My boyfriend and I had been going through this endless loop of me acting weird and needing reassurance because of my fear and insecurities about his Instagram and text behavior. It was pushing him away, making him scared to say or do things out of fear of upsetting me.
I was creating exactly what I didn't want.
I needed to get help. I needed to stop. I needed to get a fucking handle on myself and learn how to master my emotions and behavior. But how?
I started to look for help and solutions without making the same mistake of going to him for validation and reassurance, which wasn’t his responsibility. I went to my therapist, I started doing hot yoga (wept during a heart open pose), read every self-help book I could get my hands on, and even went to a Codependent (Coda) Anonymous meeting. Coda was a game changer.
I had been trying to micromanage this man, and to be even more honest, I liked him so much I was looking for a reason to run. I was so fearful and terrified of my feelings and scared he might hurt me, so it was easier to anticipate problems as a defense mechanism to protect myself.
It’s so much easier to be alone because you don't have to face all your fears and insecurities.
After another, and what I’ve promised to be the last, long grueling talk about all this emotional upheaval with the man I’m dating, I’m done with this behavior. All I want now is to try to go 21 days (they say a habit is broken in 21 days) without being upset or stressed or worried about anything in regards to my relationship. I just want to let it be good. I want to be happy. Because that’s the thing — if I let it be good, it will be. I caused all of this doubt and chaos and suffering (my fear and insecurities). I am an Instagram addict. And now I have to create some fucking boundaries.
I’m also going to assume the best. Instead of listening to the negative voices in my head trying to derail my life and undermine me, I’m going to trust the man I’m dating, remember how wonderful I am, focus on me and what I need to accomplish, and be thankful I have someone in my life to have fun with and great sex with.
From now on, I’m going to go to a Coda meeting once a week. They make you feel less alone because others are going through the same fears, doubts, and spirals. They all experience the addictive nature of getting self-worth from a relationship.
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I'm bringing my attention back to me. I realized I was wrapping all my self-worth in the attention I was or wasn’t receiving from another person. And that’s not OK. I don’t know how or why I let that happen — maybe out of the excitement of new romance and all the hormonal intensity that brings, but I had to ground myself in me again. I had lost 15 pounds due to the emotional duress I put myself under. I wasn’t happy, and I was pushing someone I liked away. All because of the power of the mind and it’s ability to self-sabotage and create false narratives.
I’ve added a few more pivotal additions to my self-assigned homework, on the road back to fun: no more looking at the Instagram activity feature. No thanks. Who cares what some guy I’m dating or anyone I follow is looking at? You can’t control people. It doesn’t matter. I don’t wanna know.
I’m also done spiraling if he doesn't constantly text me all day. He has a life and work and stress and dreams and responsibilities of his own. And so do I. I want to respect that. I can know he likes me even if he isn’t texting me 24/7. He doesn’t need constant reassurance from me, so why should I need it from him?
And when did we get in this bizarro state in our culture where we’re in an ongoing text convo with friends, lovers, and family? It’s too much! And yet, it’s become such the norm and what I’m used to from past relationships, that I’ve decided that if I’m not in some codependent text relationship, the world is upside down and crashing down on me.
I’m actually really excited to have had all these cathartic realizations and to use this as an opportunity to be more secure, create boundaries, have more self-worth, remember who I am, and not need to control another person or derive my self-esteem from someone else.
From now on, as hard as it may sound, I’m giving less power to Instagram.
I’m also going to assume the best. Instead of listening to the negative voices in my head trying to derail my life and undermine me, I’m going to trust the man I’m dating, remember how wonderful I am, focus on me and what I need to accomplish, and be thankful I have someone in my life to have fun with and great sex with. It’s as simple as that. If a real problem comes up, we’ll deal with it then, calmly and rationally or whatever.
But until then, I don’t need to be shadow boxing with lies I’m telling myself and problems that aren’t real. After all, relationships are supposed to fun, and they could be — if we let them.