Over the last few weeks I’ve found myself musing a lot about the last 12 months. Well, less so the last 12 months as a whole and more so comparing now to 12 months ago. I don’t know if it’s because I’m doing a lot of motorway driving for work or if because I’m newly single again, but in any case it’s been an interesting period of reflection.
To provide a summary of a point I’ve already written about too much, a year ago (circa Feb 2018) I wasn’t exactly in a good place. I felt overwhelmed trying to find my feet in a new role in work, was struggling to come to terms with a number of insecurity’s I had been masking for decades before, and also felt like I had to do it alone as I deliberately cut out my ex of a long term relationship and honest to god best friend in an effort to move on from that failed relationship.
12 months later I’m still left dealing with a number of similar problems, but the situation around them is significantly different…
I’m still struggling in that same role, albeit less with finding my feet and more so constantly feeling like I could be doing so much more. I’m coming to terms with those insecurity’s and learning to deal with them, but they still very much drive a lot of negative self talk. And while I’ve moved on from that failed relationship, the loss of the best friend element of it is something that I will maybe never come to terms with, and also now have a new failed relationship with someone I care very deeply about to deal with, too.
And yea, I’m being very selective with my examples to try and deliver a point, but honestly sometimes I think that I shouldn’t be doing all that much better now. But thankfully, due to an incredibly focused effort on improving my mental strength, that’s not the case – being open and honest with the world, and myself, along with therapy has worked wonders for me.
But something I want to share stemming from all this reflection is that I’ve started to noticed some of the “wrong” things both others and myself have done, not out of badness or selfishness, but out of some kind of mental health issue.
To give an example, I’m quite the cunt for arguing a point that I don’t even really believe in, fearing that failing to do so will have me looking like an idiot. I never realized I was afraid of not looking smart before, but now that I am I can dial my argumentative side back and have better, more enjoyable conversations with others.
I’ve also become more cognizant of other peoples self conscious issues too, which I was never really able to do before. I couldn’t even count the number of arguments I had with my long term ex which in hindsight could* have been driven by some kind of hurt I had caused her which actually materialized itself in a totally different way, leading me to unfairly just pass her off as over reacting.
Realizing this I went into my latest relationship being aware that sometimes someones “over-reacting” is driven not by the topic of the argument itself, but deeper feelings of hurt which aren’t immediately obvious in the moment. Approaching it this way allowed us to work out what the real issue was, figure out how to avoid it in the future, and consequently get closer as a couple – Of course everyone knows that’s what you should do, but actually doing it is easier said then done.
Am I able to notice these things all the time? I can only imagine no, but given that 12 months ago I wasn’t even aware of it at all, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made and wonder what I’ll think this time next year.
I guess the long and short of it is that I’m very very slowly becoming more conscious of my unconscious fears and am trying to get better at not letting those control my thoughts and actions, and that in turn is possibly helping in developing better connections with those I care about. Lets see what the next 12 months brings.
*Could – I’ve not actually had the chance to talk to her about this so I could be totally wrong about that…