Last week my husband and I took a vacation to celebrate our one year anniversary. It was so great to get away from all the responsibilities of life and have fun with each other, without having to worry about what time we had to go to work the next day, what we were going to make for dinner, or what bill was due. We just relaxed. Well I'm not sure if you can call walking up and down the hills and streets of Seattle, coming home with our legs sore relaxing, but it was just what we needed.
Anyways, I'm not writing this to tell you about the details of our trip, but rather the sole searching that happened while we were away. Like I said in my last post I have been having panic attacks for over a year now, and being away helped me evaluate some of the important things in my life as well as the things I need to let go of. I'm sitting here trying to muster up the courage to describe what I am really going through, and to do my best not to just rant to the whole world (wide web).
Here is the truth, the honest to goodness I couldn't sugar coat it if I wanted to truth... I am hurt. I am going to repeat something that I quoted from my very amazing friend Sara in my first post, "When you get married you realize who your true friends are." I guess I just now realized how true this is (even though I wrote about it five months ago) or maybe I just realized how much that affected me. When Alex and I got married, there were many people who had their own opinions about it. There were people telling us we were making a mistake, that we didn't understand what we were doing, and then there were people who just abandoned us and decided not to talk to us anymore. I am an incredibly relational person, and to lose good friends is probably one of the hardest things for me to deal with. I have had a lot of really close friends over the years, and I have lost nearly all of them. Some have ended badly, some moved away, and others where we just grew apart. For awhile I wasn't ready to let go, I thought maybe these friendships could be salvaged. I tried very hard to defend our marriage because I thought when people realized that we hadn't made a huge mistake then they would begin to accept us as a couple and be able to move past their opposing opinions.
After many painful months I have decided that it is time to stop trying so hard to hang on to something that is no longer there. That doesn't mean I wont talk to old friends or even hang out, it just means that I think it is time to let them be what they are. I think I just began to lose site who I really am because I was trying to fit into the mold of what these "friends" wanted to me be. In this process I think I have missed out on the opportunity to make new friends and to just let myself be who I am. I just wanted to be somebody who was liked, but instead turned into something that I have never wanted to be. Paranoid, self conscious, judgmental, anxious, dramatic. This is not me. I like to "go with the flow" as my dad always says. I am a laid back person, I don't like to argue about stupid things, and I don't like to worry about who wants to be my friend and who doesn't.
After listening to one of my good friends who is having similar problems, I took her advice (though she doesn't know that she was giving me any) and have decided that my real friends are the ones who actually want to spend time with me. This could sound incredibly mean or selfish or whatever. I don't mean that I will never ask another friend to hang out, I mean that I'm not going to ask people to hang out over and over again when I know that they may never make time for me and cannot accept my new lifestyle. That is just stupid and it is obvious that we aren't actually friends anymore, and maybe we never were to begin with. I am not going to harbor bitterness and resentment towards them, just that I am going to allow life to take us in different directions. If life happens to bring us closer again someday, great! If not, that is great too.
On a much lighter note, since I have discovered that I need to let this go I haven't had any panic attacks! I have driven on roads that I thought I would never drive on again, and worked out more than I have in almost a year and a half. There is still some fear of having another panic attack left, and I am still working through this letting go thing. However, I feel a huge weight taken off my shoulders. I am learning to be comfortable with who I am. That means that sometimes I am going to be in a big crowd of people and not say a word. Not because I am shy or because I am uncomfortable but because sometimes I just don't have anything to say. When I do, trust me, you'll know. It has been a rough year, but I think I am finally understanding that I'm not who everyone thinks I am, and maybe it is time to let my true self out. If people aren't accepting well, I know that my best friend will always love me and think I am the most amazing woman in the world. I love you babe, and I wouldn't take back one second of our life together!
Just as a side note, please don't assume that this post is about any one person in particular. It applies to many people so don't take it offensively. If you do have a problem with anything I have written please talk to me personally.