I've been thinking a lot about failure, and about being enough.
It's helpful to say to myself, "You got enough sleep, you have enough energy, you have everything you need to get through this day, you are everything you need to get through this day."
If I'm not careful, my first thoughts upon waking up go something like this:
"No. This isn't happening. I am not being woken up to clean poop off the toilet seat. This isn't fair. I need more sleep. I need so much sleep that it would take years to sleep it all.
Okay. I am sitting up. This is okay. I am sitting up and I didn't shower yesterday, fuck. Showering is a must, so it will hang over my head all morning, making me feel rushed and like I don't have enough time. I never have enough time.
I will make breakfast for the kids, but I'll hold off until lunch time and have a brunch kind of meal. That way, I hopefully won't need to eat lunch, too, because I'm too fat. I looked in the mirror while I brushed my teeth, and I totally can't remember ever seeing anybody attractive or successful who is also this fat. I'm not attractive enough.
Time to get dressed. I'll carefully pick out the girls' clothes with pleasure, because they are beautiful and they deserve to wear things that they love and feel good about. It doesn't matter what I wear because... what's the point of trying, anyway? Am I trying to impress the moms at school drop off? Well, too bad because I fail automatically with this hair and these old clothes and this big body. I'm not winning any awards, anyway, so fuck it. I am not woman enough.
I have to get work done while Louisey naps. I have no other choice, even though today is Monday and I can't actually think of anything pressing that absolutely needs to be done today. I always have too much to do and too little time. I am afraid that I am not capable of getting everything done. I feel like there isn't enough of me. It has become a pathology. I get everything done, but only barely, or at least it feels that way. I feel pressured to get things done even when everything has been finished. I am not successful enough.
Goddamn, my house is a mess. I need to clean it all, right this second, or else I am a huge failure at being a woman inside of a house. Nothing is ever organized enough or clean enough, because I'm me and I suck at those things.
I'm going to work on some writing because I love to write, even though, as evidenced by shopping my book around to agents, I don't have enough talent, marketability, or drive. My writing isn't good enough. I only write about teenagers and love and dying. Nobody wants to read what I write, because I'm not smart or talented enough, but I'll just keep plugging along, because... I mean, what can you do? I haven't accomplished enough.
It's time for bed, and I'm too tired to make it to the top of the stairs. I don't believe I'll have enough energy to brush my teeth and take out my contacts. It's going to suck washing my face because I'm just too tired to move the soap around on my stupid cheeks, and leaning over to rinse it off? Ugh. My husband better not EVEN be thinking about having sex, because I'm too tired to even stand up and walk towards the bedroom, let alone all of that nonsense.
Okay, what the fuck is that sound outside? Are they like, drilling to the earth's core, starting in the street in front of my house? I'm never going to be able to get enough sleep, and I have tons of shit to do tomorrow. I need to also do my upper body and go grocery shopping. It's going to be rushed, because I'm not enough and I don't have enough."
And that's me.
I've been grinding myself down to an ineffectual little nub of a person by all of my feelings of not being enough.
If I think about it with my brain, and not my horribly defective personality, I am capable of understanding that I have enough of everything. I have everything I need to be happy and successful. I am plenty talented and smart and attractive enough to be the person I want to be. I get plenty of sleep. I get everything done in plenty of time, and with plenty of energy to spare. I always manage to brush my teeth and wash my face at night, even when I feel like I can't get up from where I'm lying on the floor in front of the tv. I have friends. We do things together. I have beautiful children and a fine, clean enough house. People ask my advice about things, sometimes. There is food in our cabinets. I am handling this. I am doing perfectly awesome, at life.
The only thing that sucks about being me is that I'm too much of a bully to allow myself to feel good. I am constantly drilling this message of not having and being enough.
But, why? It's so fucking stupid. It's probably because of commercials or the emails I get from clothing stores telling me that everything is 30% off TODAY ONLY, like it's never going to happen again. It's probably because I buy into idea about myself that have been constructed by companies who are trying to sell me something. It's because I'm not above the things I could be above, if I was enough.
Well, I've started saying to myself in the mornings, "You got eight solid hours of sleep, sister. You're ready to get up out of this comfy bitch."
When I sit down to get some work done, instead of feeling like, oh my god, I have to get this finished in the next hour or I won't have time and that is so overwhelming and impossible... I have started saying, "Time to get some work done. It might be boring, but you can totally do this. You've done it a million times before. You've seriously never failed at this."
When it's time for breakfast, I say to myself, "You are educated beyond belief about nutrition and health. Go ahead and trust yourself to eat the right amount of the right thing."
When it's time to write... well, I still feel like everything that comes out of me is like... totally not good enough, but when I go back and read it again, it's always good, or at the very least, it's a good place to start working. I wouldn't even be writing for hours every day if I wasn't good enough to be a writer. I've already overcome the actual obstacle. I just need to keep being awesome.
I am enough. Seriously. I totally understand that. I'm smart, attractive, healthy, hard working, well meaning enough. I get enough to eat and I get enough sleep. My house is big enough and clean enough. I can do this. I do this every day, and I don't fail at things. I can't even remember that last time I outright failed at something, so why do I wake up every day feeling like I am on the verge of failure at the outset of literally everything I do, from waking up in the morning to eating to working to being a person? Every time I am about to begin something, I say to myself, "You aren't enough to do this," not matter what it is. I'm always not enough. I can't even get out bed ENOUGH.
It's exhausting. I'm tired of it.
I am enough. I have enough. I am enough.
This will be an ongoing project, sorting through years and years of negative self-talk. Maybe it's impossible, but I'm not going to fall back on that old line. It must be possible, because I am enough.