After a busy work week, I took my exhausted, yet excited ass on the road. I was on my way to spending the weekend with my awesome girlfriend. She lives about an hour to an hour and a half away from me, so the drive can be a nice way to decompress sometimes. I turn up the music, hit the highway, and take in the scenery.
However, I couldn’t seem to switch out of work mode. My brain felt like Forrest Gump.
And that’s just what it did. It ran. To the left. To the right. In circles. I couldn’t slow down for the life of me. My thoughts started off mostly focused on what I needed to get done for work in the coming days. It strayed towards upcoming family and friend gatherings. Ultimately, the rumination pathway honed in on the abyss of irrationality.
While on my way to my girlfriend’s, it felt like I was going into a “we need to talk” situation. I thought I had done something wrong or that she was upset with me. The best part about this? There was nothing wrong! I have been with my girlfriend for about six months now, and we never had an argument. We talked about serious topics occasionally but nothing extreme. In my 32 years of existence on this godforsaken planet, this was the best and healthiest relationship I have been in.
I texted my girlfriend to tell her that I was feeling anxious and that my mind could not stop running. She called me right away (because she is awesome and supportive like that). We talked about it for a couple minutes, and she validated/rationalized what was going through my mind. At the time, I wasn’t too sure why my brain decided to go down that road, but I calmed myself down until I got to her place.
A few hours passed, and I could not help but ponder why I felt the way I did. Into the evening, my girlfriend and I laid on the couch. We took the opportunity to hash it out. Part of it definitely stemmed from a conversation I had with my therapist earlier in the week where I pointed out that around the six-month mark is where things usually go south in my relationships. My girlfriends often showed their true colors by that point, or I did not feel confident in a relationship lasting. With my current relationship though, there was no such feeling. I see this going long-term.
I created a self-fulfilling prophecy. At any given moment, I anticipated my girlfriend to become some manipulative monster taking advantage of me. Where was the fighting? Where was the arguing? Why isn’t she controlling me or telling me who I can’t hangout with? Surely, there has to be some sort of red flag I am not seeing.
She wasn’t like that. She is a down-to-earth sweetheart who I have a genuine emotion connection with. She is someone I can be myself around and laugh endlessly with. My relationship history caught up to me and clouded my judgment. It interfered with my ability to savor what I have now. Just because there was a pattern previously does not mean that the pattern can’t be broken. I literally looked up at my girlfriend and said, “I am not used to having a good person by my side.”
-The Caring Counselor