I had an interesting counseling session the other day. Interesting to me, because it revealed some things I wasn’t admitting to myself.
Ever since my ex and I broke up, I’ve been trying my hardest to focus on myself. To work on myself.
“Work on yourself. What does that mean?” My counselor asked me.
I explained that there were things I wanted to improve on, for myself. I also told them that I was afraid it really wasn’t for me.
I struggled with my mental health long before my ex and I met, while we were together, and even now.
I’ve never really been confident in myself. I’ve struggled with my body image, my intelligence, and accepting my brain might work differently than others. When my ex and I were struggling, he kept saying “I won’t talk to you until I see improvement.” I don’t think he meant harm by his words, but the amount of unnecessary pressure they applied to me was unbearable.
Yes, I let my emotions or mental health issues control me at times. Yes, I struggled to see how beautiful I am. Yes, I cried uncontrollably into my pillow. Yes, I was a handful.
No, I didn’t deserve to have that thrown in my face as an excuse for someone else’s fears.
I am aware of that, but I find it hard to accept.
I need to exercise and lose weight so I’m happy. I have to work out, I need to be healthy, I need to be better for him.
I need to prove I am independent, for myself. I need him to see that I am worthy, that I am his equal.
I need to strip and open myself up, feel sexy, for myself. I have to give myself to him, so I can satisfy his needs, make him happy.
And today, I realized I ended up putting myself on the back burner. I knew I had my problems. I knew I struggled. I knew I needed help. But, I kept giving and giving.
I ended up focusing on my ex and our relationship so much, I forgot to take care of myself. And it’s hard for me to understand how to balance that.
When you’re in a relationship, part of the foundation is built on your character. I see now, that both people need to continue strengthening themselves so their individual and partnered foundation stays steady.
My ex recently told me to focus on myself. I want to do that so badly, but I feel like what I am doing and plan to do is for him. That the things I want to improve upon are attached to the hope him and I can have a second chance.
But part of me is in disagreement with that. Me exercising, being more social, and trying new things all existed long before I met him. And they’ve all been a part of me this whole time. So, I also know it’s not all for him.
I once saw a post on Facebook, it was original shared from Tumblr, that went along these lines:
It’s okay to live for something or someone else until you can live for yourself.
Of course living for yourself, working on yourself for you, is optimal. But, I believe out attachment to others is impossible to separate from. No matter the situation, we live for ourselves so we can see, touch, feel something familiar.
My insecurities may be heightened because of my past relationship, but I know that no matter what I choose to do, either in blind hope or pure self preservation, I’m going to keep moving forward.