Happy happy Tuesday everybody! This three-day weekend was very much needed and I hope it was a productive time for most of you all 🙂 I can say that for me it was three days of very tough but honest reflection about myself. I have always been committed to being as transparent and honest about myself as I can be to let others know that they are not alone, so what I’m about to share is something very personal and also slight painful to openly admit. I know, however, that I am not the only one and that maybe others will be able to identify with my situation. What’s my issue you ask? It’s that I am too independent.
Yes you read that right, and you probably think it’s a little silly, but hear me out for a bit. I am too self-reliant, and just like everything else in life too much of a good thing has the opposite effect. When did I become aware of this? When I realized that I felt this constant loneliness even when I was surrounded by so many people whom I love and cherish. I have always known I liked being in control, but I never realized how this need to deal with everything on my own translated to my interactions and relationships with others. You see, I don’t allow people to be there for me ever because have this toxic belief that only I can understand what I’m dealing with and what the repercussions to my actions will be, which is entirely false. I’m so focused on being able to stand on my own two feet and not bothering others with my issues because I feel as if me reaching out for help is a burden. I have this need to be self-sufficient in every single situation because that’s how I grew up- from a very young age I saw that I had to take responsibility for my own future, and I had to seek the resources by myself with very little guidance.
I am too independent and I’ve been in this constant loop for so long that at this point it feels impossible to get out. Because of the fact that I rely entirely on myself I have always found it very hard to make really meaningful connections and friendships that go beyond the surface. I cannot bring myself to trust anyone entirely, no matter how long I’ve known them or how many different situations they’ve seen me in; in fact, I don’t allow people to even cross that boundary. I keep my friends at a distance, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m afraid they’ll disappoint me or judge me or a mixture of both. This self-reliance combined with trust issues and self-rejection make it really hard for me to share much of my life: I’m always the friend that listens and offers advice and is there for others, and it’s great, but when it comes being on the other end of things I avoid it like the plague. This is a dangerous situation because then I end up disappointed when others don’t do the same for me, except that it’s all my fault because how can anyone be there for me when I don’t let them in?
Because of this, I really enjoy my own company. I like going on walks alone, checking out museums by myself, and frequenting new coffee shops on my own with just a good book in hand. It is stressful to deal with friendship when I’m not capable of taking; all I do is give, and I scold myself for feeling resentful about it because it’s all my own doing. This isn’t to say I’m anti-social; I actually love meeting people and having conversations with strangers. I’ve had people ask me for advice on how to be more social and outgoing, and a lot of my friends are surprised when I admit that I’m an introvert, but when it comes to developing long-lasting friendships I struggle with playing my part. My self-reliance deprives me of the capacity to share my secrets, dreams, and fantasies, and what’s worse, I don’t dare ask anyone for help. Nobody really knows me because I don’t let them; in all honesty, I feel confused by the fact that people want to be around me and make the active choice to keep me in their lives.
I hate feeling vulnerable, but as this loneliness inside me becomes heavier and harder to deal with I have to start letting people know me for me. I realize that if I continue to steer clear from the possibility of being hurt or rejected by emotionally distancing myself from people, I will never know true friendship. I want to share my fears, my aspirations, and my mistakes with people, and I want my friendships to make my life a beautiful and memorable mosaic. One way or another, I need to let myself fall. I need to accept love without being suspicious about it or fearing that one day it will disappear. As I write all of this, I know that although it’s painful and uncharacteristic of the person people know me to be, it’s the first step I need to take. I am too independent, but with time I hope to gain the will and strength to knock down this brick wall I’ve build around my heart, slowly but surely.
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