“I feel like a perpetual screw-up.” -me, you, your parents, probably the pope
It seems like the more capable we are of accomplishing great things, the more likely we are still to screw it all up for ourselves. It’s just so easy! My point is none of us are perfect and that’s the best thing about us. It’s what makes us try new things and it pushes us constantly to challenge our thoughts and actions. When my son misbehaves, I tell him that everyone makes mistakes and that’s okay. Making mistakes doesn’t make us bad people, even though it feels like it when we make the same mistakes repeatedly, or when we make a broad sequence of mistakes that completely turns our lives upside down. I actually don’t go into that much detail with him, but the mistakes thing, yeah. I say that.
Life is nothing but the choices that we make, and we don’t always choose correctly. We can’t, and that is okay. Really! Accountability is what matters. It’s so important to accept yourself for your flaws and embrace the fact that despite your best efforts to choose wisely, sometimes you are going to colossally screw up. When you do inevitably make the wrong choice you have to be prepared to accept the consequences. Maybe you’ll get lucky and everything will be okay and you can just appreciate the sequence of events that led you to that feeling of utter relief, but you and I both know that won’t happen every time. Sometimes you are going to have to pay for what you broke. Sometimes you’ll have to pay for a mistake for a very long time, or even the rest of your life.
Speaking of the rest of your life…
Who knows what the future has in store for us? You can’t control the outside factors that affect your life- the choices of others, the weather, the alignment of the stars OR anyone’s opinion on whether that even matters. You control how you handle what comes at you. You control your next move, and the next one, and so on and so forth. What I’m saying here is go ahead and enjoy fucking up because it just means you’re out there trying just like the rest of us. I don’t think it takes much looking around to find how many differences we all share as a mass populace, but damn it if we don’t all screw our lives up. We have that common thread to bond on, even though most of us are hellbent on pretending like we have it all figured out.
Okay I’m a screw-up and so are you. So what?
So here you are, staring at your life, obsessing over a past you can’t change and a future you can’t predict. And here I am telling you to cut that shit out. It is what it is and there’s certainly no going back now, no matter how much that may hurt. Let’s move forward together. Let’s be honest with one another about our weakness and our flaws and the fears that keep us up at night. Let’s share our journeys and celebrate with one another. Imagine a world where the millions of us living with depression openly discuss it like it’s the flu. I know we all fantasize about that level of acceptance. We aren’t freaks just because we have an illness.
How the hell do we make that happen?
Well, we start by accepting ourselves. We can talk to each other about what we’re going through free of judgement. We can love and support each other. Then we can share that love and openness with the rest of the world. The stigma will always exist if we keep hiding our depression from the world. Be the change! Tell your boss that you have depression and you need to take today off because you’re too sick to get out of bed. Tell them with the confidence you would if you were calling in with the flu. Support each other in public.
You’re not a freak, and you’re so, SO far from being alone.
Do you ever think about how if you’re hiding your mental illness from the world, other people probably are too? You know how carefully you try to make it look like your life is awesome because everyone else has a way more awesome life than you do? Well guess what kids! They’re most likely pulling the same scam you are. How fucked up is that when you really think about it? Let’s try being honest and accepting of each other. Let’s tell that asshole who asked you why you don’t just “go for a walk so you can feel better” what’s up. Turn asshole moments into teachable moments.
I’m excited! Let’s get started.
We can talk about all of this and more in the community.
You can read about my lifelong journey through depression on my blog.
If you’re into doing crafts or whatever to channel all your emotions into something, I’m down with that too.