By Laura Romain
Last night I dreamed about my ex-fiancé’s new girlfriend. In real life, I know nothing except her name, but my dream turned her into everything I wish I could be: radiant, smiling, lighthearted.
I dreamed that I shouted at her. I cursed her relationship with my ex. I seethed with jealousy that I would never acknowledge in my waking life. Why did this woman—the product of my own imagination—trigger such animosity in me, such envy?
Here’s the truth: the worst part wasn’t that she was beautiful. It wasn’t the bright sweep of her hair, the perfect gleam of her teeth. It wasn’t even that she’d entered into a relationship with my ex.
The worst part was that she was happy. In other words: not anxious, not depressed. It wasn’t her looks or her relationship status that truly made me jealous. It was her mental health.
Somewhere deep in my subconscious, I believe that life is easy for people who don’t have fears and anxieties and merciless self-criticism strapped to them like sandbags. I believe that their work comes naturally to them, whereas my negative self-talk makes sitting at my computer feel like hurling myself in front of a firing squad. I believe that mentally healthy people are guaranteed fulfilling, successful relationships, whereas I second-guess myself to the point that I have no idea what I even think of the men I date. Continue Reading…