When You Fail, It Is Just Part of Your Journey so Keep On – Presence

No one can tell me what’s wrong with me!

When medications don’t do what we hoped we wonder what that means.  We think about the possibility that our diagnosis is wrong, that we are outside the known world of science or a new variation of diseased who will suffer without a label.  Is suffering without a label even decent?

I predict imminent catastrophe

Image by forestine via Flickr

Stephani wasn’t the only one in the world with these thoughts but she felt like it.  It was as if she was waiting for her real life to begin when she considered herself well.  There was the good part of her that was about fifty percent of her day hanging around.  The rest of the day was wrong.  She wasn’t able to cope with stressors and became helter skelter at random times of the day.

Trading places, in the door and out, out and in, polite enemies at best, the good Stephani and the wrong Stephani vied for platform.  Either part of her never felt fully right because of the looming flaws.  She couldn’t trust herself as long as they divided her life.

I don’t know why I don’t get better.  

I don’t know either.

That’s a precarious position to maintain as a physician.  My job is at stake because who goes to a specialist without answers?  …At least not traditional answers.

Take this pill tonight and put this warm compress on your bladder.  In the morning you’ll feel better.

Darn it!  Sometimes I so want to be that doctor!  But this is me.

What are you waiting for?  Is this place in life better than losing your life?  Why?

And then Stephani mentioned a few things that kept her breathing:  hope to get well, hope to have a family some day, life itself, her husband….

Why are you right or wrong?  Why are you well or sick?  Can you be both?  

Hm.  I saw some relief begin to settle in.  However, I also saw frustration.  Stephani wasn’t ready to be flawed and perfect.  She really like either/or.  That’s fine for now.  We were able to spend a little more time on the idea of loving all of her, of being a friend to all of her and of counting this moment worth living more actively.  If she doesn’t bale on me, we have time for her to get into the same room with herself.  The joining up of her wrongs and rights will make her life journey a lot better and less confusing.

People like Stephani have an addiction-like disease process to the either/or, the extremes, the poles, which we describe as “all-or-none” thinkers.  They remind me of any other blessed addict.  They would most likely do great working this over as an addiction.  Working the Steps.  Then they would understand what any other addict who works The Steps understands.  Failing is just part of the journey.

Questions:  Can you be both flawed and perfect?  How?  How do you love both parts of you?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip – When you fail, remember that it is just part of your journey and keep on.

  1. You Might Fall In Love With Your Flaws
  2. Love Differently, Love Your Flaws – Be a Tall Poppy
  3. Lady Gaga – Born This Way
  4. Try, Knowing We Will Fail
  5. Loving Me Without Ambivalence
  6. Codependent
  7. Finding What Perfectionism Can Offer Our Self-Care – In Summary
  8. Celebrate Your Imperfections
  9. Getting Away From All-Or-None Thinking
  10. Adequate

13 thoughts on “When You Fail, It Is Just Part of Your Journey so Keep On – Presence

  1. When the doctor tells me I won’t be happy unless I accept my illness as part of my reality, he is telling me that I am flawed and perfect. I have to learn to accept the new me with my flaws, and accept within the limits of my new universe the limits of the things I can still do and relish on them. It is something that I have been working on for the past year with very slow progress. I still can’t let go easily of the memory of a higher functioning brain. Marie.

    • i think grieving our imperfect selves, losses of our person, morphing identities – this is something that surfaces to awareness unpredictably but consistently in that it will never not return at some point of our life journey as long as we are living. just when we feel our triumphs, our legs get week and collapse again under a grief that makes no sense to us, that comes w/o invitation but is entirely real. thanks marie for sharing this w us. we have all been there. keep on.

  2. “All or none thinkers” I have never heard of that condition so identified but now looking back I’ve known many people like this. Including myself. Gemini all the way. Good boy – bad boy. It is an imbalance just like any other imbalance. Aren’t all of us flawed and perfect to some degree? JFK and Bill Clinton would be examples of the condition.It seems knowing that we are not unique and that our feelings of “flawed and perfect” or an attitude of “all or none” should alleviate our despair to some degree. Having insights to one’s particular imbalance seems half the battle. I like visuals. Draw a circle. When we catch ourselves leaking out of that circumference our self control or coping strategies are activated if we are vigilant. Use the yin and yang circle and if the circle becomes imbalanced with too much darkness or too much light we know were are in dysfunction mode. Knowing we are not helpless and that we can control the steering wheel or compensate if it it is taking us in an unbalanced directions seems half the road to recovery. Understanding is the starting point. I suggest where to go from there would be a Part 2 of this discussion.

    • “good boy – bad boy” but carl still a boy – smile. just listen to your cartoons and enjoy the pasture. :).
      insight as half the battle – i don’t know about the stats of it but it is what we enjoy talking about mostly. it is our paddle and oar on the ocean of biology mixed with magic.

  3. This is an excellent. I am going to pass it on to someone in my life who is suffering and who lives with such an all or nothing approach,that is part of this person’s internal makeup and always has been, but also is part of the person’s cognitive distortions. I believe today’s post will be very helpful and thank you.

  4. I am not and never have been perfect. I have lots of flaws and more than a few scars–I think those are healed flaws(?).

    I love me and most of the time, but not always, like me. The older I get the better I get at doing this living life thing.

    I don’t really think of the less than successful parts of my life as failures. All of life is learning. What counts is that we learn our lessons.

  5. Maybe because of so many milestones right now…I torture myself daily with my “fail.” I was really struck by the words “I don’t know why I don’t get better.” I stand in those words every day now. 20 year high school reunion. 10 years since the divorce. Almost out of child bearing years and still childless. My last single friend just got married. Trying to move out of my parents home where I retreated during the last magnificent storm and scared to death. Constant images on facebook reminding me of how little I have – relationships, financial security… 30 years of struggling with depression. I have no doubt that it is something I recreate…years of therapy under my belt…yet I still can’t find the “start” square on the game board.

    So, yeah…I don’t know why I don’t get better. And failing doesn’t feel like part of the journey. It seems it is the journey.

    Sorry my posts aren’t cheerier. Really struggling.

    • hello JJ. things r sounding tough and lonely. many of us r w u and appreciate your candor and story. thank u for sharing. 30 years is a long time.

      also, thank u so much for your other comments. i loved reading them today and getting to know u a little. i can’t wait to get to comment on them soon. hugs and keep on, friend.

  6. Pingback: True friends tell you your flaws | GodLovesBummyla

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