Beautiful piece dear Benny! "Talking things through" was my very favorite part. It reminded me such a powerful part from Mark Manson's work:
If I ask you "What do you want out of life?" And you say something like "I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like", your response is so common and expected that it doesn't really mean anything.
Everybody wants that. It's easy to want that. A more interesting question is "What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?" Because that seems to be a greater detetminant of how our lives turn out.
For example, most people want to have great sex and an awesome relationship, but not going through the tough conversations, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings, and the emotional psychodrama to get there.
And so they settle. They settle and wonder "What if?" for years and years, until the question morphs from "What if?" into "What else?" And when the lawyers go home and the alimony check is in the mail, they say "What for?" If not for their lowered standards and expectations twenty years prior, then what for?
Because happiness requires struggle. It grows from problems. Joy doesn't just sprout out of the ground like daisies and rainbows. Real, serious, lifelong fulfillment and meaning have to be earned through the choosing and managing of our struggles.
Whether you suffer from anxiety or loneliness or obsessive-compulsive disorder or a dickhead boss who ruins half of your waking hours everyday, the solution lies in the acceptance and active engagement of that negative experience-- not the avoidance of it, not the salvation from it.