Posted by: alphafemme | July 7, 2009

Positive self-talk and self-care

Mi’lady was supposed to come over this evening after she had dinner with a friend and after I had a therapy appointment to talk about various kinds of anti-depressants. But right before my appointment she texted me saying she needed to go home tonight and take care of things at home. So she’s not coming over. This is on the heels of a week in which I’ve been feeling like she doesn’t desire me anymore, for whatever reason. Last night I finally brought it up, since for the fourth night in a week, she wasn’t really into having sex. She wanted to cuddle and hold me, but not have sex. (This is really unusual for her.) And I just said, “Mi’lady, I need to tell you that I’m starting to have the feeling that you don’t desire me anymore.” It was good for her to know that I felt that way, but I also get afraid that saying those kinds of things just drives her away more, because being weepy and needy isn’t very desirable or sexy. So, even though she was really sweet to me last night, I spent all day today feeling some leftover weirdness. And so her text message that she wasn’t going to come over after all was sort of a blow. And it’s so easy for me to slip into these really destructive patterns of self-loathing (“my behavior is only going to drive her away! I’m such a bad girlfriend! I’m not lovable at all, of course she’s pulling away from me!”) and clinginess/passive-aggressiveness (so that I take out my negative feelings on her). These patterns need to stop. Basically, I need to stop relying on her for my sense of self-worth, and need to start providing it myself. Because then, I’ll be much more able to know when she’s actually pulling away, and when she just needs a little bit of her-time. Which I need too. (Though another issue in my co-dependency is that I have a very hard time asserting my own need for self-time, which means that when others assert their needs, I get resentful that they’re not being as selfless as I am. Which is also bad. But that’s tangential.) Good grief, there are so many issues and complexities here, it’s so hard to dissect them all and lay them out coherently.

It’s so hard to coax myself out of the destructive patterns once they’ve started rolling. So, so hard. So I need to have interventions for myself. In fact, this post right now is an intervention, because I’ve been lying on my bed since I got home from my appointment, utterly depressed in the thought that she doesn’t love me, and battling the urge to text her or call her snarkily or whining. So one thing my therapist has told me is rather than focus on huge complicated sweeping issues that will overwhelm me (such as statements like “I’m so awful for being so co-dependent”), I should focus on small behaviors that are easier to reverse (such as saying, “no, I’m not going to text her until and unless I am free of feeling resentful towards her”). That is a specific action. But I think it will also help me to have as a goal that every day, I need to do at least one positive thing for me. Things that will get me in the habit of caring for myself, rather than just  caring for her or seeing myself as a part of just our relationship, and will help make me more independent. So that I can rely on myself for my happiness, and not her.

So I’m going to make a small list of positive things I can do for myself:

  • write a blog post
  • take a bath
  • go to the gym during my work day
  • go to a yoga class
  • take a walk
  • play piano
  • write emails to or call my friends and family
  • read a book of my own (and not a book that we’re reading together)
  • watch a movie or tv show
  • cook a real meal just for myself
  • take steps towards having my own activities (e.g., go to grad school info sessions, sign up for a university class, go to a meeting of an org I’m interested in, apply for a volunteer job, apply for a new real job, do an alum activity from my college)
  • spend time with a friend other than Mi’lady
  • get a massage, haircut, or other salon service
  • go to the library
  • go to a Co-Dependents Anonymous meeting
  • read literature on co-dependency
  • work on a new skill, like drawing or sewing
  • clean, do laundry, or take care of household tasks
  • masturbate

Obviously, since we spend a lot of evenings together, this might take some work. I’ll need to figure out how to do positive self-care things on days we’re together. It will probably mean going to the gym during the work day, or writing a blog post during work (shhhh!), or reading during my lunch hour. And I don’t think it needs to be a serious activity every day. Just 20 minutes. And I want to try to wake up in the morning and say something positive about myself, and say something positive and affirming before I go to sleep. A mental review of the things I did for myself that day.

Maybe this will help. And now I’m going to go take a bath.

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Responses

  1. […] are good, and I’ve been pretty stable since that last low-point earlier this month (see here, here, and here).  I’m seeing a psychiatrist on Friday morning to hopefully start planning […]

  2. […] while back, I posted a list of things I can do to care for myself. I go to that list often, when I’m feeling down and want to feel better, or when I’m […]

  3. This is a great list. I don’t have co-dependancy issues, but I am dealing with issues with being single and living alone (along with chronic illnesses). I’m inspired to create my own list to use.

    I hope this list is helping you!


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