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Re: Hating Paranoia
Aug 25, 2011
It sounds like you pride yourself on giving your all in a relationship

But there really is such thing as giving TOO MUCH of one's self. It's a mistake a lot of people make - you love a person, so you try to devote yourself to them and make yourself as similar and as close to them as possible. This is OK, up to a point. But there's a certain point where it means when you give too much, you have nothing left except your fear.

And other people - especially the people we are dating - can often sense that very clearly. There's usually three reactions - the other partner leaves because they feel uncomfortable, the other partner stays and tries to teach you to walk your own path and be more independent or the other partner stays and takes advantage of the fact that you're giving it your all.

It sounds like your guy is the last one - even without his bi-polar disorder. But taking the bi-polar into account, it doesn't sound like he's very good for someone who is as devoted as you. He's not stable and he's making you nervous. I would dump him and find a new guy.

However, before hunting down this hypothetical new guy, I would suggest stopping and really think about why you try to change yourself so much to be like someone else - because it sounds like you're doing some really unhealthy things just to be "just like" a guy you care about. You say you think you're not good enough and you worry he'll find someone else.

Unfortunately, like when you try and devote yourself, feelings of being "not good enough" and relationship paranoia really do broadcast themselves to the partner we're with, both through the words we use and the actions we take. They're obvious to the other person, which would make the situation worse... having been in relationships where this has happened to both me, and the other person.... it's very hard to see someone as your equal and respect them if they don't respect themselves. And if you don't see them as an equal, it is hard to love them.

But before I make you worry even more, you CAN fix this :D

First way to fix this: Look at all the activities that you do "especially" for your guy. Write them down on a list. Put a little star next to all the activities you enjoy doing. Cross out the ones you don't enjoy doing for their own sake. Keep doing the ones you enjoy. Start gracefully backing out of the ones you don't enjoy, unless it's a special occasion or if it's on the "I don't mind it, so long as its not more often than say - 1 time per week" scale of things.

Meanwhile, make a list of things you like doing or have always wanted to try. Use all the free time you get from the stuff you've stopped doing on the previous list to start doing stuff on this second list. Even if it's just one thing. You can take baby-steps, so long as you're working towards doing things because YOU REALLY WANT TO DO THEM, rather than because you're scared of what will happen if you don't.

How this is a fix: It's a way of telling people that you really value your own time and how you spend it - and usually, if you act like you value something, other people will treat that thing with more respect. It also makes you more interesting to be around! (Sounds crazy, doesn't it?) Why? Because when someone asks you what you've been up to, you'll have stories that are entirely your own to tell. And people with stories are always more interesting - especially to a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Second way of fixing things: Feeling like you're "worth it"
Like I said before, if you treat something like you value it, people will usually respect it more. Same goes with with your very own self. Now, I'm going to go with the lists thing again, because there's something about seeing stuff on paper that really divorces it from our internal monologue, so we can see it with a more detached eye. First, make a list of reasons why you think you're not worth it. Just write them down as quickly as possible.

Then, crumple up the paper. [I]and toss it in the nearest trashcan[/I]. Don't look at it, don't reread it. Just toss it.

If you like fire, burning it might be more fun. Just make it so you will never see that darn list again. Think of it this way: You wrote down the flaws, so you're not denying them or trying to pretend they don't matter. If you feel something about them, you probably wrote them down. That's enough.

Once you've destroyed this first list, start a second list. This one will be a bit harder, but since you got all the bad out, now you can start on the good. Write down EVERY SINGLE THING that you like about yourself, that you know you do well, compliments you remember getting and that nice things you remember doing for people OTHER than your significant other. And there will be good things, even if you have trouble putting them into words. Ask trusted friends to help you.

I can even start the list for you

1) Veronika is cares a lot about her significant others and wants them to feel good
2) Veronika is brave enough to ask for help with a problem she can't solve
3) Veronika is a cute name.

... you can go on from there :)

When you have a list of any length, this is the list you keep. Keep it in your pocket, in your purse or beside your bed. Pin it in front of the toilet. Somewhere where you'll see it. Re-read it a least once per day. Add more things to it as they occur to you.

Every single bullet point on that list is a reason you are "worth it". Take comfort in the fact that while you have flaws (we all do), you also have good points. If you keep reminding yourself that you have good points, you'll probably notice it'll change how you feel in relation to others - you'll feel more equal, because you value your good points. And, at the risk of sounding repetitive - if you value it, other people will too.

Hope this helps :)

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