Hi there! I'll get straight into it.
4 years ago I was in an emotionally neglectful relationship. That was the year I experienced my lowest point (thus far). I was heavily depressed, s*lf h*rming and s**cidal... And I received little to no support from my boyfriend at the time, but would have a mental breakdown every time I tried to break up. After dating for a total of almost 2 years, we broke up. Despite this, I don't resent him at all. We were young and it was both our first relationship. We grew so much from it. I wouldn't be who I am today without him, and he would say the same. I've received closure and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. We're still good friends.
Nevertheless, the trauma of being alone through the darkest time of my life is still there. It's been years and I still can't fall out of self-preserving patterns of self sabotage. It mostly affects my romantic relationships. All the ones I've had since my first boyfriend, in fact. I'd always try to "quit while I'm ahead" to keep them from hurting me, or vice versa. I'd drop everything at the first sign of things not working out.
I've been dating my current boyfriend since the start of 2019. He has the most beautiful heart. He's caring and empathetic and funny and passionate and smart and selfless and genuine. He's my best friend. He's stuck by me through my many depressive seasons and countless self-sabotaging episodes. We've taken breaks to see other people or work on ourselves since then, but we always came back to each other. I really could not ask for someone more supportive.
I've improved a lot over the years, but self-sabotaging tendencies have started emerging again with my recent depressive episode and the nearing of the HSC. Whenever he chooses studies over me, I feel I'm a hindrance to his goals. When he chooses me over studies, I worry that he's sacrificing his grades out of worry for me. He's trying to balance both, and would do so effortlessly if I wasn't so problematic. I've started to distance myself from him, a common self-sabotaging reaction of mine. I'm afraid this dynamic will continue into uni, especially since he's planning on studying a pretty strenuous degree.
I don't want to be a liability. I don't want to ruin things again.
We've talked about this. He's as supportive and reassuring as usual, and we've thought of some strategies together. But I want to try harder, because I know it's a me problem. Suggestions? Tips + tricks? #Epic life hacks?