Sometimes I come out of a session feeling great. Sometimes I come out feeling like a monster, like some horrible, fucked-up person.
During my first session, my therapist noted that this was a mutual process. It wasn’t as if he was going to surgically remove an issue with me, it would take the both of us working together, with a progressive effort from me.
That’s what I’m doing now. I’m determined to fix myself.
- I have a general feeling of incompetence, which leads to a lack of trust in my own judgments. As a result, I have a very difficult time making decisions because I’m paralyzed by the fact that I may make the wrong one.
- I can trace this back from my childhood to my early twenties when my parents were overbearing and would never let me make any of my own decisions. In fact, they would make most of my decisions for me, including significant ones, like my program of study in university.
- The result is that I tend to ask people for advice on everything, although I’m dependent on Pat the most. This is because Pat is so smart and experienced, and has never, ever let me down. What I’ve come to realize, however, is that Pat is so smart because he’s already made his mistakes.
- This was linked to my anxiety, where I felt like I couldn’t handle anything on my own.
- I’ve been trying to fix this is to keep in mind that it’s not the end of the world if I make a mistake, and that sometimes, making mistakes is the only way to learn.
Unrelenting Standards revisited
- I realized that I tend to have unrelenting standards when it comes to life in general, but especially in my writing, photography, or art because I feel like this is the only way I will ever distinguish myself and be worth something. I feel like if I’m not the best, then I’m worthless. As a result, it’s difficult for me to enjoy my life, even something as simple as sitting down and watching a movie.
- The roots of this are more difficult to trace than I initially thought. While my parents were a tremendous influence in terms of making me feel like their love was conditional, I believe a large part of this lifetrap has to do with me making up for my emotional deprivation by filling my deeper emptiness with success.
- Even when I do something that I know I should be proud of and satisfied, I feel like there’s always another thing to do, another level to reach. While this fuels my self-improvement and has gotten me to where I am now, I’ve come to realize that there’s an imbalance between the effort and the payoff. I work too hard for too little enjoyment.
- I may realize this, but it’s a hard habit to break. I have a feeling that I’ll need to fix my emotional deprivation at the same time to do so.