Continually, routinely, every damn day I am seeking balance in life. The more I strive to achieve balance the more I grow to respect and love the very idea of balance. Not to mention that when my anxiety or depression decide to hold me in their sharp-tooth grip I like to explain to Jared “it’s not me who wants to cry this much, it’s my imbalanced brain chemicals!” If I look around I can see affects of balance and imbalance in every aspect of my life. Especially my love life.
I feel I am continuously in a state of imbalance hunting for an equilibrium.
When Jared and I had moved from the initial honeymoon phase, where everything he said or did felt precious and pure, small things started to bug me. And then those small things started feeling like bigger things.
For example, homeboy has a lot of clothes. He dresses sharp. When we first started dating I remember being impressed by how put-together he always looked (since my daily uniform falls under the category of how-can-I-get-away-with-wearing-pajamas-in-public-today). But where homeboy has a lot of clothes he also isn’t the best at putting them away all the time.
At first, it was just a cute quirk. Then, once we moved in together, it was something I started tripping on — literally. Then, it was a source of annoyance like wtf why is a drawer that much different than the floor??
But here’s why this was pushing me into an area of imbalance: I’m also guilty of leaving clothes around. And while maybe it’s not as many as his, he is very patient with my quirks. One day I pushed him to point out something I do on a daily basis that bugs him and he sheepishly brought up that I leave cupboard doors open in the kitchen.
“What, no I don’t,” I immediately said. But then within one single day I looked up and saw ALL the fucking kitchen cabinets wide open after I’d made breakfast and it was like I was seeing the world as a newborn baby. THIS IS WHO I AM?
These are all “adorable” problems to have while you’re dating in the most annoying kind of way. Right? Like, oh whine he leaves dirty socks on the floor and she forgets to close cabinet doors it’s like a goddamn I Love Lucy episode and the studio audience is aww’ing along with their laughter.
But where there are cute problems there will also be bigger problems. And it’s important to keep in mind the good with the bad. Whenever I can feel myself dwelling on difficult aspects of our relationship, as my anxiety often helps me do, I try to redirect my thoughts to positive aspects. To the things I’m most grateful. Like a counterweight. A balancing act.
This past year Jared has done what no man has ever done for me before: he’s completely and fully believed in my dreams and pushed me to pursue them. Career-wise I’ve always felt lost and scared and Jared has been the one to basically kick me off a cliff and say “YOU CAN DO IT” and I try to learn to fly on the way down.
I remember this whenever I feel an imbalance of gratitude coming up.
This is something you can practice in your own life, quite easily. Especially when you’re stuck, like a wagon-train in a field of mud, in the middle of anxiety or depression. And especially when you’re trying to learn to love or be loved in a relationship whilst also living with anxiety and depression.
When you find yourself focusing on the negatives, the fears, the what-ifs, or the it-will-never-works, place some weight on the other side of the scale. Counterbalance. Why could it work? Why is it exciting? Why are you worth this experience?
I’m always, routinely, continuously trying to find balance in my life. I’m frantically racing from one side of a seesaw to the other foolishly not realizing it’s a losing battle, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep trying.