Learning through experience and error

Finding Toxic Patterns In Our Lives And Breaking Them: An Anecdote

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I was taking a shower the other day, and like every long warm shower, I started thinking about everything that has happened so far in life. You know, the usual recap. It was all the same stuff until I had a little realisation. I realised that the last few years of my life have been almost entirely identical. I realised there was a pattern. Then, I decided to break it. All it took was one decision or lack thereof.

Finding Toxic Patterns In Our Lives And Breaking Them: An Anecdote

What’s the Pattern?

I noticed that certain life events happened precisely during the same months. Every year since 2017 started with me deciding on a new path and making some changes to how I live my life. This would happen around January-February. I’d find myself in love by March.

By June, things would be perfect, but I’d get exhausted every day trying to balance everything. Sometime around July to early September, the relationship ended. The time between September to October was the confusion zone. Here, I would try to find what went wrong but also go on a little soul-searching – sometimes physically, sometimes not.

This would be immediately followed by a party or at least three days of me drinking and having the time of my life. It is around this time that Daughter’s Youth somehow crept back into the playlist every year.

Then, before the end of October, I would find myself near a beach. Trust me on this, you can’t plan this stuff. It was three different cities in three different years. Sometime between October to November, I would decide on the next big thing. A decision that usually involved quitting something or a change of paths.

December would be me deciding and weighing my options. January would be that big change, and we’ve come full circle.

What’s Happening Though?

At first, I thought I was in a simulation. Obviously, that will be too real, and if I were, those in control would end the simulation because “the subject has become too self-aware” so I shrugged it off.

Then, I realised it was a pattern built precisely on what I was working with during therapy. It was two distinct sides of my personality, each taking control when I needed it, and the other one going under hiding until required. I won’t dive too deep here, but it has a lot to do with my childhood, episodes of bullying and a passive search for security.

Nevertheless, there was a clear pattern, but I needed to validate this idea. So, I squeezed specific questions in my conversations with friends, and their answers confirmed my hunch. It was almost clearly repeating every year.

What Did I Do?

I had the pattern down. At least, I thought I did. Now, the only thing left was to break it. So, I did precisely that. I decided on not making that significant change. This year, it was to quit everything to write full-time without any idea of how I’d go about it. I was almost there. I would’ve probably made the call in December, and it would’ve been done. The worst part was that I love this job, environment, and my present life. So, it would’ve been a shame.

How Am I So Sure of This?

I’m not. I’m not sure if this will work. However, the pattern is clearly there, and to some extent, it’s preventing me from having a balanced life. I talked to my therapist about it, and they helped me navigate through this as well. Therapy was a huge help this year, but I realised I had to end that after some point too. So, I did. That’s for another post though so stay tuned.

Since I had the realisation, however, I talked to a lot of friends, and some of them told me that they could identify their patterns too. It’s funny that once you notice a pattern in how you’re living your life, you cannot unsee it. At that point, there’s only one looming question – what to do about it?

The Nudge

There are patterns in our lives. Sometimes, these are clearly in front of us. Sometimes, they are not so apparent. However, there’s almost always a pattern. We need to learn to see these patterns. The key is honesty. It’s a no-bullshit look on our lives, and see where we’re screwing up, and whether it repeats itself time and again. Then, we check whether they fuel our overall growth and happiness or stunt it. If they stunt it, it’s a no-brainer. We break them. We must break them.

About the author

Deepansh Khurana

I write code by day and prose by night. I'd say I love coffee but don't we all? I find stories, people and experiences. I blog about them.

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About The Content

There are three kinds of blog posts here as of mid-2019 – The Journal, The Words and The Nudge.

The Journals are thoughts, lessons, events that unfold in my life word-for-word and as barebones as I can put them out there.

The Words are creative pieces, narratives, short-stories that take from my life but did not happen word-for-word.

The Nudge has self-help articles that try to be less proud and self-righteous. They end in the nudge, which is a shareable takeaway that summarises the entire idea.

You can read more about this change here and here.

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Deepansh Khurana

I write code by day and prose by night. I'd say I love coffee but don't we all? I find stories, people and experiences. I blog about them.

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