Stop Sabotaging Your Own Happiness

I met a cute girl!

I don’t know how many times I’ve said that in the last week. I think my brain is getting tired of me putting those particular words together in that order. I met a cute girl. I swear, my heart feels like it’s going to burst from my chest. I like her. I really do. She has this amazing smile! Like the kind of smile you’d see in magazines or on TV or whatever. And she’s into the same nerdy shit I’m into, and so far, we’re having a great time together. My giant gay heart is not immune. It never is.

This isn’t anything new for me. I meet cute girls all the time. And every time, I do exactly the same thing because habit is a force to be reckoned with. I, like any giant lesbian, like to move rather quickly. I didn’t notice I was reinforcing this stereotype until my friends started joking around about how long I’d be “in love” this time. I can’t be mad at them for poking fun at me. It’s true. I fall in and out of “love” as easily as I breathe. It’s becoming a problem and I’d like to fix it before I dive head first into something with this girl.

It’s not hard for me to meet cute girls. I have options, like Tinder, or my school campus, or the general area around where I live. Considering that I was in four different relationships last year, I’m going to conclude, from careful observation, that I do not struggle to get into relationships either. Yet, they don’t really seem to last. I like to push the blame for this onto other people. They were too indecisive, too clingy, too emotional, too…anything. But I should probably be an adult and admit that I am the common denominator in all my relationships and that it probably has a lot more to do with my own flaws than any of theirs. I struggle with happiness. I haven’t figured out what past trauma I want to push that blame onto yet, so as of right now, it’s all my fault (which feels really weird to admit.)

The most recent time I can remember being truly satisfied and happy in a relationship, was only a few months ago. School was on break, and the time I didn’t spend at work, I spent at her house. I literally couldn’t get enough of being around her and for the most part, she seemed the same way. We hadn’t been doing what we were doing for a long time (I’d prefer to not call it dating because, if I’m being honest, we weren’t) and yet I was the happiest I had felt in a long, long time. I remember specifically telling her how happy I was and how sad I’d be when whatever we were doing came to an end. She laughed and told me it wouldn’t, and like the gay I am, I ate that right up and set my expectations sky high, as I always do. I expected to always feel that level of intense elation when I was around her, and when I didn’t, it was like, “oh okay, I guess this over,” when, of course, it wasn’t and that was unfair to her.

I don’t know why I do that! Things don’t go as I want them to, and it’s like that episode of SpongeBob SquarePants where Patrick doesn’t know that you have to refill a gas tank and just yeets his whole god-damn car away when it’s empty.

Or even worse, sometimes I’ll be riding that honeymoon phase, and my brain sets off panic alarms like, something’s wrong! Something’s wrong!! Fix it! Fix it! And I end up doing unnecessary shit to fix something that wasn’t broken in the first place.

Somehow, I’m never angry when my relationships end. I expect them to. When I was reflecting on this, I decided that I don’t find myself worthy of love for some reason. I don’t know if I chalk that up to internalized homophobia, or lack of self-esteem, or depression. I just don’t expect anyone to want to be with me, and when they defy those expectations, I get the feeling that I’m being tricked, or they secretly hate me, or something dumb.  

This doesn’t only apply to my love life, either. I love writing. I love it more than anything else in the world. And yet, no matter how much I want to write, I can never bring myself to do it in a healthy way. It’s always something. It’s not good enough, people won’t like it, I made a continuity error- they’ll think I’m dumb, or whatever the case may be. I thought I was just being lazy, but now I see the patterns in my behavior. I actively avoid, or destroy, things that I like. Whether it’s a relationship or writing or just being happy in general. I can never just go out and do something that I want to do. There always has to be a reason I can’t do it.

I think there’s a lot of guilt to unpack. I’m not sure why I’d feel guilty about enjoying life, but I’m sure there is a reason.

A couple weeks ago, I was defending a rather unhealthy choice I was making to one of my best friends. When she, like the awesome person she is, called me out on it, I quickly said that I couldn’t change because I’d been that way for so long. She and I both know that was a bullshit response. Just like this, there’s no reason I can’t actively work to stop sabotaging my own happiness.

Now, a few days ago, I felt less than happy while I was talking with this girl I met, and I felt my gut clench, like “nooo, it’s too soon for it to be over.” I quickly realized how fucking dumb of a thing to think that was. I have partial control over where this goes with this girl. As of right now, I really like her and she seems to like me, so everything is all good. Just because I’m having a Depression Thought doesn’t mean things are coming to a close, or at least it doesn’t have to mean that. I have control over my own happiness. I gotta stop choosing to not bask in it.

I don’t think that I’m the only one with this problem. A lot of people with mental illnesses feel as though they’ve got to be 100% or nothing. I’m here to say, as someone learning…Yikes

That is wildly, massively, unrealistic and unhealthy.

And also, we should probably go to therapy.

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