I feel like the past few years have been marred by constant disappointment. I never allow myself to be optimistic. I prefer to prepare myself for the worst and yet, when it appears (as expected), I’m deflated.
And it keeps happening again and again. Missed job or professional opportunities. Injuries and health setbacks. People.
My mother and I travelled to visit family last week. I was out-of-sorts. I’ve had a sore back for over a month as well as some dizziness and everything has been feeling like an effort. I told her I was hating my current attitude.
‘It’s because you’re not well,’ she said.
But nope. I disagreed. I’ve been like this for some time. Everything feels like a hassle. I want to put it all in the too-hard basket.
I was thinking it was my lack of resilience. But I realise that implies an inability to ‘bounce back’ from things. Finding the highs after the lows. This is more the sense of purposeless I talked about here a few weeks ago. I’m crushed far too easily. Effortlessly destroyed.
I know it’s not good to constantly feel without hope but when the disappointments keep coming and deflation follows, it sometimes feels like there’s little alternative.
I realise of course I need to acknowledge how fortunate I actually am. I am lucky to be relatively healthy (despite potentially not deserving to be so!). I have a lovely home and (was) financially secure thanks to decades of tedious work. I certainly do not regret making my seachange almost 9 years ago, though I really had no idea finding work would be so problematic.
As my mother and I had many hours in the car together and given my predilection for overanalysing everything, I pondered how and why I’m suddenly more anxiety-ridden. So emotionally fragile. So easily deflated. So vulnerable.
How did I get here?
It eventually occurred to me that my confidence is shot. That sense of purpose, of direction and the external validation I relied on is gone. I keep missing out on jobs that I once would never have considered. If I compare my life ‘then’ to ‘now’ I feel like a massive failure. I was on a trajectory. Not to the stars, but definitely slightly better than mediocrity.
I really do not regret my seachange. I couldn’t bear to live in a busy city again and have my life governed by work. My recent trip cemented that for me. But nine years on I feel I’ve let myself down.
And that disappointment I talked about earlier. The sense that things and people around me are letting me down. I realise it’s not ‘them’, it’s me. I’m disappointed in me and only I can work out how to forgive myself and move forward.
Do you struggle with emotional fragility? Do you think it’s about being more resilient, more hopeful or having fewer expectations?