That Ever-Present Critical Inner Voice

It all started at the end of May. I decided to break up with my girlfriend back at the start of June. I knew that's what I needed to do, as we were both unhappy, she kept bringing up my past mistakes deliberately, and we both wanted very different things out of life.

I thought I had gotten over it a little too quickly. 

Recently I've been developing quite a nice friendship with this new girl called Emily, and things seem to be going well. On paper we're a really good match, and I do really like her.

She likes me too. But the problem is, every time I feel like I'm starting to get closer to her, I feel the pain of the breakup, get wracked with guilt over both my ex and Emily, and the critical voice begins.

"Do you really like her?"

"Do you really know what you're doing this time?"

"How long do you think this will last before you realise you aren't in love with her?"

"You haven't learned anything from the last relationship. Emily is just a rebound. You're bound to hurt her sooner or later."

When I'm alone, the thoughts get louder and make me sadder.

The only time that they seem to quiet down is when I'm actually with her.

Even then, I'll feel great, and then the internal criticisms start up again, as if shouting from another room.

It's a real motivation killer. I'm finding that I'm working slower, finding it more difficult to wake up in the mornings, and it's more difficult to enjoy myself.

This has never happened to me before, so I have no idea how to cope.

I talked to Emily about some of this, as she has recently gone through a breakup too. She understands and even sympathizes with what I'm going through, which helps, but the worries and the negative thoughts are still there.

We agreed that as much as we would like to start a proper relationship with eachother, it's too close to my breakup for us to be able to keep things stable.

The plan is to revisit this when we're both in a better position to pursue it.

But another worry begins right there. How long is that going to take? How do I know that I'm feeling better, considering I thought I was alright when I met Emily?

If it takes a while, how do I know that either of us will even want to revisit this when I am better?

I'm torn. I don't want to let go of her, but at the same time, that voice is trying to make me doubt that I actually like her, and it does make me doubt myself.

I just wish I could press a button and make everything okay.

At least she understands.

Right now I feel as if I should just go out to Bristol and see her, spend some time together, because that makes me feel just for a moment that everything is fine.

But I know that tomorrow morning I'll be back to questioning and doubting and worrying.

Nothing seems straightforward anymore.


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