The Rabbit Hole

Brokenness

I just finished watching the movie Lars and the Real Girl.

Cinema speaks to me in a way no other medium does. Movies draw me in to their stories and out of my own head, like a small, much needed vacation. A break from my own reality. A sabbatical. And often times movies, like books, change me. They expand my horizons, grant me forays into another perspective, and sometimes–on very rare occasions–they teach me something about myself.

I feel like i can relate to the character Lars. Like me, he’s lonely. He’s broken. But as much as I feel compassion for him, I also envy him in a small way, because he can afford to lose himself in his delusion. He has the luxury of going a little crazy. And when he does fall into that rabbit hole, he is so very well supported and loved by his community.

I don’t think I have that luxury. I feel like I have to always be strong, in control, and competent. I don’t feel like I have the option to be weak. I’m not allowed to be needy. But I am. Oh how needy I am! I need companionship. I need love. I need to feel like I have worth, like I’m important, like I matter.

I wonder what would happen if I just let go of it all. …if I let myself fall into my own rabbit hole of mental/emotional illness… Would people surround me in kindness as they did with Lars? Would I ever find my way out?

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My Yearning for Meaningful Relationship

Relationships

I’m lonely, and I don’t know how not to be. In theory, I know that to have good friends, one must be a good friend. In real life, though, I’m not sure what I can do differently. I think that I’m a pretty great friend, or, more accurately, I have the potential to be a great friend if only people would make time for me. I’m a great listener. I’m generous. I’m kind. I genuinely care about people and how they’re doing. Why, then, do I not have a best friend who will return my emails, much less call?

I think that part of it is the Seattle Freeze.

But I worry that there may be more to it. When I was in high school there was this girl in my choir class. She was a sweet girl, but she was exhausting to be around because she was so clingy and needy…always seeking affirmation, rather than offering her own wonderful perspective and personality during daily interactions. She was, in a word, desperate. I worry that this is how I’ve become. I worry that people can see my insecurity and my desperation, and that I repulse them. People like confident people. But I am not confident any more. I used to be, but, alas, that part of me – the likable part – is broken.

How does one grow confidence back? How does a person stop being needy and desperate for love? If I don’t think of myself as likable, how can anyone else? But I can’t seem to fix myself no matter how hard I try.

And yet, I can’t be as messed up as I think I am. C and A like playing games with J and me, and M from church told me just today that she wants to hang out with me soon, and H tells me all the time that she adores me and loves working with me, and M from work frequently tells me that I deserve every good thing…

What, then, is my problem? Why don’t I have a “bosom” friend, as Anne of Green Gables would say? I want someone to share life with… Yes, I have J, but a husband isn’t the same as a best friend.

Am I expecting too much?

The Pursuit

The Happiness Project

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about happiness lately.  Mostly, probably, because I’ve been so unhappy for so many years.  In the American culture, despite the adage that money can’t buy happiness, we seem to believe that it can.  It seems to me, however, that the more money I personally have, the less happy I become.  …or maybe there are other forces at work here…

I’ve dedicated 2013 as the year I learn to be happy.  I’ve done some light research on it (and by that I mean I’ve looked at what other people have found out).  Specifically, I read a book called The Happiness Project not long ago, and then tonight J and I watched a documentary called Happy.

I think the bottom line is that I need to consider making some major changes to the way I do life.  I want to get off the money train and focus on the things that matter.  Relationship.  Compassion.  Generosity.  Altruism.  (Yes, I know.  There is a lot of overlap here.)

Such changes are much easier said than done, though.  For example, I’ve been trying to be more social lately, but it’s slow going.  I have a kind of social anxiety that makes it exceedingly hard for me to be around people I don’t know very well, and if someone shows an apparent hesitation to hang out with me, I easily lose heart and give up.  A pox upon the Seattle Freeze!  (Maybe I should just move somewhere else.  Oh yeah, I have a mortgage.  Never mind.)

So, the pursuit continues.

If anyone out there has any brilliant ideas on how to be happy, I welcome your thoughts.

Step 1: Choose to Like Myself. (I’ve failed already.)

Brokenness

I wonder how other people do it.  Others seem so put-together and strong.  Some people even seem to genuinely not care how others perceive them…Whether other people like them or not.  I’m not strong like that.  It matters to me.  J’s cousin-in-law (if there’s such a thing) has not returned any of my overtures of friendship.  She hasn’t responded to texts.  She hasn’t acknowledged my name change.  She didn’t send me a birthday or Christmas card and she didn’t mention that she received mine.  I wonder if I’m unlikeable and she’s decided not to waste her time on me.  I wonder if I’ve offended her somehow.  Maybe I’ve revealed that I’m too weak and insecure for her liking.  I’m not sure.  I know I should get over it and move on, but I keep returning to it in my mind and it hurts even though I try to pretend it doesn’t.  I don’t know whether to stop making the effort altogether – just let her be and not try to have a relationship, but something inside of me is repulsed by that idea because she’s family.  Maybe I’m over-analyzing everything.  Maybe she doesn’t have a strong negative emotion towards me…  Maybe she’s just too busy to send a text, or to send a card, or to send an email.

How do I let it go?  How can I just choose to accept that she may like me but be too busy to show it, or she may not like me?

I suppose that the first step (the first step to getting over it AND the first step to being likeable) is to like myself.  People like confidence in a person so long as it’s not arrogance.  But the bottom line is I don’t like myself.  I know I have lots of good things to offer the world, but it’s not enough to be useful.  I want to be loved.

I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie the other day.  Great movie.  One of the things that someone said was that “we accept the love we think we deserve.”  Maybe that’s why I feel like J doesn’t love me even though he earnestly claims he does.  Maybe I don’t feel like I deserve his love so I mentally and emotionally reject the loving things he does and focus instead on the thoughtless things he does.  Maybe I’m filtering out the things that don’t match up with my beliefs.

I’m so broken.  I want to be fixed.  …but it’s become unbearably obvious that I cannot fix myself.  God help me, because I’m so lost.