Wednesday 12 January 2022

What happens when you achieve your dream?

In 2018 after months and months of hard work, pain, and tears - oh so many tears - I beat back OCD to the point where I felt capable to reach for my dream. I applied for a job and I got it. I was flooded with elation. After being trapped at home for four long, painful years, unemployed and imprisoned by my mental illness, I had been able to achieve a dream that had kept me driven for so long. 

So what happens when the goal is achieved? Well, it's three years later, still at that job and feeling unmotivated and backsliding. As someone who strives for perfection and is plagued by the need to be accepted by others, it is very difficult for me to feel even a little bit happy while at work. I hold myself to a very high standard so when I don't meet them, I chastise and punish myself. I do the same when I don't meet others' expectations. It's a very vicious cycle - believing I have the ability to provide 100% all of the time to everyone is not only unrealistic but is also damaging to my mental health. It's also crushing my spirit.

The feeling of achievement slipped away some time ago. 

Within the first three months of working, I reduced my hours and was feeling unhappy. I had managed to film two videos in that time and was grossly disappointed with myself. My mental health was already deteriorating and I had begun to fall back into old patterns. By my fourth month working, I was involved in an abusive relationship which had me keeping secrets and behaving in ways that didn't align with myself. The combination of the "relationship" and work had me in a downward spiral in all aspects of my life. 

I looked for pictures of myself during this time but there aren't any.

That speaks volumes to me.

At work I feel unappreciated and like my efforts are somewhat pointless. Unfortunately, that has seeped into my personal life. I have been completely unmotivated in all aspects of my life and feel as though I am on some kind of un-energetic auto-pilot. I feel that since I have been working I have come to the realization that perfection isn't possible. And rather than that being something positive, something freeing, it has been the thing that hurts me. If I can't have perfect mental health, what's the point? If I can't be praised for the hard work I do, what's the point? If others won't appreciate me, what's the point? My need to be accepted by everyone masks the fact that I am unwilling to accept myself. I search for acceptance from others as I find it too difficult and in some ways selfish, to focus on myself. 

Before I started my job I was the closest I have ever been with myself. 

This picture is from June 2018. Look at her 😒

My relationship with myself was blossoming. I was becoming aware of my emotions, accepting of my difficulties, and fighting for my dreams and goals. My recovery was my main focus. When I started working, I lost a lot of time due to the shifts which was the first bump along the road to my unravelling. On my days off I was/am absolutely exhausted and had/have zero energy to do anything. Over time the person I was in 2018 - pre-work me - was a very distant memory. I remember one day angrily thinking "I can't have it all!". I signed up for my dream, my dream was to have it all. The job, the great relationship with myself, good mental health, money, free time, hobbies, and continuing with my writing and YouTube channel. In truth, out of that list, I can't really tick any of them as done. 

By pushing myself to over-extend when it comes to others, I have paid the ultimate price - My relationship with myself. In needing others' constant approval, it shows me that I have returned to a point where I no longer accept myself. As a result, my need for others' validation is pretty much a constant craving. 

While quitting my job sounds delightful and I can pack my rucksack in a heartbeat... It's just not feasible (for obvious and not so obvious reason). So what can I do? 

Well, I'm trying to make incrimentle changes. I am taking my breaks. I do with those what I like - writing, editing, watching Netflix, hanging out with my girlfriend... WhateverπŸ‘IπŸ‘likeπŸ‘. I have started to wake up a little earlier on work mornings. Giving me enough time to wake up slowly, make a cup of tea and chat to my girlfriend. I have also started meditating, stretching and dancing in the morning (real talk - I haven't done this routine since just before Christmas but going to be changing that very soon!). On some days off when I am feeling like shit, I am trying any way. I get glam, take pictures, film a video etc. I am trying not to hold everyone else's opinion higher than my own when it comes to myself and my life. That is a really hard one, but I'm trying. 

I am trying to learn from the past version of me who wanted it all and made it happen. She was amazing. 

Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate it xoxo

As always, sending you love and kickassery 😏πŸ’ͺπŸ’‹πŸ’–

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