I’m Slowly Learning That It’s Okay To Open Up

Woman in a winter sweater and fall scarf smiling near a tree outside
freestocks.org / Unsplash

My biggest fear in life is being abandoned. I am always scared that people will leave me and so I operate with this sense that everything is unstable and can be ripped away in a second.

I’ve become so accustomed to thinking that way that I try to do everything in my power to make sure people don’t have a reason to want to leave me. And part of that has been trying to have as few needs as possible.

If I am only reliant on myself then no one can hurt me. And if they still end up leaving at least it won’t hurt so much. At least that’s what I thought.

But recently I went through a rough patch. I felt myself sliding back into a bad place. I started feeling depressed and I knew that I didn’t want to be back there. I have come too far over the past few years to let myself slip back there without putting up a fight.

But I felt like I was in this deep fog and couldn’t cut through it. I knew there were other people around me, but they felt far away. I felt trapped and I couldn’t get out. I couldn’t enjoy anything, because the fog was creating a thick barrier around me that nothing could cut through. I was miserable but I didn’t know how to make it end.

I was clearly not myself and people started noticing. They kept trying to get through to me, but I wouldn’t let them in. I didn’t know how to be open. It made me feel weak. Eventually I broke and realized that if I didn’t let the people around me help me, it was going to be a much harder journey.

The first person I opened up to was my sister. She talked me through it, and suddenly I felt a little lighter. She is amazing and luckily was able to break me out of the fog. But the one person I was most scared to tell was my boyfriend.

I didn’t want to be the girl who needed her boyfriend to save her. I’m no damsel in distress. But I also realized that I was creating this distance between us by not letting him in. Every time we were together I was so in my head that I barely noticed he was there. It wasn’t fair to him, and quite honestly he was the one person I really wanted to let in.

So I sat him down. I was so nervous. My heart was beating out of my chest and I just kept thinking, what if this time it really is too much for him. I started telling him, and right away I could see that it would be okay. We talked it through and once I had let him in I already felt less alone.

I am so used to dealing with everything on my own that I forgot how nice it could be when you don’t have to do it on your own. It wasn’t like I opened up and all of a sudden everything was perfect. Not at all. But opening up was the first step.

I still have a long way to go, but I now know that I don’t have to do every piece of it on my own. I can lean on those around me for help. TC mark

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