Being the new year, I was determined to make it so much better than the last. I knew things couldn’t change overnight, but I was sick of feeling sad all the time and I was desperate to be happy, so, I decided to make an appointment to see a psychologist. I figured if I was able to speak to someone who knows nothing about him and nothing about me and my life it might make me understand where I went wrong.
I booked my first appointment and off I went. I felt sick I was so nervous and, I got there forty-five minutes early!!! I had no idea what I’d say, how much I’d say or where I’d even start. After filling out some paperwork, she welcomed me into her office and I sat down. I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. Why on earth was I so nervous?
“So… what would you like to talk about” she asked. Blaaah!!! Nothing but word vomit came out of my mouth, I pretty much started at the beginning and told her where it all started, what my life was like, how happy I was, what I was doing for work, my family life, friends, him, everything. I could see she was sitting and staring at me, taking everything I said in. She didn’t write a lot down, but when she did it made me think twice about what I was saying. Did I do the wrong thing? Is it my fault? Am I a bad person? Should I have done more?
By the end of the first session I thought I’d feel a lot better. I imagined feeling like a whole weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that I’d come out of there with a clear mind, but I felt nothing. I didn’t feel better, or different. I was glad that I was able to say what I needed to say without feeling judged. But as for the pain and uncertainty… nothing.
I spoke to my mum and told her how it went. “Yeah, it was okay” I said. I don’t like talking about things like that with my parents, I don’t like the fact that they feel my pain when I’m sad or upset, they shouldn’t have to feel it too. I really thought that after being on medication and seeing someone who I would magically feel better. She explained that these things take time and they don’t just ‘magically’ happen over night.
I remembered the whole rollercoaster conversation that I had been having with one of my closest girlfriends. I braced myself for the road to come, but was just so desperate to get to the end where everything was ok and I could go back to feeling normal. I knew it would take a while, but I was so eager to finally get there. Day to-day life became a little bit of a struggle, not all the time, but sometimes I would feel really unmotivated and unhappy. There were days where I’d really miss him, and just want to be with him and I wouldn’t enjoy the company of the other people I was around.
Back at the psychologist I started talking more about me and where I went wrong in life to be feeling like this, I always thought I was a good person and would go above and beyond for anyone in my life. I felt like I was being punished for taking everything for granted. Was it because I was stubborn? Or always took him for granted? Picked fights over the smallest things? What? Where did I possibly go wrong to end up the way we did?
Over the weeks my anxiety was getting worse and worse. I couldn’t stop putting stories in my head of what people were thinking of me. “Look at her, she deserves to feel like this” “Sucked in, she thought she had her whole life planned out” I couldn’t even get in the car without getting anxious at a traffic light in fear of what the people next to me were thinking. When I get anxious I go quiet and don’t want anything to do with anyone around me. I want to sit on my own and process everything. This often comes across as being in a bad mood, or angry and really annoys me. Everyone has a different way of dealing with it, I don’t judge them, so why should I be judged?!
I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about the past 10 years because reality was finally starting to hit home. I was alone, without him. I thought I had come to terms with what had happened, but boy was I wrong. I began to put on this front around my friends and family that I was dealing with it all. I wasn’t. I was a mess, I became a professional at pretending I was ok, and pretending I was having fun when I was out, pretending to have this smile on my face. I decided it was just easier to tell everyone I was moving along with life than sit there and have the same old conversation with them over and over.
Whenever I saw him on the odd occasion I felt instantly better. We celebrated his Christmas at his family friends house and I loved every second of it. It was like nothing had changed. I missed him, a lot, and I felt like he missed me too, but he was already happy, he was going to be OK so I needed to be ok.
I realised that this was the beginning of a whole new chapter of my life. I hadn’t been alone in 10 years, and had never been just me, we were always ‘him and me’.
Do I even know how to be… just me?