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I went through one of the hardest periods of my life while being in a brand new relationship. I was convinced we wouldn't last, yet here we are 2,5 years later.
As always, I was wrong
While my life was spinning out of my control I was in a new relationship. I didn't have time to be high on oxytocin -the chemical in your brain that makes you fall in love- instead I had to deal with the harsh reality that I was going down and possibly taking someone else with me.
I've always strived to be very independent in every way shape and form. While I am able to openly talk and write about experiences and feelings, it is extremely difficult for me to do this in person while I'm going through it. Because that meant that I had to be vulnerable towards someone else. And I hate being vulnerable. So in the beginning he felt like a threat. Asking me things like "how are you feeling?" And "what can I do?" Yes I know.. How dare he care about me?!
My walls were always up, what made it impossible for us to really see each other.
My boyfriend has a positive nature and often lives in the moment.
And here I was, feeling like my whole life was paused, because my body wouldn't let me live my best life.
You really can't love someone else if you don't love yourself
Even though I loved my boyfriend a lot, there were moments that it was difficult to show that to him.
When we would fantasize about the future, I would feel myself getting irritated, because I was unable to see passed my current situation. How could I think happily towards the future while I was stuck in this mess? There were times that I didn't see a future. Eventually nothing he would say could make a difference in my life. And my relationship started to feel like a burden, because I felt inadequate.
I now understand where that famous phrase comes from: "You can't love someone else, if you don't love yourself."
So again, I was faced with some decisions I had to make.
Would I keep self sabotaging and give up on the relationship, because I felt like I had to face my problems myself? Or would I let him in, surrender and grab the supporting hand that was extended to me.
"Acknowledging the good you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance" - Eckhart Tolle
I chose the last option. So we started talking. I'm all about deep conversations.
While I was going through a tough moment I couldn't say a word. So when I felt good enough, I would explain my moments of despair, anxiety and depression to the fullest. So that he could understand where I was coming from. From my thoughts all the way up to where the mental pain would manifest itself physically in my body. I told him everything.
Since he was now able to imagine what I was going through, I had a teammate in this battle.
Acceptance, accountability and awareness
2,5 years later and he knows me better than any friend I have, because I let him get close to me. He has seen me at my worst. And I do mean worst.
But he isn't the childish type to attack me or anyone else on a personal level.
No matter what adversity I had to face in my life, he was never the cause of it. He never added to my stress. At one point, one of the few secure things I had in my life was my relationship. And for that I am always grateful.
Being in a committed relationship while going through hard times has been very eye-opening. I was always convinced that you shouldn't bother others and face your problems by yourself. And while that is partially true, there's nothing wrong with having someone there by your side.
But you have to do the hard work. You have to confront yourself, apologize when you're wrong and actively change your behaviour. And your partner should have empathy for the situation you're in, but also has clear boundaries to protect themselves and their mental state.
Knowing and seeing the ugly parts of ourselves and our partners are necessary. Addressing them is even more important.
Because only by experiencing each other in the complete human form, you can say that you truly love each other.
Talk to you soon!
Disclaimer: if there's any form of abuse present in your relationship, all of what I said does not apply.