Loopy, Lonely and Lost

Posts Tagged ‘failure


Posted on: November 4, 2013

Another job has become available at my workplace. The day it was announced, my boss’s boss came up to me and asked if I’d seen it, if I was considering it, that she thought it would be a good move for me. My boss is determined to help me, mentioning it regularly, trying to help me make plans for the application, saying he’ll help where he can and get others to help me too. I feel like maybe this is more a sign he’s good at his job, than anything to do with my chances.

It is a good opportunity. Probably better than the other one I applied for so disastrously. But how am I supposed to apply? How am I supposed to go to an interview? Most days, simply saying, “I am good at A, B and C” is an impossible aim. I feel that I could do this job, although I don’t have all the requirements, but I don’t know how to express my suitability, or how to convince anyone to give me a chance. I usually just let my work do the talking, but that isn’t good enough in a situation like this.

The people I work with closely see something in me that isn’t really there – or, if it is there, it’s sullied by shyness and self-hatred.

I don’t know how to say no. What excuse can there be for not applying for a job I’d like to do? A job my superiors think I can do. A job involving more responsibility and more freedom and more money. A job opportunity that’s arisen only a couple of weeks after the company gave me an award, which has resulted in everybody at work knowing who I am and what I’ve achieved.

Talking of the award – it stares at me accusingly from across the room. The feeling of not deserving it, of not being worthy, is like a weight on my shoulders. I know I sound ungrateful but I can’t help but think a terrible mistake has been made. It can’t have been meant for me.

I feel pretty close to hurting myself. Something to balance out the undeserved reward. Something that would prove to me that I know what a fraud and a failure and a useless person I am. And if I could do something drastic, injure myself or make myself ill, so I could avoid work tomorrow, then all the better. Because I’ll get in and my boss will look up and give his hopeful smile and ask if I’ve thought about it, if I’ve printed off the job description and drafted the application, and I don’t know how to get out of it, or if I want to.

I don’t know how to explain that to apply for a promotion feels like arrogance. I don’t know how to explain that I feel completely worthless, and that some weird process in my brain means that praise only enhances that feeling. I don’t know how to explain the rushing of the blood round my body, the frantic thud of my heart and the lights that flash in my eyes when I think of doing this.

I really want to run away right now.

Life isn’t going brilliantly. I mean, it could be worse, of course – but when is that not the case?

The good news is that I’m not suicidal. Hardly even thinking about dying, actually, so…gold star and a smiley face for me..

I don’t really know if I could even say that I’m depressed. This mood, it’s not the melodramatic hand-wringing I know I’ve been enveloped by before. I’m not weeping all the time (just occasional tears, slipping out of my eyes when I’m not paying attention), or thinking of hurting myself in any way. It’s just…nothing.

I’m constantly tired, but sleeping very little. I haven’t washed my hair in what feels like weeks, but what I hope is less than that. I haven’t been out of the house for over a week. My social circle consists of my parents and my brother. I haven’t spoken to anyone else.

My birthday brought the predictable flurry of Facebook comments, which felt empty and pointless and devoid of any meaning (although to be perfectly honest, it felt no more empty and pointless and devoid of meaning than every other thing in my life). I hate the thought of people pitying me, people being nice because they know I don’t have any real friends (maybe I used to, once. But I’ve blocked them out and driven them away).

I have a job interview in a couple of weeks. I probably won’t get it. They said they wanted someone “bubbly”.

My life has shrunk. I’m not sure I can even properly remember a life where I felt I could leave the house. The thought of shopping and meeting friends and chatting and laughing and drinking and dancing…it all seems so foreign to me now. I’m actually quite scared when I think about going outside, now. Terrified when I think of seeing anyone I know. Terrified that one look at my face will tell them how much of a failure and a disappointment I am. To be perfectly honest, I’m almost as scared of staying in the house as I am of leaving it, but I have to choose one or the other.

I feel trapped, but also afraid of being anywhere else.

Every day is long and empty and I can’t see my life ever being any different. It’s a frightening thought, that this might be it forever. That I’ve made my bed and now I must lie in it, lonely and scared and completely without hope, for the rest of my life. It could be decades.

All the dreams I’ve ever had have turned to dust. There is no way out.

I wonder if I ever could have guessed that this is where I’d be at twenty-two.

No degree. No job. No prospects. Living at home, being treated like a child, with no hope of moving away. Haven’t seen my friends in such a long time. I suppose they’ve forgotten about me.

I don’t know how to do anything, because everything feels like waiting to die. Twenty-two years gone, that’s a start, but there could be so many more years to go, and filling them with anything feels equally as pointless as filling them with nothing.

Maybe I’ve stumbled on the secret of life. It’s just: keep yourself busy, don’t think too much, and sooner or later it’ll be over.

I used to dream of meaning something. I used to hope for success. But all the success in the world couldn’t detract from this simple truth: it’s nothing.

I wish I could succeed at something, but only because it would stop people from being disappointed in me, and stop them asking questions. It’s the only difference it would make.

Twenty-two. How much longer can I continue to stagnate before someone notices?

There was a small thing that went missing from my room. Nothing particularly important. I went away for my last week of work, and when I got back, it was gone. And my mum had tidied my room (not at my request, I hasten to add). It didn’t really matter. I didn’t mention it.

Only, today, I really could have done with it. I mentioned that I didn’t know where it was, suggested that perhaps my mum had moved it or thrown it away.

She got very angry and started shouting at me, saying she was going to go into my room and find it. Now, I don’t like people going into my room. I’m a very private person, and tend to feel violated when people go through my belongings. I told her it didn’t matter, asked her not to go into my room. Politely. With ‘please’ and everything. Several times.

She kept saying it, though, over and over again, and I kept telling her not to bother, asking her to please stay out of my room.

She went upstairs to do something else. Walking through the house, I glanced upstairs. The door to my room was open. I went upstairs. She was there, going through my things.

I got…angry. Shouted a bit. Asked her why she couldn’t pay me the courtesy of not doing one thing that I’d asked her not to do. She started shouting back, telling me I need to respect her more. I laughed, quite bitterly, in her face.

In this house, this is what it always comes down to. We have to earn her respect. We owe her ours.

We left my room and went downstairs and she just kept shouting, saying so many things. You’re a bitch, you’re stupid, stop being such a silly cow.

She said that the only reason I don’t want her going through my room is that I have things to hide. She made me feel ashamed, made me feel guilty and wrong for wanting a space that is mine.

She asked if I’d done anything about signing on for benefits, but she didn’t believe me when I told her the truth (I had, I’ve already been looking, filling in forms, resigned to the fact that I am unemployable. I’m a bit scared about actually submitting the forms – scared of the meetings and the scrutiny and always being reminded what a failure I am – but I have been getting it all started, and it is less than a week since I last worked). She said, you’ll still be here in twelve months’ time, doing nothing.

It’s strange, the things that can turn tears on like a switch. I ran from the room, crying, like some ridiculous, melodramatic thirteen-year-old.

She makes me feel thirteen, though. Misunderstood and righteously angry.

Then she and my dad started arguing, and I feel responsible for that, too. If I wasn’t so over-sensitive, he wouldn’t feel the need to stand up for me.

I feel…pathetic. She’s right, of course she is. Perhaps it’s not nice to say it, but there’s no denying I’m stupid, lazy, worthless. And it’s not so much that she said it that hurts, it’s that it’s true. I’ve spent so long trying not to be a disappointment, and I’ve failed miserably.

I’m thinking a lot about running away. I probably won’t do it, of course. I’d be rubbish at it, and it’d cause at least as many problems as it’d solve. But I’ve got a few hundred pounds, and people I know in various parts of the country. They wouldn’t necessarily be happy to see me, but I could get on a train and stay with them for a week or two, and then just…disappear. It’s not like it’d be any easier to get a job, and I’d always be worried that my family would find me, but in some ways it would be easier to live like that, away from here.

I know it’s not right to think it, not right to so desperately want to get away, but I long for it so much. Whatever my problems have been when I was away from home, when I am here I feel like there is something rough and spiky inside me, like I’m always catching on things and making things worse. I feel uneasy, uncomfortable, and endlessly guilty.

It’s nearly my birthday and the thought that another year has gone by with no change and no progress really stings.

I’ll start with a good thing. I’ve been working for the past week or so, and it’s been good. Exhausting, frustrating and endlessly challenging, but a welcome distraction from the real world. And I got on really well with my colleagues, and they’ve been adding me on Facebook like we’re actually friends.

I had a bit of a wobble today, I suppose. I was on the train and I stood up. Then I looked back at where I’d been sitting, and I know now that someone had just sat in my seat, but at the time I started panicking that I wasn’t a real person and that I was some sort of weird spirit that was possessing people.

I told my mum about failing. My dad’s not back from work yet so I don’t know how he’ll take it. I think my mum took it okay but I’m not sure. She keeps saying it doesn’t matter, but I’d believe her a bit more if she hadn’t been constantly asking for several weeks if I know what grade I’ve got. And she said, “Oh, but we’ve got all sorts of things to celebrate…we’ll have to have them anyway”. So I’m going to be eating cake that says “congratulations” on it, and sipping champagne like anything I’ve done in my life is worth celebrating. She said there are more important things in life. I said, “Like what?” The first thing she said was “like being happy”.

I can’t even do that. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted on: July 1, 2010

I don’t really know what to do. I think it would take considerably more strength than I have, to grit my teeth and say “I’ve fucked up again,” and deal with questions and concerns and worries and interferences and keep trying, keep doing all I can to get something out of this whole mess.

It’d be okay, if I was the right kind of person. If I could grit my teeth, stick my chin out, stride with purpose and do whatever it takes to actually achieve something. The kind of person who could spend the next few decades looking family and friends and employers in the face and saying that all those years in the Doldrums, it wasn’t about weakness or stupidity, it was about perseverence and inner steel. But I’m not that kind of person, and if I was, I suspect I wouldn’t be in this situation.

My parents keep talking about how proud they are of me. I’m going to break their hearts, again. Either I do it by raising the courage to be honest, and admitting all of my mistakes and wrongdoings and secrets and lies, or I do it by giving in to the persistent and overwhelming urge to kill myself. It seems to me like the only real difference between the two options is that if I kill myself, I won’t ever get the opportunity to disappoint them again.

Posted on: June 16, 2010

I’m struggling a little bit at the moment.

I’ve been working for the past couple of days, which is a good distraction, but my sleep is completely fucked anyway, and it’s hard to get up at 6am after two hours’ sleep, then work 9 hours (trying to motivate teenagers, at that), then go home and be exhausted but still not sleeping anywhere near enough, and then get up the next day and do it again. But yeah, it’s been a distraction, and I sort of made friends with the person I was working with…it feels such an embarrassingly long time since I actually made a friend, so it actually feels like a big thing, when all that happened was I met someone with a few similar interests and we chatted a lot (I wish the small things didn’t seem so big. I wish it could be like the old days, when it all came so much more easily).

I’m finding it hard to calm my anxiety. It’s not full-on panic yet, just a sort of dread that I can feel rising in my chest. I’m pretty sure I’ve failed my degree (I’ve done the maths. Any kind of half-decent grade is unlikely, verging on impossible). And I don’t know how I’m going to explain. To my family, who have always been so unjustifiably proud of me. Or to my friends, whose opinion of me is so out-of-date that they still think of me as “clever”, because last time we studied together was at college, back when I could do anything.

I mean, what do I say? How can I let everyone down like this? I’m going to spend the rest of my life saying, “yeah, sorry, it turns out I’m stupid”. It’s always going to be there. I’ll never be allowed to forget it. Every single job application. The whole of my life, making excuses and avoiding eye contact and shrugging. It’s hard enough to get a job these days even as a graduate with a first class degree. How the fuck will I manage, having gone to university and made nothing of it? Four years, down the drain. Thousands of pounds of debt. Nothing to show for it. It’s a fucking waste and I wish I hadn’t bothered.

And I think, briefly…maybe I don’t want to lie anymore. Maybe I just want to hold my hands up, say “I can’t cope”, burst into tears and wait for someone to come along and make it better. It’s naive, and weak, even to think it. To consider, even for a moment, that this is something that would be easier if people knew. It would just be a different kind of difficult, and not a kind that, really, I’d ever be able to cope with. I know I’m not really coping now, but at least I have privacy. At least no-one feels sorry for me. It’s a small comfort, but it’s pretty much all I’ve got, and I’m not going to give it up because of some instinctive desire to just hand over the reins and let someone else steer my life while I have a bit of a nap.

I’ve found something that is bigger than me. You can call it depression, or unhappiness, or pessimism, or just plain old life, but it’s too big and too destructive, and I’ve been holding it inside myself and it’s been eating away, consuming all of me to make more room for it, so it can grow and take over completely. Soon it will be all I am.

I have another counselling appointment on Friday. It’ll probably be the last one. I left it too late for it to make a difference. I suppose it wouldn’t have, anyway. Then again, I don’t really think months or even years of counselling would be able to change my thoughts. They’re too…big. They’re too much of me.

I suppose I might be a little suicidal. Kill yourself, kill yourself, might as well kill yourself. Better get it over with before life catches up with you. Hurry up and do it before things get worse. Kill yourself, kill yourself. Shut up and kill yourself. Over and over again until it’s all I can think, and no amount of superficial think of something else-ing will get rid of it.

I’m scared, a lot. But to be perfectly honest, I’m more scared of living than I am of dying.


My name is Laura. I was once told that I have cyclothymia. This blog is mostly where I write about living as a person with extremes and instability of mood, and the history of a life that led to the development of those symptoms.

I complain a lot, I'm very repetitive, unreliable, and I tend to contradict myself.

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June 2020