Okay. This isn’t a funny post so feel free to skip it. I just need to know something and I need you to tell me the truth rather than just make me feel better, so please be honest.
I realize that I’ve accomplished a lot in life and deep-down I know that, but it doesn’t change the fact that I only have a few days a month where I actually felt like I was good at life. I know I’m a good person (as in “not evil or intentionally arsonistic”), but I’m not very good at being a person. I don’t know if that makes sense and it’s not me fishing for compliments. Please don’t tell me the things I’m good at because that’s not what this is about. It’s just that at the end of each day I usually lie in bed and think, “Shit. I’m fucking shit up. I accomplished nothing today except the basics of existing.” I feel like I’m treading water and that I’m always another half-day behind in life. Even the great things are overshadowed by shame and anxiety, and yes, I realize a lot of this might have to do with the fact that I have mental illness, but I still feel like a failure more often than I feel like I’m doing well.
My pride that Hailey is the best speller in her class is overshadowed by the embarrassment that I don’t have the energy to be a PTA mom. I’m happy my first book was so successful, but I suffer with writer’s block so much that I’m always sure I’ll never write again and that I’ll never finish my second book. I feel like from the outside looking in I seem successful and happy, but I can’t help but think that if people looked closer they’d see the cracks and the dirt and shame of a million projects that never get done.
Part of this is me. I have depression and anxiety and a number of personality disorders that make it hard for me to see myself correctly. Part of it is that I judge myself by the shiny, pretty people I see at Parent-Teacher meetings, or on Facebook, or on Pintrest who seem to totally have their shit together and never have unwashed hair. They never wait until Thursday night to help their kid with the entire week’s homework. They don’t have piles of dusty boxes in corners waiting to be opened from the move before last. They have pretty, pastel lives, and they are happy, and they own picnic baskets and napkins and know how to recycle, and they never run out of toilet paper or get their electricity turned off. And it’s not even that I want to be one of those people. I fucking hate picnics. If God wanted us to eat on the ground he wouldn’t have invented couches. I just don’t want to feel like a failure because my biggest accomplishment that day was going to the bank.
I just need an honest assessment to see if this is just me (and if I need to just find a way to change, or to increase my meds) or if this is just normal and people just don’t talk about it.
Please tell me the truth (anonymous answers are fine). How many days in a month do you actually feel like you kicked ass, or were generally a successful person? What makes you feel the worst? What do you do to make yourself feel more successful?
Please be honest. Because I’m about to be.
I feel successful 3-4 days a month. The other days I feel like I’m barely accomplishing the minimum, or that I’m a loser. I have imposter syndrome so even when I get compliments they are difficult to take and I just feel like I’m a bigger fraud than before. I feel the worst when I get so paralyzed by fear that I end up cowering in bed and fall further and further behind. To make myself feel more successful I spend real time with my daughter every day, even if it’s just huddling under a blanket and watching Little House on the Prairie reruns on TV. I also try to remind myself that most of idols struggled as well, and that this struggle might make me stronger, if it doesn’t destroy me.
I’m hoping that by writing and posting this it will make me face this head-on and make some changes, either by forcing myself to change the way I see success, or by forcing myself to get shit done and stop feeling such dread and anxiety every day. I’m hoping that I’ll get hints from you guys about what you do to feel like a good, successful person, or what you avoid that I can try to avoid it as well. I’m hoping to stop the voices in my head. At least the ones who don’t like me very much.
PS. For those of you who are new here, I’m already doing cognitive therapy and I’m already on a lot of drugs for anxiety, depression and ADD, but I’m really fine. Honestly. I just want to be better. I’m just struggling with being human and I could use some pointers. My guess is that a lot of us could.
PPS. When things get bad this song helps me. It might help you too. Put on your headphones.
PPPS. The Oxford Dictionary says the word “arsonistic” doesn’t exist, but it totally does. It’s the same thing as being artistic, but instead of being sensitive to or good at art, you’re just really good at arson. Then again, this is is the same dictionary that just added “twerk.” I question everything now.
PPPPS. Sorry. This post is all over the place. My ADD drugs haven’t kicked in yet. I’m failing at writing a post about how I’m failing. I think I’ve just set a record. A bad one.