I’ve been struggling with balance, y’all. How does the saying go? “Life be life-ing” or whatever the young kids say these days 😂. It has been so tough trying to balance my personal life, work life, and social life in recent months. Now, most people would just combine their social life with their personal life, but for me, it’s different. It’s difficult. My social life is in shambles to be quite frank, and it feels like I’m being torn apart. So, you know what I did? I brought it to therapy, and thank goodness for my therapist because she helped me learn so much about myself socially, and I’m eager to share them with you all.
1. I’m hesitant to be social because of what I’ve experienced.
I explained my specific struggles to my therapist, and she asked me why I think it’s so hard to be social. I thought really hard, but I couldn’t figure it out until she said, “Well, I would imagine that the previous situation you’ve been through has some part to play in this. What do you think?” Suddenly, it all clicked.
The experience I went through in 2013 was stressful and traumatic, so it makes perfect sense that I struggle with being social. It was really difficult the first time around, so naturally, my heart is trying to protect me from feeling emotional pain again. My therapist called it a trauma response that I’m still feeling the repercussions of nearly 10 years later.
2. My social boundaries do not make me a bad friend.
The guilt that I feel from not being able to be what my friends need me to be is heavy. I have friends that want to hang out, talk on the phone, and video chat, and while for some people it’s not a big deal, it’s a lot for me. While I’m at 10%, all of my friends are at 80% or 90%, and I find it incredibly difficult to meet them at the top. I try to, but it seems impossible. I expressed this to my therapist and relayed the amount of guilt I felt about not being what they deserve, but she changed my perspective entirely.
She helped me realize that my desire to meet them somewhere on the scale shows that I care about these amazing people in my life. It shows that I’m a good friend and am willing to try despite my trauma response.
3. My constant need to people-please contributes to the guilt I feel.
I often think of others before myself, and I don’t say that as a flex or a brag, but as a fact — one that I wish wasn’t true. The idea of saying, “No,” to someone makes me really uncomfortable, so oftentimes, I’ll do something merely because I don’t want to turn someone down and disappoint them. Lately, I’ve been learning to stand up for myself and care for myself before I care for others, so I’ve been telling people, “No,” more than I ever have in my life. The guilt comes immediately, and my therapist believes it comes from my need to please everyone, which has been a consistent theme in my life.
I want to go further into this here, but my therapist and I are going to dive a bit deeper into this in our next few sessions. Once we talk more and I’m able to process my thoughts around this, of course I will share that with you all.
As I always say, I’ll be the first person to advocate for therapy. In fact, I’m waiting for someone to call me and just make me their spokeswoman at this point (wink, wink).
In all seriousness, I’m so thankful for therapy because I walked into the session feeling like I was being pulled in a bunch of different directions when all I wanted to do was be still. I walked into the session feeling like a piss-poor friend, but I walked out feeling confident in my level of challenging myself. I walked out feeling like I’m doing the best I can, and I’m so eager for our next couple of sessions where we get to dive deeper into people-pleasing. I still have some guilt surrounding the situation, but I feel so much better than I did before and learned so much about myself socially, and that’s a start.