid situation I was in last December. I couldn't even imagine that I could reach where I am now in only a year.

But I'm not healed and I'm not fixed and I'm not mistake free. I will keep f**king up over and over, I'm sure. Should I have made more friends, seized more opportunities over the last year? There were dozens of things I turned down because I was struggling. Should I have more to show for myself after a year on my own?

(This basically seems ridiculous now I've finished typing it but I'm going to post it anyway, since I've written it and all.)

rafferty
12-20-2011, 01:23 AM
You can only go at the pace you can go. There is no 'should' in this... you can't get over something in a certain set time frame. As you said - you've made many positive changes this year.... you've done those things because the time was right for you to do those things.

These rest will happen when it's time. You will know when you are ready to challenge yourself on some more difficult things... and other things will just happen naturally without you having to do anything to force things.

Don't try to measure up to some arbitrary standard of where you should be. You are where you are.... and in another years time you will be in another place. There is no time line to this stuff. The time line can only ever been seen in hindsight - and your time line will be unique to you. And that's perfectly OK and as it should be.

:love

iKiwi
12-20-2011, 04:02 AM
Thank you, rafferty. I am in quite a good place actually. To be honest compared to a year ago my life, even post-separation, generally feels so much brighter. As much as I care about my ex-H as a friend, the last eighteen months of our marriage was really dark. Last Xmas I wouldn't have been able to imagine that in a year's time I'd be living alone, with my own apartment, a piano, and a fantastic therapist. It's a shame I had to go through some dark things to get to that though.

I'm not going to second-guess the next year because I don't know what will happen or if I will / won't change -- making plans will make me miserable. All I know is that the year will happen, one way or another, and whilst two thousand and eleven has gone so quickly there are so many parts of it I will never forget. I keep trying to remind myself that this is just the beginning -- I've still got the whole of my life ahead of me. It's not completely safe yet to start telling myself "I can do anything I've ever dreamed of" (that might work for some people but causes mini freak-outs in me), but I'm slowly starting to believe that some doors I thought long locked might be pushed open with a little bit of effort.

We'll see. I AM a bit apprehensive about the unknown for the first time ever. The world seems so big and wide, and I so small... But I can't second guess my future -- that will just make me miserable.

sunshinepoppy
12-20-2011, 04:39 AM
I'm not mistake free. I will keep f**king up over and over, I'm sure.

It hurts me to hear you say this. No one is ever perfect and mistake free. You are just fine the way you are, learning and growing and moving forwards at your own pace. No one is perfect, and expecting perfection from oneself is unfair.

I hope this dark self criticism does not plague you too much. It sounds very painful, from the outside. Can you think of ways to de-rail this type of self castigation, for the future? Self judgement occurs, but recognizing it as unrealistic and turning your thoughts down another path can head off a lot of misery. Having a plan for coping with this type of self criticism might help a good deal.

Take good care of yourself.

:gimmehug :gimmehug :gimmehug

iKiwi
12-23-2011, 07:42 AM
haha, I thought I was being quite positive / pragmatic. I guess I never quite know how I'm coming across. Thanks for your thoughts SP, you're right to remind me that I must seem really quite harsh from the outside. xx

sunshinepoppy
12-23-2011, 08:05 AM
I am curious... do you think you only seem harsh, or do you think you actually are being harsh?

Hyzenthlay
12-24-2011, 01:08 PM
:hugonMidnightTide:hugoff

As other :fishys have said, there is no right or wrong pace to do things. You will deal with things as you need to.

I spent almost three years grieving the end of a two month relationship - which wasn't even a 'proper' relationship! I felt guilty and shameful and stupid...but the point is, when the time was right, I did turn a corner and now I am in a relationship with someone new and wonderful, and I am finally in a good enough place (physically and mentally) to make a good go of this relationship.

You're right, you can't second-guess your future. There are possiblilties to experience new things and meet new people no matter how old we are. I'm doing things now that I never would have dreamed of doing a year ago. Healing and growing take time, but if we stick with recovery, there is more chance of experiencing them.

Gentle :gimmehugs to you.