“And it feels like jealousy” ~ Will Young
Or, according to my dictionary
Jealousy (n): the feeling of being suspicious or fearful of being displaced by a rival
I used to get jealousy. I say it now like getting chicken pox or the flu but without a vaccination at your local surgery.
It’s the most bizarre and crippling emotion. You feel like something special is being taken away from you by somebody or something else, that you are diminished as a person by that existence. That you matter less. And thirty years of dragging that around with me was exhausting.
It took the flare up of another bout of jealousy for me to realise I had to seek a cure. And so cut to me in a very nice studio in Hackney balling tissues and pouring my heart out to a very kind man who looked like a short version of Giles from Buffy.
One word diagnosis in a sentence. Crippling insecurity of feeling I was not enough, that I didn’t matter. Paralysing fear of being forgotten or ignored or overlooked. That friends or lovers would eventually leave me because something better would come along. It is fair to say I wasn’t healthy and it took a lot of work and a few more sessions before we worked out how to make me well.
I took a lot of things from those counselling sessions and I came away a much better person. One of the things I took away was that I didn’t need to understand where it had come from to do something about it. I have my theories about my childhood, about my family life and what planted these seeds. But so what? The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. I can’t go back and change my past, but I can invest in my present.
And so I did. It can be hard work investing in yourself, being honest about your wants and your hopes and your desires, and then actually doing something to achieve them. And I still now have moments of metaphorical “But what about meeee?” and clinging to a friends’ leg if they are doing stuff elsewhere with someone else. And then I laugh at myself, kindly but still laugh, and take myself off to do my things that make me happy.
And so the moral of this tale, if moral there is? Jealousy is idiotic. Insecurities can be really hard work. And the only person who can truly diminish who you are is actually yourself. But you are have it in you to be your own best friend, if you want to be.
Drop me a line on a comment box-shaped postcard and let me know how you get on.