Best-Of Advice

On how

I just started reading your blog, and I’ve noticed a pattern: people write to you with a seemingly one-dimensional question, and you answer by pointing out more underlying issues. You say things like “deal with your intimacy issues”, or “stop being so afraid”, but my question is HOW?

Are there some sort of exercises one is supposed to do to no longer seek attention in the wrong places? Should we tell ourselves nice things in the mirror everyday to know that we deserve to be loved? How does someone get past codependency when every ¬†relationship they’ve ever had or seen is codependent?

Is the answer therapy? It seems therapy can tell you that you have daddy issues, but not how to stop chasing every alcoholic older man that gives you a little attention. I am aware of my issues, just not how to deal with them.

Just because your issues have a name it doesn’t mean you’re aware of them. Say nice things into the mirror all you like, but looking at yourself isn’t the same as seeing yourself.

Self-awareness takes work, and dealing with underlying issues is always a unique and intensely personal struggle. Sure, I’m good at parsing people’s issues out of a few hundred words of bullshit, but that’s just a parlor trick. Telling you what’s broken isn’t the same skill set as being able to fix it.

Short of following you around all day and sticking a little red flag into every behavior that’s a negative manifestation of an underlying issue, there’s not much else I can do.

I deliberately stop short of telling you how, because I can’t. I know better, and I’m not one of those assholes like Dr. Phil or Dr. Laura who deal in cheap platitudes and feel-good McTherapy.

Nobody can tell you how. Not really. Over time, a good therapist may be able to give you the tools for you to come up with your own solution, but that’s not the same as saying therapy is the answer.

That’s why this shit is hard. You gotta do the work yourself, one shovel full of crazy at a time.

Hell, you’re already off to a good start. It sounds like you’ve made enough bad decisions to realize that dating in your daddy’s drunken shadow makes for a pretty miserable love life.

Good for you. Now fucking quit it, and no, I can’t tell you how.

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