You’re Only As Healthy As Your Social World

We’ve all held on to someone who didn’t deserve to be there, and most of us still have someone in our lives who continually drains us: Someone who doesn’t add value. Someone who isn’t supportive. Someone who takes and takes and takes without giving back to the relationship. Someone who contributes very little and prevents us from growing. Someone who constantly plays the victim.

Victims become victimizers, though, and these people are dangerous: They keep us from feeling fulfilled. They keep us from living purpose-driven lives. Over time, these negative relationships become part of our identity—they define us, they become who we are.”

            –Joshua Fields Millburn, The Minimalists

My battle with my depression and anxiety has been challenging these past few months. The fight is even harder without a trusted therapist. I saw two new shrinks over the course of a six-month period in 2015. I stayed with one for three sessions, and the other for five sessions. While they were great therapists, the deafening silences and pauses kicked up my anxiety even more. Personality-wise we didn’t click.  I wasn’t comfortable.

So, the search for a new therapist continues. I’ve been through a two-month period without speaking to one. And the results have not been good. The more I tried to handle my pain with work and other methods, the more my depression grows. No amount of exercise, journaling, or healthy eating habits is making it go away.

Lately, I have been having thoughts of the big S word that shall not be named. My depression has veered off to an ugly place I hoped I would never revisit, but sadly, here we are.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I grew up with a parent who suffered from a personality disorder and other ailments.  Being on the receiving end of her cruelties, led to a life of extreme highs and lows.  I never knew what I was going to get from her.  I always had to be ready for a losing battle.  As an adult, I’m constantly on edge, though, I’ve learned to mask it.

After a year and a half of therapy (I started in early 2013), I made some healthy choices but not enough of them. Learning the hard way is still learning, I think.

I’ve been hopeful (mostly), since making life changes to get better.  Though, the past few days has been particularly challenging because I had to see this person, and hear her insults, and see her fangs, again.  (Sometimes you just get worn down, and you give into the relentless voice to comply with family expectations.)

“You’re only as healthy as your social world.” –Dr. Chris Donaghue

From what I have read and been told by therapists, people suffering from borderline or narcissistic personality disorder have experienced trauma early in life (which she has). Their viciousness comes from being insecure, along with a fear of abandonment.

I don’t feel insecurity or fear from her. Though, maybe it was once insecurity and is now something else…something evil?

All I feel is hate and anger.  It’s all I’ve ever felt from her.  She makes me feel like I’m worthless and not worthy of being on planet earth.

Despite my boundary work, my commitment to therapy, journaling extensively, and keeping my distance…it never seems to be enough.

There is no way to prepare.

At times, I feel so weak.  And I hate myself for it.  I scold myself for not working harder to stay away. So many others manage to do it, why can’t I?  How can I still be playing the part of her punching bag?

I know what I have to do. It’s the same thing that anyone must do if they are with a psychologically, emotionally, or physically abusive person.

You have to get away, both physically and emotionally. There needs to be a significant amount of time away from any abusive figure that can trigger your self-loathing. Never let yourself get pushed towards darkness or negativity. Take care of yourself above all else.

It seems so simple. So much easier said than done. But it needs to be said repeatedly, as a reminder to everyone (myself included).  How many times do we give in? Too many.  No amount of family connection, obligation, or societal expectations should keep us in unhealthy and unsafe circumstances.

I hope I’ll take my own advice today.