So recently I’ve been having a few of those days where I feel a bit rubbish, a failure, and intensely irritated with myself. I’m anxious and jittery, keeping busy to avoid my thoughts (because we all know that works really well!)
I suspect if I didn’t have the training I have, I might see things differently. I know at least some of the answers. I know the unhelpful things I sometimes do, I get why they are unhelpful. This leaves me feeling humiliated and ashamed, because in many ways, I know better, yet for a long time I haven’t always done better. I can see the things I have managed to achieve, and some days, if I step back and look at the big picture, I can allow myself to consider that perhaps I’ve done ok. At the same time, I know I haven’t really fulfilled my potential, especially not professionally. Or maybe that’s just too-high standards and excessive striving. Who knows. What I do know is that I judge myself and I expect others to judge me too.
It always feels important to say that I don’t apply my standards to anyone else. I think of friends and family, and feel generally proud of them. Some have ‘achieved’ academically or professionally, others have grown into attuned, dependable parents in spite of having a rocky start themselves. Some are creative, funny, generous and by being who they are, enrich the lives of those around them. I don’t see these people as having fallen short just because they haven’t got every single element of life exactly ‘right’. We are all human and flawed, none of us choose our starting point, and in any case, things are rarely as clear cut as they seem. I understand the complexity of this, but I still think I, personally should have known better. I also know it’s frustrating when people are constantly critical of themselves, and that this level of self reproach doesn’t serve me well. It makes me cringe when I hear others criticise themselves so harshly. I need to allow myself an alternative way of viewing things. I probably also need to make more sense of how my personal experiences and professional role fit together.
But for now, I just need to focus on my end goal. I know what that is, it does involve (even more) weight gain, and I can’t allow anything to sneak in and keep me stuck. I know that without this changing, nothing else will change either. And when I say I’m trying to tackle something fairly difficult, I anticipate frustration from those around me, because on the surface, it shouldn’t be that hard. Yet I am pushing myself – eating more, still not running, being excruciatingly honest in therapy, all of which feel like big risks with an uncertain outcome.
So it’s a ramble more than an update. But I am keeping going. Stepping out into the unknown is part of living life, and I am trusting that it will be worth it.