Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


After five weeks of solid performance at my new job, I had a truly crappy day. In the scheme of things, it's not that bad. No-one got fired. No-one got shouted at. No-one cried (though I felt like it). I've been working on a couple of graphic design jobs, which is not what I was hired to do and something I at which I am only self-taught, and I think I took on more than I should have. After printing 500 full-colour copies of one of the forms, a major error was noticed (too few boxes in the credit card payment section) and we had to reprint them. I remind you, the place I work is a CHARITY and can barely afford to print the darn things once, let alone TWICE. It was a stupid mistake, and the two bosses had signed off on the form without noticing, so maybe I shouldn't be beating myself up quite as badly as I am...

But there you have it, the self-loathing swings into action to replace the self-aggrandisement. Even though I have resisted my usual urge to show off and big note myself around the office, secretly I was feeling quite superior and patting myself on the back for my amazing coping skills. Ha! Life always knows how to level me out... Afterwards, all I wanted to do was eat. I needed junk food, stat, to block out the surprise/shock of my fellow workers that I, Ms Perfect Superwoman, had made a mistake. To medicate the intense embarrassment and shame that reminded me I was just the same fuckup I have been in every other job/relationship/situation/etc. With concentration, and some Distress Tolerance skills, I managed to chill out and not run to the chicken and fries emporium across the street. I also managed to realise I was over-reacting (dare I say it...BPD-style catastrophising?), and reminded myself I was human, not a piece of useless crap. It was a big lesson, and let's face it, that's where the true learning and recovery starts. But man, it sucked. I offered to pay for the extra printing (which was appreciated but not accepted) and made a vow to check and re-check all the other graphic design work I'm doing.

A couple of people said to me afterwards that they were relieved that I showed I wasn't superwoman. The newest employee (apart from me) said she'd felt intimidated because I was picking everything up so quickly! Sometimes I am stunned that the world sees the Happy & Capable Lil facade and believes it... 'cause it feels like the Big Crazy is so close to the surface that everyone on earth can see it.

PS: If you're that way inclined, please send prayers and/or love to Coyote & Juno. Poor kitteh is not well - feel better soon Juno xxx


Just Be Real said...

Ohh poor boo-boo kittys! Feel better!

Dear one, I think this what they call "human?" I am learning this too. We all make misstakes. I completely understand where you are coming from. Yes, then we always will make sure that we are extra careful next time. But, again, we will be human and we will screw up in some other area. Part of life. Thanks so much for sharing Lil! Makes me feel human too. Blessings.

Anonymous Drifter said...

I'm glad you got through your episode of beating yourself up. We tend to do that and discount the fact that everyone makes mistakes. It's good to know that you feel better about it now.

*sending good thoughts out to WC and Juno.

Anonymous said...

Happy to hear you realize you aren't a piece of useless crap. I would so love to be able to come here and say something wonderful and encouraging as you have done for me so many times, but as usual I can't think of anything that doesn't sound stupid.

Okay, after deleting several paragraphs, I give up. I'll just say I'm happy you came through this without a major meltdown. You are such a sweetheart Lil.

Wandering Coyote said...

Lil, I can't tell you how proud I am of you! You rock! You're HUMAN, you're going to make mistakes. It's what you do with the outcome that is important, you handled it brilliantly with your hard-won DBT skills! It's awesome!

Thanks for the prayers/love/good thoughts! Juno is better this morning!

Elizabeth A. said...

It never is the end of the world, whether we want it to be or not sometimes, huh? I had never heard the word catastrophisizing for some reason. Makes a lot of sense.

I still remember times of intense shame and once it was just because I didn't know what a Sephora was. I kinda wish I still didn't, :)Way to think through it the right way. That can be so hard sometimes.

Lady_Amanda said...

I know how you feel. Sometimes I feel like I am invincible. I been that all my life, but as for as I a can remember I had the saddness of something not right in my life! It's totally gotten worse since I was diganosed. It's like I want to be perfect so that no one will no what's on the inside.

Again thanks for stopping by my blog. Stop by anythime you want. I will check in on you from time to time too!