“Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett.
When things don’t go right, it’s easy to follow our failures into the shadows. We cling to the bad and overlook the good, because we are our own worst critics. We see sides of ourselves that other people are convinced do not exist. We hate ourselves while other people find the capacity to love us.
Have I ever tried? Yes. Every day. I try not to take things out on the people who still care about me. I try not to sleep for hours and hours. I try not to let my health stop me from doing the things that I want to do. Do I ever fail? Yes. At all of those things. Every day. And it matters, regardless of what anybody says to me.
I fall, and I climb, and then I fall, and then I climb again. It doesn’t make me stronger. It is supposed to, I think, or at least that is what we tell ourselves. But more than anything else it makes me tired. Tired of trying. Yet I still haven’t stopped.
It seems pointless, forcing yourself to get up and try again when you know something is going to come along and kill your mood. But it isn’t. Without the climb there is only the fall. And the further you fall, the less chance you stand of surviving the landing.
The trouble is that picking yourself up is like trying to defy gravity; you have to overcome this ridiculously strong, unseen force that is determined to keep you down. It holds you back, it ruins even the best intentions, and you lose momentum. You fall back down to where you were, but now you hurt more from the effort of trying to move yourself on to a place with a better view.
But I also know this…
Every day may not be good. In fact, this is life, so some days are going to be the worst of the worst, but there’s something good in every day (if you look hard enough). You just have to sift through all the bad stuff to find it. And that’s hard. Because sometimes there is so much bad and so little good (or if you’re me you slept through most of the day and have no idea what happened)
Take the last twenty four hours, for example. Last night everything felt pointless. I was getting messages from my friends in Malia. They were drunk, they were doing things that people normally do in the summer between school and university. I’m not well enough to walk all the way through an airport. Or to go out drinking. But I wished there was a way I could just go out and feel… normal (if such a thing even exists, but I feel like that is a whole new blog post so I won’t go there). I got a text from my friend who had gone for a walk. Just because she felt like it. I felt like going for a walk too. I wasn’t well enough. And then, because I’m human, my brain decided to think about all the other things I couldn’t do. And then I wondered who on earth I am. I can’t do any of the things I used to do, (the things which basically made me… me) I felt like somebody else. And whoever they were, I hated them. My mum hadn’t spoken to me all day because we fell out. Medically at that point things were also going pretty wrong. And then suddenly there was no point to anything. With no warning, just like that, I was done. With everything. But this morning I got up, and I got over myself, and I tried again.
And I have no energy, and my heart is doing some pretty messed up things, and I can’t actually get out of my bed. But today was a good day, because I haven’t been to sleep yet (even though I only got three hours sleep last night) And some people read my blog. And I ‘got it together’ again.
Step four to getting out of a rut in life seems to be this:
Know that you are going to fail sometimes, that after all the effort of climbing you are going to fall. Let people be there to catch you (I have the most awesome friends). Accept that it will happen multiple times. Accept that it doesn’t really make sense, and that nobody will ever quite see whatever it is that you are trying to overcome. But keep going until trying becomes a habit. You don’t have to climb the whole way yourself, you just have to find the first foothold.
It’s ok to lose momentum sometimes.