So, here I am deciding that my life isn't going to fix itself. I don't feel that my life is necessarily headed in the wrong direction... I have a decent job with a high ceiling, a great girlfriend Julia, enough money to live, and a loving family... I feel like it's my mind that's headed the wrong way. If I have all of this, why do I still sometimes feel depressed? And it comes and goes enough to convince myself that I'm not depressed. I'm so unsure about so many things, and I've noticed that in the past week or two, every day I feel like I'm not happy.
I've always thought that my girlfriend was contributing to it, but I think she's really helping me realize that there's an underlying issue in me that I didn't realize was there. All she wants from me is blunt honesty and I've always had a problem with that. I try to sugar-coat everything and it developed to the point of being flat-out lies at times. I've come a long way on that already, but somewhere along the line I've become less and less happy, and it's starting to feel like a real direction... like I'm not staying in the same place, but still descending into unhappiness. When I'm having a hard time, Julia tries to pick me up, but I think her biggest fault right now is that she refuses to think that it's OK that she can't fix everything. It has been a stress... And the way she thinks about things, if I tell her that I'm not happy, there would be no convincing her that it's not her that's making me happy, it's where my life is headed. She would find a way to blame herself, and this is the single biggest roadblock in our communication. I don't think I can trust her to hear me out with internalizing it herself.
So I'm at least going to start with this. We'll have to work on our communication a bit, but I think it all starts with my confidence, or lack thereof. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that both Julia and I suffer from a severe lack of confidence. I know that it's near impossible to get Julia to have a positive outlook on a potentially negative situation. She's very much a cynic. I think I've let it bring me down to cynicism as well... not to the same extreme, but I'm finding that I'm cynical about situations lately... I'm starting to assume that they won't improve. Not stuff with my job or anything, but stuff with my mind, my outlook. And I've decided that I can't let that happen.
Just being on here a day, I really would love to introduce Julia to this site, but already I'm making two assumptions about it: 1) I feel like she would take it as an insult. She took some psychology classes in college and has come out of that feeling that the idea of therapy is a joke. I'd have a hard time convincing her to take a site like this seriously, let alone convince her that it was worth the time. For that, I figure I'll put in a bit of time myself, convince myself that it's worth it, and go from there. 2) I feel like she wouldn't keep on it. Maybe she would, I don't know.
Making assumptions like these is probably my biggest problem right now. Julia and I started off rocky... I had a hell of a personal guard up that I didn't want to let down, and she was living in a horrible relationship with her mother and going through a job layoff within the first 6 months of our relationship. Meeting her was unexpected on my part at the time as well and in hindsight, I was not ready for the serious relationship we ended up in. So I became used to reacting to her in certain ways, and became used to her reactions to me in certain ways. I remember one night when she was on her way to my house, and she literally got angry at me for not having brushed my teeth before she got there because she felt it was disrespectful that she should have to wait for me to do it since she has to get up early. I didn't have the self-respect to realize that I didn't deserve that, so I set a precedent early-on that that sort of thing was ok. I succumbed to believing that she was simply going to be mad at me sometimes for things that I really didn't think anyone would be mad for. For another example, I always used to call her when I was leaving band practice at night to let her know I was on my way home. One night, we had just finished demoing a song that I was very excited about, and got into my car and threw it on really quick. I stopped and thought I better let Julia know that I was coming home. So I texted her, kept listening to my song, and drove home. When I got home, she wanted to know why I texted her instead of calling. So I said I was listening to a song we worked on, and she got upset and told me that I was putting the band before her. And once she's drawn that conclusion, she feels 100% justified and there's no way to convince her otherwise. We could spend a lot of time on that sort of thing and it wouldn't go away until I gave up and apologized for putting the band before her, even though in my heart of hearts I didn't believe that to be true.
This was a long time ago, now, and we've come a long way since then. But in order to make this relationship work, we both need to make changes. I've needed to work on my openness and definitely my honesty. As time went on, I became more and more standoffish for issues that I was afraid would upset her, so a lot of the time, I just wouldn't bring it up at all, or I would let others be affected by it. For instance, if my band was offered a show on a day that Julia wouldn't feel like going, I would let it stew in my head forever being afraid to even bring it up, afraid of her reaction to it, regardless of whether or not it was warranted. I might even let it get so far as to just turn down the show without ever mentioning it to Julia. I might have spared Julia some discomfort, but I disappointed my band, and I sure made myself feel like shit. I'm getting better with these things... I'm learning just to dive in, confront the situation, and go from there. But I still have a serious confidence issue. I know that Julia needs to work on these things herself, but I need the confidence to stand up for myself when I know I don't deserve the punishment. If it breaks us up, so be it, but I don't think it would. I think it would be better for both of us. It's not that we don't fight... we definitely fight, but I don't think we fight right. It always blows out of proportion. And we throw blame back and forth as to whose fault it is.
Writing this out already has helped... I didn't even exactly know why I was joining this site until I wrote it out. I'm definitely joining to improve my relationship with Julia. I really do think that my personal main problem is confidence. I can't just walk on eggshells trying to avoid uncomfortable situations. I gotta live for both of us, make sure we're both taken care of, and then take care of myself as well with full confidence knowing that I'm doing it right.
This is going to be hard. I'm really hoping this site can help me discover what I need.