Friday, August 18, 2017

The Common Denominator



I’ve been having difficulty maintaining relationships for some time now. My marriage is the only thing I haven’t screwed up, and believe me, I’ve given my husband plenty of reasons to turn and walk away. I’m truly blessed to have found someone that can tolerate my ups, downs, and everything in between.

For some reason, however, friendships are a foreign concept to me. I’ve stopped getting too close to people because it seems as if it’s inevitable that we’ll end up in an argument that ends the friendship.

Once the dust settles and I have some time to think it out, I can be honest and claim my part in the demise of the relationship, but some people have walked out of my life when I’ve done absolutely nothing to deserve it. It’s painful, and it’s damn lonely to find yourself without close friends.

I’m realistic enough that when I catch myself playing the scene out in my head on repeat, I can see where it may have gone wrong. The thing that I struggle with the most is that all of these failed relationships are with a variety of different people, but there is one common denominator…ME.

What a slap in the face when you come to that stark realization. Have I been deliberately sabotaging friendships because I want to get out before I get hurt?

Or are people just taking advantage of my kindness?
I’ve come to the conclusion that not every situation warrants a response. I think I’ve been doing better with it lately, but that could be because I’m holding everyone at arm’s length.

I’ve had to cut ties with people that I once trusted, loved, and respected because I felt their presence in my life was toxic. However again I have to ask, is it because I’m the one constant in all of these disagreements?
Maybe I don’t let people love me because I don’t love me. 

I know I’ve got a lot of work to do. I know I have to manage my temper and learn to think things through before I react. I think the deck may be stacked against me on this issue; I have borderline personality disorder. Let me fill you in on a few symptoms of that diagnosis.

Requires a medical diagnosis
Symptoms include emotional instability, feelings of worthlessness, insecurity, impulsivity, and impaired social relationships.

People may experience:
Behavioral: antisocial behavior, compulsive behavior, hostility, impulsivity, irritability, self-destructive behavior, self-harm, social isolation, or lack of restraint

Mood: anger, anxiety, general discontent, guilt, loneliness, mood swings, or sadness

Psychological: depression, distorted self-image, grandiosity, or narcissism

Also common: risky behavior or thoughts of suicide
Source: Mayo Clinic

See what I mean? Not all of this applies to me, but quite a bit of it does.

So, where do I go from here? I’m going to keep working on myself. I’m 44 years old, and I have to go back to the start in the hopes that I can learn to control these symptoms. I think I can do it. It’s not going to be easy, but in my life, things rarely are.

I’m pretty nervous about what is ahead for me, but I know I have work to do and I know if I don’t get moving, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. 

Here’s to the first day of the rest of my life.



Guest Post #14 - Mental Health Awareness Month - Dr. Jason Holland of Lifespark

About the Author: Jason M. Holland, Ph.D., currently serves as the CEO and Editor of Lifespark , an online well-being magazine focuse...