I am my own worst enemy, my own worst critic, I am the reason I feel so insanely overwhelmed most of the time.
I could say that I feel pressurised by my mum to do well, to be a success, to be something incredible – but deep down I know that I am the one pushing myself into unrealistic goals and lifestyles. I want everything, I want to be the best, the prettiest, the one people talk about and say, it’s hard to believe she’s just 22 isn’t it? I’m the one who makes life that much harder for myself, not anyone else.
In my head, life has always been a race. I know it’s not, I know it’s not about being the first to get married, to have a baby, to have your own business, to have a book published, to have a senior job title, to have a home, but I’ve always been competitive (avid Monopoly cheater over here), and when I don’t live up to my own expectations it pulls me right down, down into the depths of self-pity and sadness.
Growing up it wasn’t like I exactly went without – I had beach summer holidays with my family, I got new clothes from Tammy Girl (albeit ones mostly from the sales) and I even had a Playstation (which was the biggest thing ever!), but it still felt like other people had more. Because that’s the thing with life isn’t it? No matter how much you have, you will always be left craving more rather than appreciate the wonderful things you’re lucky enough to have.
I wanted exotic holidays with long haul flights, I wanted more clothes, I wanted expensive hairdresser appointments and manicures – I wanted money.And because I want everything I could possibly ever have at 22, I push myself, I set myself heavy to-do lists, I picture these ideal dream scenarios in my head and then when things don’t live up to it – wait, no, when I don’t live up to it, I beat myself up about it. I convince myself that I’ve failed.
Take today for example, I had planned to wake up, go to the gym, go food shopping, book a doctor’s appointment, do all the ironing and clean the bathrooms. Pretty much in that order too. And, because I got a bit sucked into looking at Instagram pictures and trying on new clothes (a task which was takes a lot more time than men actually think), I’m a bit behind on my list, and I feel horrible. Like mega horrible. Y’know that sort of horrible where one teeny thing goes wrong and you just think FUCK THIS, TODAY IS A WRITE OFF AND I MUST LAY ON THE SOFA AND DO NOTHING FOREVERMORE BECAUSE OF IT? Yeah, that. Except I’m not on the sofa listening to Taylor Swift on my phone anymore, I’m up at my desk drinking green tea and writing this post, which wasn’t even on my list for today, but it’s the only thing I could will myself of the sofa to write.
I know I’ll feel better for having taken my pyjamas off and written a post, the same way you usually feel better after a work-out, but it’s the actual getting off the sofa and moving on with my life that is the hardest bit. I like control. Scrap that, I love control. It’s a large chunk of the reason for my teenage depression period, and the reason I used to love digging my nails into my skin, especially my thighs, when things were going wrong – so I could feel something, so I could regain control over something, over anything. And when things slide out of my control, either because something else comes in the way, or because I’m struggling to motivate myself to live up to the expectations I’ve set myself (because I just love a daily to-do list that’s longer than a normal person’s weekly list), I get so filled up with anger at myself. I take it out on me, I think I’m weak, a failure, unsuccessful, that I’ll never have any of the nice things I’ve pictured in my head because I’ve let myself down.
I’m definitely rambling now. I’m just writing this exact words and sentences that are forming in my mind and hoping they sort of make sense. I find myself getting more and more annoyed at myself. Annoyed because it’s so easy to watch Dexter for 2 hours than to get up and do something to improve my life!
Lately I’ll use any excuse to punish myself, to tell myself that I am not good enough, that I need to try harder. I spend so long trying to convince myself that I’m shit, that I forget to notice how hard I work, how all the good things that come to me are from my own determination and strength.
And I think that’s something we’re all guilty of – forgetting to notice how incredible we are. Every little thing from new shoes, to a holiday, to a sweet text or email from someone, are all because we’ve worked hard for those things. We’ve made them happen, nobody else. We all need to cut ourselves some slack for falling down, for feeling tired, for wanting rest, for wanting carbs, for wanting time out because we spend so much energy and time trying to do our best all the bloody time. We need to stop hating on ourselves for needing some down time, some time to be unproductive.
As for me? I need to learn that some things are out of my control and just need to be accepted. This is always harder to do when it’s a medical issue as I’m battling now, but I need to really try to remain positive, otherwise it’s going to beat me. And that would be the ultimate failure.