The first thing I have to say is that I don’t really want any advice. The thing is, when I get unsolicited advice from people I can’t see right in front of me, people I don’t know very well (and knowing you only on the internet means I don’t know you very well), without the benefit of tone of voice, facial expression, etc., etc., I tend to take it as criticism. I recognize that this is my issue, not the would-be advice givers’, but there it is. I don’t want to be paralyzed by my fears of “what you might be thinking,” dear reader, so, please, unless I ask for it, please give no advice here.
OK, with that out of the way, maybe I can blog.
More and more I have noticed lately, that I have been feeling bored and lonely.
This is progress.
If I’m feeling lonely, it means that I actually want to spend time with people, and not just holed up in my room reading or watching DVDs and snuggling with the dog. Though that’s good, too, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I think I’ve been overcompensating for all the years that I couldn‘t do that, that’s part of it.
The other part of it? I’m scared.
Way before I lost relationships when people were offended that I converted to Judaism, way before Mr. X and all of his confidence destroying ways, way before all of that, I was the kind of person who was fairly careful about who I let in. I have always been cautious about who I choose to be friends with, and (quite ironically) even more cautious about who I would date. Well, the two things I referred to at the beginning of this paragraph have only served to carve into stone my previous tendency toward caution in relationships. Before, at least, I thought I was pretty good at judging character. Well, we’re not so sure about that now, to put it lightly.
So now I find myself in somewhat of a bind. I’m wanting to start hanging out, having close friends around, but, alas, I am now overly cautious, which translates into spending a lot of time alone.
Of course, I’ve talked to my therapist about this. At the root of all of it is a fear that I will get stuck in a situation/relationship that I won’t be able to easily extricate myself. She thinks that that’s all about my not liking to tell people “no,” not liking to set limits with people. It’s fairly easy for me to set those limits when I don’t know you, but once I let you in, well, I don’t know. In the past I’ve had a hard time saying, “no.” (See: Mr. X, our entire relationship) I hope that I’ve learned a thing or two about boundary setting, but, see, I don’t really trust myself so much in this regard. I’m uncertain of how I would respond in an actual friendship situation, and so, I find it easier, safer really, to just opt out. I’ll just sit over here on the sidelines and observe, thankyouverymuch.
The problem with that is, well, it’s no fun. No fun, kind of lonely, and starting to get pretty boring, too. Like I said before, this is progress. A couple of months ago, hell, a couple of weeks ago I was pretty content to just play the part of the hermit. Now, not so much. There’s a quote, and I couldn’t find who might have said it first, but it seems pretty big in the Alcoholics Anonymous world:
Change occurs when the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of changing.
Staying the same, i.e. avoiding life, is beginning to become more painful than my fears of changing my patterns.
I’m making progress. Who knew?