So this blog has been a big quiet for a while and I apologise for that.
Life has a way sometimes of just throwing challenges at you and there were just too many to handle and put into words.
My partner are I travel and had decided to settle in Indonesia for a couple of years (We have a rescue dog here and also just fell in love with the place and the people)
We left to go to Cambodia and then onto Laos to pick up our visas for Indonesia - these have to be picked up outside of the country. We had a great time in Cambodia and spent a lot of time just taking in what was going on around us. We also got the chance to spend time with friends who we haven't seen for a while.
Then we moved onto Laos. This was when Covid really hit hard. We had a flight booked to return to Indonesia and the borders of Laos were closed 2 days before our flight. We then learned that immigration was closed and our visas would take longer than originally planned.
We then learned that if you want to rent a house it is virtually impossible to do so without putting down a big deposit and signing for a minimum of a year.
After that we ran out of our meds and life just slowly started slipping away from us. We had to sort out renting a room in a hotel until inter province travel was allowed. All the shops were shut and we found it increasingly difficult to find fresh food.
When we were allowed to move around again we moved to the Capital as we had another flight booked. This flight was then cancelled and we had to find somewhere to rent in the city. For various reasons the prices in the Capital are ridiculous. We were in what was essentially 2 small rooms and paying over $350 a month excluding bills.
We managed to get medication which was a huge plus but were just so defeated by the situation. showers were rarely happening and we could only get access to the same few vegetables all the time. There is very little access to easy transport so we couldn't really get around which doesn't help much with people who are feeling depressed.
We spent months making the same trek to the visa office to apply and then pay for another months stay in a country that we couldn't leave. Laos did not have a visa waiver program so we still had to pay to be there even though we couldn't actually leave.
Because we were in such close quarters I began working in the early hours of the morning and then napping into the afternoon so we could be both have some alone time.
We started working with an animal sanctuary and fostering animals. We fostered 2 cats from the sanctuary who both found their forever homes. We also rescued a dog and another kitten. The kitten we called 美丽 (beautiful in Chinese). The dog, who we called Minnie, helped us more than she will ever know. She was an incredibly skinny 2 year old who roamed the streets around where we were living. We got the vets out and had to give her treatments for infections and vaccines as well as getting her spayed.
I would never consider visiting Laos ever again apart from to see her.
The only way we could make it out of Laos was to get on a charter flight which had to get approval from the government and cost us about 5 times what it would have usually.
The weekend before the flight we had to get PCR tests done and fill in a load of paperwork to a. be allowed to leave the country and b. enter Malaysia's airport and c. Enter Indonesia. We ended up with plastic wallets full of different documents that we needed.
When we made it back to Indonesia we were staying in a studio apartment. We started to foster again a few days after we got there and the kitten that we had sadly passed away.
After that we moved our of the studio apartment and are now renting a house. Our visas are finished and we are allowed to live here legally, We are both in a better place but have needed time to work through this experience as it was a lot.
Next week it'll hopefully be back to normal blogs. Thank you for your patience.
You are OK. You are not alone. You are enough.
I've been spending some time recently working through what happened when I was unable to get my medication and now I feel a bit more able to talk about what happened and the impact it had.
For those of you who are reading for the first time I currently take 2 types of antidepressant: I take one that helps me to get through the day and then one to help my brain switch off at night time so I can sleep. I have complex PTSD, Severe anxiety and depression.
The last time I was in England we were trialling the dosage of both of these and had got it to where it seemed to work for me. I was getting more sleep and able to function without being crazily anxious or lost in the moment throughout the day.
The Anxiety can be crippling just by itself. It is at the point where I consider the feelings of pretty much everything. For example: you can't leave food on your plate or it will get sad that it hasn't been eaten. Sounds fair yeah? You also should chew with both sides and the middle of your mouth the same number of times or they might get sad. Also wherever possible things should be done in 3's. Try and appear normal while doing that out. This extends to clothes (if you pull something out to wear it and then change your mind it might get sad) the floor (you have to clean all of it equally or something bad might happen) and even things like driving (never ever skip a gear- only dire things happen when you skip a gear).
Now we add in a generous helping of depression. When you start thinking about how you have to make sure everything else is ok and then you start looking at the bits you think you are doing wrong. Then you spiral down until it is very very difficult to pull yourself out of this. You can see a lot of areas in which you are failing at life and in which you are failing others around you and other things around you. Sometimes it just gets too much and you have to let yourself be swallowed up by it. There is literally no other way to get yourself out of it.
When you mix these two it often becomes too much to handle. You do have to continually work at it and start to recognise when your brain is telling you something that is not true, that it is an illogical feeling and perhaps you don't need to worry about it quite as much as you are. It takes a lot of work to be able to recognise these feelings and then it takes even more to be able to stop the process that would usually happen in your head.
Now we look at the complex PTSD. This is complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Most of the time people who go through a trauma or a traumatic situation have some form of PTSD but when you go through an incident that lasts years or months then it effects you in different ways and results often in Complex PTSD. So it's the effect of repeated trauma over a sustained period of time, rather than of one incident. (My relationship was almost 3 years and then there was a period of 4 months where he refused to move out and various things happened while he was in my house)
So this means that you typically have the symptoms of PTSD with some nice extras chucked in. Basic symptoms include: reliving the traumatic experience; avoiding certain situations (things that remind you of the event); changes in beliefs about yourself and others (typically that you're not worthy or that others will have a skewed view of you; Hyper-arousal (Not quite what it sounds like, it means that you are over aware of things and constantly on alert - goodbye sleep) and fun things that are called somatic symptoms (things that happen but aren't medical like tightness in your chest or feeling sick or dizzy but without an actual cause).
The add ons can vary but the ones I have been experiencing are: Lack of emotional regulation (it becomes increasingly difficult to keep a lid on your emotions and know when it is safe to show them, which leads to breakdowns and also means you respond to situations in strange ways); negative self perception (basically you see yourself as worthless and having to prove yourself as being worth the little that you could be worth); Difficulty with relationships (I am incredibly lucky to be in the relationship that I am in now but this means also with family and friends too of which I have had negative experiences); disassociation (this means you try to remove yourself from yourself in a present situation - I spent a lot of time doing this when I was in a traumatic situation. You don't know how you can make it better so you try to remove yourself mentally from the situation).
The issue with this is that basically to doesn't turn off the 'fight or flight' response that your body will have when it detects danger. This means that your mind is sensing danger when there isn't necessarily any danger around. This means that you find everything a potential dangerous situation. It also means you don't process and react to situations the way that other people.
You don't see someone just having a conversation: you think that they are pointing out what you have done wrong, what you haven't done or ways in which you are failing. One of the first things you have to learn is to recognise when this is happening and you are perceiving something in a negative way when it is not intended to be.
The other issue with this is that your emotions go up and down so many times a day it is exhausting just by itself. You are constantly swinging from happy to sad to worried to critical to tired and everything in between. It becomes increasing exhausting, especially when you are not sleeping. Everything seems so much worse and so much harder to keep together when you are knackered - this is no joke, my family used to celebrate every time I managed 6 + hours of sleep. (Now I fidget every time I go to sleep and it takes forever for me to drop off, it's a technique I'v used for a long time because I had to be so aware for such a long time)
If you look at someone it is almost impossible to determine that they have a mental illness just from looking at them. Occasionally you will be able to tell through things that they do but it takes a bit of watching and a bit of knowing them reasonably well. For the most part it is a battle that you fight inside your head. It is the ultimate invisible fight.
While stuck without medication and away from support systems that had been built up, it made me feel increasingly like I was back when I first moved back to England. I felt unworthy of anything, I flipped between emotions so quickly and was unable to shake dark thoughts I would have. It really scared me because it made me feel like I hadn't grown or developed ways in which I was helping myself and I wasn't able to be there for others in the way I normally am. Luckily I was able to communicate with people and let them know what the situation was, however I wasn't able to do really much more than that.
It is a huge fight every day and the medication makes it easier for sure but there is so much work going on behind the scenes all of the time. It's a battle. And we will get through it.
One day at a time.
You are enough, You are not alone. You are OK.
People who know me know that I travel a lot. I mean a lot. I've spent about 18 months of the past 9 years in England and the rest of the time somewhere else in the world.
I don't own a house, I'm not married, I don't have kids or any on the way. If you go back a few of years the main concern I had was making sure I had enough of the contraceptive pill. And making sure that I had thought of every possible thing that could go wrong with anyone and everything I was doing because, as we all know, if you think it then it won't happen.
Then I went through an abusive relationship. This was verbally, mentally and physically. I left my job. I left my life. I moved back to England and back in with my parents. Everything that I knew was gone. I had disappeared.
Suddenly I was no longer the (seemingly) care free person that I had been. I was a shell of a person that I had been before. I struggled to go outside. I definitely couldn't talk to people and I didn't know who I was.
Making a decision would literally cripple me. I would physically run away from them if I could. I'm not even joking, I would cry and run.
Now I travel. I travel with someone I never though I would ever meet, someone who I thought I genuinely did not deserve to have in my life, someone who challenges me and helps me to want to be better.
Travel is amazing. I would recommend it to everyone. It helps you learn and grow so much. It allows you to see things you could only have dreamed of in documentaries. Experiences that you never believed could have happened to you.
Recently my boyfriend and I celebrated a year since we took out first flight out of the UK. We landed in Bangkok and a whole new adventure began. We relieved our favourite memories from each country and then enjoyed the sunset over the river.
This has not been with out its challenges. And right now has been one of the biggest challenges I've had in a while. The country we are currently in does not have a real mental health system. The medication I take has been incredibly difficult to get and it has put me in a significantly worse mental state than I thought possible. There was no blog post last week because of that and this week's one will short for the same reason. I have meds now and it will take a little time for them to balance me out again. Hopefully next week I'll be in a better place to explain how this kind of thing feels.
You are enough. You are not alone. You are ok.
So one of the things that happens when you have an illogical brain is that you only hear or acknowledge the negative. This is kind of detrimental because it means you fail to focus on the positive. Obviously this doesn't really do any good for your mental state.
This doesn't mean that you only hear the bad parts and brush them off. There is a whole thought process that follows hearing the negative.
First you have ignored the positive. I used to give feedback to people and use a technique called the 'shit sandwich'. This is where you tell someone 2 good things and in the middle you say one bad thing. This way it softens the blow and can also help people to focus on the positive of what they are doing. (This also helped me because I was telling people more nice things than bad things so they could feel better)
So when you are given feedback or a passing comment or having a conversation or being graded (or pretty much in any situation) there will inevitably be things that you are better at and things that you are worse at. It's part of being human. But your illogical brain does not compute that. It literally seizes on the negative and runs away with it.
Really runs away it. Likes miles away from anything that could possibly be meant by it.
So when you hear a negative comment your mind starts whirring. You begin by thinking what you could have done better so you wouldn't have been given that comment. You then have the delight of going on a journey through every possible thing that could have led up to it and how you could have done better before that so you wouldn't have been given that comment.
You then make a whole bunch of resolutions on how you will be better. It's like you have to immediately change it so no one will ever think that way again.
This uses a massive amount of mental energy and can be completely consuming. I used to get to the point at work where I would do something slightly wrong on purpose so I could control the negative comments. I would literally plan what would be the bad part of my day so I would be able to handle one negative comment. This is not normal brain behaviour. This is illogical brain behaviour. Although it did make others feel happy so then it made me feel better and also worse.
Another thing that I see as a plus but is also time consuming and strange to others is that I give emotions to inanimate objects. Literally every thing you can think of. If I am mopping a floor I have to mop all of it or that part I have missed will be sad. Although not strictly part of paying attention only to the negative, it does tie in in my mind, because now you are finding ways to still feel negative about something.
oSo how do you combat this? How do you retrain your brain to think more of the good and less of the bad?
The first answer that always goes with this kind of stuff is: with a lot of hard work. None of this stuff is ever easy but it's worth it. And that is something you have to keep telling yourself.
It's very easy to look online and find all of these ways to make your mind look only for the positive. I looked to find other ways that I haven't been using to see if any of them would help. Part of the problem I saw with a lot of these sites (and I may just be far too cynical) is that they seem more for the instagram crowd rather than the illogical brain crowd.
As mush as I would like every day to be picture perfect and my mind to be continually on an even keel as well as having time and motivation to work out, journal, be mindful, create an affirmation every day, make a list of things I'm grateful for every day and all the rest, I simply don't. I lack motivation a lot of the time as anyone with a depressive illness would know all about. I also have a way of getting completely lost in something and doing it for long periods of time every day. As someone who was unable to be in control of a lot of her environment, I tend now to go a bit too far when it comes to picking something up.. Easy example is thinking I had to work out twice a day (once in the morning when I first woke up with a cup of tea and then after I had worked for a bit)
One of the worst things about this is seeing this is it can help to compound your negative feelings, so as much as there can be useful content in these articles and blog posts it can sometimes be difficult to find something that appeals to you.
One of the things I've found that works is to focus on one thing. Literally one thing. Recognize that one thing and see how you can get your mind to make it positive. If we use the example of you having some stuff left on your desk at the end of the day and someone making a comment about it- immediately your mind has gone negative. However a way to flip this is to think that you will look busier than everyone else the next day because you will already be working when you get into work. Challenge yourself to flip just one of those negative thoughts and find a funny or a positive instead. Over time it will become easier for you to flip the thought and then you can move onto one or two other thoughts.
Another thing that I have found reasonably helpful is to control how and what people are going to give you negative comments for. Bear with me because I know this sounds weird. But if you know an area that someone would critique you on and you have the ability to perhaps not do quite such a good job in that area (It's alright because that area would be happy that it was helping you) then you can prepare yourself for the comment.
It sounds like a strange idea but it allows you to get more used to the idea of people giving comments. Seriously it used to be the case that I couldn't have any form of negative comment from anyone without crying. And not even just a little cry. A full on sob. Which is highly embarrassing when you are trying to pretend that everything is perfect, that you are a fully functioning adult and whilst wearing a pencil skirt (They can be hard to run in especially when you have a hole in your tights you've been hiding all day).
The important thing to remember is that you are not going to do this overnight, I've been trying actively trying to do this for just over a year and I still cry. Luckily I don't have to wear the pencil skirts any more so it is a bit easier to run away.
A lot of what happens when you recover from abusive situations (again my diagnosis came after being in a long term abusive situations but some I have had since my teenage years that I just didn't know about) is you have to test boundaries. You've essentially been locked in a box for so long that everything becomes a test. And to be fair one of the ways to get through this is to test everything, So why not make it something you can prepare yourself for?
Third way that seems to be quite good and has worked for me on occasion is to write down these thoughts and all the tangents they go on. let your mind just go crazy and get it all down on paper. Or draw it. Or make a flow chart. Or a list. Whatever it takes to get it all out where you can see them. Once you feel that you are able to look at where your mind has gone. See which parts of the thoughts were powered by the illogical brain and which thoughts were negative. It also helps if you take note of the comment (S) that set off the train of thought. Go through and see which could actually happen and which are just the power of free rein on your illogical minds part.
Seems like a lot of work but over time you will be able to see patterns that emerge. And then you can start to look out for these patterns. Once you know what you are looking for, you can start looking out for it when it is happening in real time.
Once you start letting both parts of your brain realise that you are worthy of praise and you should be proud of things that you do and that you are, you make huge strides in your self worth. And you should definitely love yourself. Because you are worthy of love. But it needs to come from you first.
You are enough. You are not alone. You are ok.
So recently I was having a conversation with my Mother and she started talking about something called catastrophizing. It caught my attention because it sounded like something I am very aware that I may do,
Basically it boils down to pretty much what it says on the tin. It's a belief you have that comes from your illogical brain that tells you that a situation is way worse than it actually is. Delightfully you can do this in one of two ways: you can be in a current situation and see it as a catastrophe or you can imagine a situation in the future that could turn into a catastrophe (because why not cover all bases?)
This can be literally anything. Imagine you are at work and someone makes a comment about how something wasn't quite finished. Your mind isn't nice to you telling you that it's fine because you know you will finish it today. Instead it goes on to create all these negative scenarios. For example: because you didn't finish that work you are going to lose your job. No one else will want to employ you because you lost your last job. You clearly don't have good enough skills or a high enough work ethic. You are going to have to move out of where you live because you won't be able to pay rent so you'll probably end up homeless and homeless people can't get work. People won't want to know you because you are just a drain on society and you'll just end up dying in a ditch alone.
The other delightful problem with this is that it doesn't just come from someone else. If you get too into your head then your illogical brain can just take the reins and come up with all kinds of catastrophes that will happen in the next 2 minutes and in the next 5 years. Along with all of the outcomes.
Obviously this isn't going to happen. This is a story that your mind has made up. The other point I'd like to make here that as someone who has gone through abuse my mind has been conditioned (in a way) to always think I've done wrong and I have to make it right. So automatically this kind of scenario comes up in your mind. Followed immediately by ways in which you can correct them. And later by ways in which you can ensure they don't happen again. It's a lot to go through mentally.
When you act in a way that you see the future events all happening and you believe it will go wrong, in a way like you don't deserve it to right, so you will act in ways that make the negative future you have in your head happen. This also means things like projecting the behaviour of another onto someone who has not or will not act that way. This I know I have done. It's not a behaviour that I am proud and it's something that I am trying to change, IT's tough. Really tough. You have to combat a way of thinking that you know and that you feel safe in even if you know that it is not helping you. It's so hard to do. And you have to do it so much. Especially when it just keeps coming at you. But that's one of the good parts of this: you get to become a better you.
Here's the thing though. Once you get to the stage where you are aware that this is what you are doing you then have to think of ways in which you can stop doing this. It's somewhere that you feel safe, if you have prepared your mind by thinking of how everything can and will go wrong then you know what is coming. Also because you believe you don't deserve anything good then you are making life true to what you believe.
So there are things you can do to help with putting a limit on how much you have these thoughts or even just being aware that you are having these thoughts.
These are things that I have found that seem to help a bit (obviously I slip every once in a while but at least I'm trying which is the main point right?)
One of the things I've read that you can try to do to help is try to recognise when you are having these thoughts that are coming from you delightful illogical brain. One thing that I found reasonably useful is to write down the thoughts when you have them. I love a good highlighter so I'd pick a colour and then highlight the thoughts that I saw were coming from my illogical brain. Obviously it's difficult to do and it does take a bit of practice. But it does make it something colourful which is a plus (you've got to find them wherever you can!)
As strange as it sounds sometimes we hang onto these thoughts and we will revisit them at later dates and obviously we need to work through them at our own place. When you feel strong enough or that you have worked through the thoughts a good amount then you can release the thoughts to the universe. Basically this can be something as simple as screwing up the paper and throwing it in the bin, You can also rip it up or burn it. (I am a fan of burning just because I've been cooking in a wood fire oven and I like the thought that my negativity is being used to create something delicious.)
The above is a step that I found difficult but actually really challenging. The main challenge I found was separating the thoughts in my head. Seeing them on paper made it a little easier but these thoughts have helped me and kept me safe in certain situations. However it has created issues for me in other areas, which I had chosen to ignore (like a true adult)
Part of what really hampered me was the fact that I spent so much of my life in a severely anxious and depressive state but with no idea that It was actually not the norm to be thinking the way that I was. Therefore it became my normal and worked for me. Well, it didn't actually work for me but it did.
I know I've said this in a few blog posts but making sure that you are taking care of yourself is important. Sleep is one of the best things in the whole entire world and so very very elusive that it is just incredible. The week of writing this post I have had a period where I slept a grand total of 1.5 hours in a 40 hour period. Before that I had nights of 2-3 hours. And it shows. I am in less control on my illogical brain and it's hampering me and those around me. So take the time, really just like 5 minutes a day to just be aware of you. Listen to a song you love, read part of a book, whatever it takes. You are allowed to.
Once you recognise the thoughts that are coming from the illogical brain you can start to try and play this fun game. For every negative thought that you have, you then think of a positive thought to go with it. For this to work you first have to register the thought is coming from your illogical brain, accept that it might not be so realistic and then come up with a positive thought. It seems like a lot of work and to begin with it is but once you get into the hang of it, it does become a lot easier. Using the example earlier (some notices that some work wasn't finished the day before) Negative thought: I'm going to get fired. Positive thought: I know that the work I have done has been done to the best of my ability.
Another example but this time of your illogical mind just battling you would be something like Nobody wants me to be around them because no one has messaged me. Positive thought: It gives me time to read that book I've been trying to or It's actually a blessing in disguise because I am really tired and listening to my body so now I have the chance to sleep.
One thing that I am interested in trying to do is positive affirmations. Obviously it's taking me some time to choose the correct affirmation because you have to believe it and I'm still doing a lot of work on building up my self worth. But it would be helpful to have something to say that I genuinely believe to be able to stop my illogical brain going crazy. Any suggestions I'd be glad to hear them.
Although it seems like an insurmountable amount of work, if you take it just one day and one illogical thought at a time you can do some good. Really, you can do it.
You are enough. You are not alone. You are ok.
Expectations are difficult. For one everyone has them regardless of if they voice them or not. Second, you give yourself some that you may be able to achieve and some that you know you cannot but they are still there.
When you first get diagnosed with a mental illness (illogical brain), you go and look it up. That is what the internet is for right? So you can get all of the information easily. Then you read about people who have whatever you have. Then you begin to form expectations. You begin to expect triggers, you begin to expect that by doing x, y and z you will help yourself. You begin to expect that you have to do certain things to get better.
You read about people who have the same illogical brain that you do. You read about what caused them to have the illogical brain (here I am talking in terms of C-PTSD). Then you judge your event(s) against their event(s) and from there you come up with an idea of how long it should take you to recover and be a fully functionally human being again.
Therein lies the first problem: there is no comparing of events and there is no way to predict how long it will take for you to feel like you have a handle on your illogical brain. Even now, almost 2 years after I left the major factor in getting help, I am still learning how to cope, although I'm a heck of a lot better at being able to articulate what I am feeling because I understand it more.
So you go to the doctor. You say how you are feeling (as well as you are able to) and you you take that first step. You expect different things from that first step. I honestly expected that the doctor was going to tell me that bad things happen but sometimes we overreact and we can just move on with things. But she didn't. So then I was thrown because I had built up this whole idea of what they would say and now she had begun the process of validating how I felt.
So after this first appointment I went back to the doctor because I had been given a tiny bit of belief that I was worth something. We spoke and she suggested calling Health in Mind (I had the best experience with them and I will always suggest them to anyone who needs help). She then talked about trying happy pills. I was unsure about it because I had a set of expectations attached to taking them. I expected that they would make me feel weird, that I wouldn't feel like myself and that I would become emotionless. Oddly enough I didn't even feel like myself anyway, I felt like a shell but for some reason I still had to protect that idea of me.
When you mention to people that you take happy pills they have a set of expectations that go along with that. They expect that you will behave in certain ways. They expect that you will react the situations in a negative manner.
They see you a little differently. People tend to fall into 3 categories: 1 - that's nice, let's just gloss over that; 2 - Treat you with kid gloves or 3 - someone with experience of mental illness who says that you for telling me. You can probably guess which ones help the most.
Some people have the best of intentions but they have expectations of how you will react to their actions. People with illogical brains won't react in the way you think they will. They just won't. Even now, 2 years down the line I am incredibly uncomfortable receiving any kind of gift - it makes me cry, I don't know what to do or say, I don't understand why I have been given it, I feel like I have to give something back.
You can The thing is I didn't even want to take them to begin with. With everything that is happening in the world now I can see how much they work for me. They are not a magic answer that mean you are fine with just taking them everyday and you become a person with no illogical brain.
The truth is you expect them to work magic. You expect them to help you from the second you take them - most take about 6 weeks to begin having effects and normally you will feel worse before you feel better. That is before you get onto the correct dosage, or even the right type of happy pill. I had to try 2 others before I got this one and then the dosage has been changed a few times too. And another one has been added. That's just how it works. The whole getting happy pills that work is a process.
Expectations can hamper you. A lack of expectations can hamper you. Other people's expectations can hamper you. The way in which you approach these expectations can help you a huge amount.
Communication is key. If you are not communicating with people how can they know if they are helping or if they are hindering? As hard and overwhelming as it is to communicate with people it's one of the best things you can do.
And with these conversations you can have expectations that you can set. You can let people know that you don't need them to be there all the time and that you are aware this is a journey. You can tell them that you will try your hardest to be as honest and open with them as you feel able to. You can share that this applies to both of you.
I have had these conversations with my mother. We sat down a while after I had come home and I let her know that I was going to therapy and starting happy pills again (I took a break when the first 2 didn't agree with me but I came to realise that I couldn't focus on working to combat my illogical mind without some form of extra help). I said that I would let her know more when I felt able to.
This relationship has turned into a phone call once a week just to check in with each other from a mental standpoint and vent any frustrations or work through any negative emotions or share any positive emotions we have been feeling. I used to stop by her work after therapy and she would take a break so we could just chat and talk about how I was feeling. As I have become mentally stronger we have been able to share so much and because of having fair and clear expectations we have both gained a huge amount from the progress in this relationship.
The whole point of expectations is something you think you will achieve, gain or learn from an experience. By facing these expectations head on you become more in control of what is goin on around you which leaves you more able to focus on the struggle and journey going on inside your mind. By taking this small step (even though it seems huge every time you do it) you are empowering yourself, helping to strengthen relationships in your tribe and building up a part of the life that you want.
So try taking that first step. Just give yourself a little push to step outside of the box your illogical brain has created for you to reside in.
You are enough. You are not alone. You are ok.