Feeling like a failure

We all know a lot of people with eating disorders are also perfectionists and I am not one of the exceptions. The problem is I see most people in the recovery community meeting the overly high expectations they set for themselves. Which, don’t get me wrong is great for them, but it doesn’t help much when your sat hating yourself because you didn’t get those grades. You didn’t get the straight A*’s you were predicted, you didn’t even get the A*AA you needed for your dream university. You actually didn’t get the grades required for your insurance. And they let you in anyway, but that’s not the problem. The problem is you didn’t do well enough. You didn’t do well enough to meet those expectations you’d set for yourself. So you hate yourself and you feel ashamed of yourself although deep down you know you couldn’t have tried any harder and whatever happened happened.

You find yourself comparing your failed results with others, others who did get those 3A*’s you we’re supposed to get, maybe even 4 with that A or A* in EPQ to top it off and it fills you with hatred. Even more so when the other brags on facebook about her daughter who for these straight A’s and had a part time job and trained for sport multiple times a week. You did none of that. You had no responsibilities but you still didn’t get good enough grades.  It fills you with hatred because your jealous and you hate yourself. It fills you with hatred because you have to be the best. You were the best. And now you’re just mediocre. This is why comparing yourself to others is so harmful yet I find it so irresistible at the same time. It’s a hard habit to break really but one I know I need to break if I’m ever going to have any friends and ever come to accept myself. 3B’s and all. Just typing that. 3B’s. It makes me feel ashamed of myself. To me, 3B’s isn’t good. But if anyone else had got that I would congratulate them. If my best friend had got 3B’s I would be pleased for them. So why isn’t it good enough for me?

This is the perfectionism trait that gets to most of us wth eating disorders and it can make or break us. The positive of the perfectionism trait is that it can lead us to achieve amazing things. On the other hand, it can lead to you not doing that essay or exam because you know you won’t achieve well enough. You know you’ll never be good enough. It can also lead to burn out. And lead to your whole world tumbling around you when you tried so so hard but still didn’t achieve those perfect grades.

You try to tell yourself it doesn’t matter but it still does. You try to tell yourself it doesn’t define your worth but it does. Nothing can change how much of a failure you feel like you are. Even when other people seem proud of you. And this is why  I feel like the education system can be so dangerous and harmful to people, especially perfectionists.

In both high school and college I’ve been told everyone can et straight A*’s if they work hard enough. And I’ve been told it by plenty of teachers. IIt really is quite a dangerous thing to say I believe because it ensues the belief in perfectionists even more so that if they don’t get the top grades there somehow failures and it somehow means they didn’t try hard enough. When really that is not true, especially in perfectionists who do try hard enough. it’s because some people aren’t clever enough to get straight A*’s. Some people may have undiagnosed learning difficulties, gone unnoticed because they were getting good grades all their lives. (I honestly think  I have some mild form of dyslexia and it’s only become more apparent since starting my A-levels, and especially during A2 year.The only reason  I haven’t got myself tested is because I’ve heard it costs £400.) They may have just had a bad day, week or year for any number of reasons. Or they may have been to a college with a very bad quality of teaching and no one got straight A*’s. (Again me)

The point is there are countless numbers of reasons as to why these self-set expectations may not have been met but the perfectionist will still beat him/herself up about it because the fact hasn’t changed. In the mind of the perfectionist they have still failed and failure is such a scary thing.

I’m not going to type here about how it’s all okay if you haven’t met your grades or everything happens for a reason because I know it changes nothing. But what I am going to say is that we all need to learn to accept ourselves, go easier on ourselves. We can’t always be perfect or the best. Self-acceptance isn’t easy but it’s what needs to happen so we can be okay when things don’t go to plan.

 

 

Fear of failure. Where it stemmed from.

Recantly I have come to realise that I have a huge fear of failure. Probably explaining why up until now I have always been such a high achiver. 

Even more recantly I realised where this fear came from. As a child making mistakes was never ok. I have never been pressured to get perfect grades. I have also however never been taught that it is ok to make mistakes. I guess in some respect it lead to my eating disorder and ideals of perfection. 

Each mistake I make; I am ridiculed, blamed for when things don’t go according to plan. They blame it on me and my mistake. I guess over time this lead to the great hostility which now stands between myself and my family. Feelings of loneliness. Anxiety due to fears of doing something wrong.

These experiances, in part are what has caused me to feel so awful for “not doing as much work as I should.” The way my parents have treated me, peers riduculed me and teachers pushed me have lead to feelings of inadiquacy. Never being good enough.

 

Between Fiction and Reality.

I’ve noticed something. I’m happier when I’m out of reality. Obsessing over TV shows. Fictional characters. Fanfictions, roleplays. I guess the reason I’m writing about it is because I recognise it is a problem. I’m actually in tears right now. I can’t handle real life anymore. I’m such a skank it’s not even funny. I can’t keep my room tidy and I have such severe anxiety around my family that I struggle to shower or have a bath when there in. I havn’t washed my hair in over a week because I feel I’m being judged for turning the shower on. I feel I’m getting in someones way, being a burdan. The only way I can wash is by turning taps on in the sink and using some shower gel or whatever. It’s like unless I’m told I just physically can’t bring myself to shower. I’m too scared, which is why I try to wash in a way people won’t know… I’m scared of being judged for everything I do because that’s what my parents do. They are the most judgemental people ever.

Thing is. I was happy. Happy when I was lost in the world of brothers and sisters. Ok I still havw that ever impeding feeling of how I’m going to fail my GCSE’s because I ever seem to revise enough and none of it ever goes in but atleast I was happy. This has been happening for years now. More noticably when I started to roleplay. It provided an escape. I don’t know what from, but something. I cannot remember a time when I have been happier in the last 2 years than when I was roleplaying. A time I felt so free from reality. 

I recognise this is not healthy and honestly I am fully aware of how much of a pathetic, weak failure I am and how I will get nowhere in life. It’s not even like my life is that bad. I don’t have a relationship with my mum atall anymore and my brothers always take top priority in the family but that’s nothing compared to people who are paralysed, have cancer, living in extreme poverty. It’s nothing.

I guess this is why I feel so guilty. So Self-centered. Like I’m the only important one. In part I’m jelous. I envy everyone around me. Everyone who can shower, everyone who meets up with there friends and makes something of their spare time, instead of just sitting around getting lost in fiction. Another reason I can attribute to this fictional obsession is longing. The desperation for someone to help me, save me from myself and the need for a mother. And yes I have a mum, I have a dad. Were the classic nuclear family. But what I mean but I want a mother has nothing to do with genetics or the Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies, Marriage and Family Life topic.

What I mean when I say I want a mother is this.

  • Someone I can talk to when I just need someone to talk to.
  • Someone who will hug me and tell me it will all be ok.
  • Someone to help when I need it.
  • Someone who tells me she loves me, Shows me she loves me.
  •  Someone who pays attention to me. Seems happy to be around me. 
  • Someone who shows intrest in my day.
  • Someone who will pick me after school when I have to stay back late (Walking when it’s getting dark is not fun)
  • Someone who listens to and respects me.
  • Someone Honest who doesn’t bitch about me behind my back.
  • Someone who doens’t make an argument out of everything I say and do. 

I guess many of my problems are associated with my lack of mother. I have the genetic figure but her actions are far from mother like towards me. My brothers well that’s a different story. I guess my obsession with fiction really does filter down to this though. My need for someone who is there for me, loves me unconditionaly and shows it.