How to catch an elephant

Failure

Sunday 9/9/18 time 7:42 PM - Judibug


It's 2018.

And here we are.

This is about what I've been up to in the past 4 years. This is about failure and how it affects us.

I'm a sensitive person. I am terrified constantly of being judged, being rejected and - you guessed it - failing in general. On top of that, for all my life I've made ridiculously high expections of myself. When I was seven, all I wanted was to be better than others and like the most humblest of first graders, skip the second grade. I did not. And over 20 years later I'm still bitter about it.

That's the thing, I made goals way above my abilities and then gave myself shit about it for the years to come. Now I'm 29 and I still do it.

Guess what though? Failure is okay. It happens all the time, it happens to everyone and it's very healthy to happen. It only gets wrong when you can't let it go, when you make it personal and rip up your anxiety and dwell on it.

In the past 4 years I've failed in many ways. I had things in control, I graduated and I got hold of my depression and started to enjoy life fully. I also stopped working on with my ADD because "I probably didn't have it" and "Even if I did, who cares". You can probably guess also that that decision will bite me in the ass later. :D

As I already mentioned, I had to give up my dog away around 2015 after being guite sick for long periods at the time. That's probably one of the biggest failures I've had, right next to the good ol' "went to Denmark to go to Africa and returning in less than a week because I forgot to Google is the organization legit". I felt awful for not being responsible enough to care for my dog. Who gives up their dogs? Bad people. That makes me one of the bad people. I still feel that way even though I know it was the only option for both of us to have fulfilling and healthy lives.

In 2014 I also bought my first apartment for me and my pup to live in.
I also started to hate the place pretty much around the dog left. So after a year living there I was done with the place. That's a massive failure by the way. At least financially.
I hated the back yard filled with ticks, the street next to my windows and the people walking past and staring inside. I spent one year with blinds closed and all my plants died because there's no sunshine in the depths of Mordor.

I've also had couple of relationship, two quite good ones in my standards and with one fitting perfectly in my timeline.

You see, even though I lost the dog and hated my apartment, I was in a good place in general. Confident, having a good job and lovely friends. Didn't care about my health issues in a bad way, just enough to care for them by traveling and visiting the doctors I deemed needed. But here's the part that makes things tricky. When one thing fails, it causes a chain reaction that at one point you may not be able to stop.

Relationships are fickle and there are many reasons why they might not work. I'm not perfect. Neither have been my partners. The first good relationship ended and I did get back to my feet and good ways. I still excercised. My psoriasis started to get better. Wildly better actually, it disappeared for a little while fully.

But the rejection was horrifying experience. It took some time to get back in the track.

The second good one was a very meaningful for me. I'd finally reach a point in my life where I was honestly happy so I actually could give a lot to the relationship. I also made some mistakes, because I am a faulty person. I'm an empathetic person and can go overboard trying to help my chosen people to the point I smother them. But the other person did not want it. What I did was to forget myself trying to please the other.

If you don't know it yet, being overly excited about some thing is an ADD thing. It can get obsessive, and the subject can be a person as it can be a hobby. I recently bought 15 plants because I sometimes don't have control over my obsessiveness and impulses.

Now put together rejection sensitivity, obsessive head over heels love and an unwanted break-up and you get a very,very intense encounter in timeline. At that point my blissfull happiness was already on a shaky ground, because I was getting bored in other aspects in my life. The awful apartment still after 3 years, work that was otherwise lovely but my brain kept screaming "Is this it?".

Two weeks after the break-up in my stable situation I decided to do everything I can to make things in my life exciting and happy again and that included selling the old place, buying a new one and starting a new job with new challenges.

2017 was quite a year. Some bad things happened. Actually quite good many things happened too. I got my current home and my current job which are both dear to me. But I definitely was not in the right mind-set to do all those things.

I had failures in selling the old place which worked the best in the end. Big ass failure was the job I took at the same time I was renovating the new place. I worked normally and spent all my free time at the new place painting etc. Summer rolled around and it was just plain full. I also spent more time excercising at the same time I did all these other things. I did not have one spare moment for months.

And by the end of the summer I couldn't get up. First I thought it was the break-up that I was wildly ignoring finally catching up with me. Well it was that. It was also the new job that I was not comfortable being in. It was the fact that I was exhausted by having intense hayfever and not havingany vacation. Well I did take two weeks of vacation that I spent traveling and renovating and partying. Again, had zero days resting. It was just a normal good old burn-out from things I decidedly ignored.

When you let things go as far to get an actual burn-out, you're simply way too far. By that point you should just accept it and have the rest. It's okay.

Guess what.

I did not.

In the end, I'm glad of my choices. But only because I'm slowly healing now, a year later.

Anyway, my rambling story continues. I was a complete mess and had a job I did not enjoy but it paid for my glorious new place. I took a week worth of sick leave and then went back acting everything was fine. I got lucky and had a job interview from another place and suddenly I had in my hands an amazing offer.

But even with my glorious new offer I hesitated a lot. I was exhausted. I wasn't sure if things were bad because of the work or another things. So I spent few days crying and accepting the failure that was my job of almost 6 months. At this point I was trying to accept the failure of my relationship too, had zero confidence so you can imagine how I felt about starting yet again a new job with even higher standards. But I took the offer anyway.

That was actually a good decision. In hindsight, better solution would have been staying and having a loooong sick leave. But that's neither here or there, as I didn't feel comfortable to do so anyway in a relatively new job.

One thing I left out was that the new home I bought had a big ass renovations coming up and that meant 3 months living out of the building, still paying mortgage so there was no money to rent other place. Again, a very bad decision in my fragile state, but that actually went much better than I was expecting.

I started to heal slowly, and found new hope and strength after spending a month traveling in Asia. I survived the whole 3 months of homelessness thanks to my friends, work and lonely trip in the world.

I would love to say at this point how I suddnely met a prince charming on a white stallion, excelled at everything in my job and am now the happiest thing in the world. But life is not about happy endings because even if you reach a happy state, it's not something that ends anything or stays by itself.

At this point I'm just starting to accept my failures and let go of a bunch of regrets.

Remember when I said that ignoring my ADD will bite me in the butt? Well that has taken a chunk of my arse the whole time. The whole story has elements of fuck-upery I could have worked better if I had any understanding who I am as a person (and who I am not). I'm not saying ADD is a condition that needs to be healed. I'm saying that if I wouldn't have ignored it, I'd be more aware of myself and understand how I react to things and how I can work with things and use my qualities as an advantage.

So I started that project after I found my new zen and knew that it wouldn't last. Of course it didn't last, didn't you just read the whole rambling? I have a shorter fuse for a blow-out year after year. But at least I started the whole health -project in time. I already had a major failure at work as I did not meet my horrifying expectations. "I got better, now I should be awesome and happy" and oh boy I was not happy about.. well.. not being happy.

That takes us to this moment. My initial reaction to my newest fuck-up after promising being awesome again was to give up. I did not though. And now I'm happy about that.

Here's a collection since 2014 of things that has happened, I've started and/or failed and probably will fail because as I am as a person:

  • Apartment no. 1
  • Some relationships
  • Writing a book
  • Playing cello again
  • Writing courses
  • Singing (with courses)
  • Gave my dog away
  • Playing ukulele
  • Writing a book again
  • Learning Spanish
  • Some jobs (I did not even mention them all in the story)
  • Excercising (gained a bunch of weight and lost muscles, gotta love my life)
  • Major comeback of depression
  • Streaming games (haven't yet failed but hey..)

And the list goes on with other stupid things, some bigger, some very small.

The point is, we cannot shy away from our shortcomings and failures. Things will not always go the way we want and plan. I know how I react to rejection and failure and need to work on that. I've tried a year to just generally 'be happy' but that's not how you do it. So one thing at a time I'll let those things go with a goal to just.. stop thinking about things I can do nothing about anymore.

Here you have it, in a nutshell what has been going on.

I can now make promises to start writing again, and I do have stories about travels, ADD, psoriasis and some other things. So I might tell those. If not, then I'll add it to my Fail -list and move on.

TL;DR: I was happy, then I wasn't happy, I made a bunch of questionable choices and now I'm relatively okay.

Keywords: failure, work, life, past, burn-out, add


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