Mistakes Make Me Feel Guilty

Am I the only one who gets super anxious after they make a mistake?

A few minutes ago I had a misunderstanding with the people at my side gig. Everything got worked out but I feel so guilty for misunderstanding!

As I’ve written about before, I struggle with a version of perfectionism that includes I should never make any mistakes. I should always have the correct answer, I should always understand others and I should never mess up.

The moment I huge up the phone my stomach dropped to my butt. My anxiety was ready with the negativity when I pressed “end.”

“Megan, why are you so stupid? You should have known that!”

“They’re going to fire you because of this. You’ve made too many mistakes. Your boss didn’t hire you to make mistakes and he could find somebody else to write who will be perfect.”

I know I can’t be perfect. Hannah Montana told us in 2007, nobody’s perfect.

Being serious, I need to overcome my anxiety and guilt after I make a mistake. I’m not sure how I do that but I don’t want to get gray hairs because of this issue. It takes such a tole on my mental state.

Overwhelmed and Anxious

My boyfriend and I are taking a big step and are looking to buy a house together.

I’m absolutely terrified that I’m going to mess up this process. I’m overwhelmed by all the steps it takes to make this happen like getting pre-approved for a mortgage and setting up house tours.

I am afraid of everything that has to go into this process. I feel like I am going to mess everything up for myself and him. That by the end of it I will have ruined our credit scores, destroyed our relationship, get screwed over and be given a ridiculously high mortgage payment.

I have been rather calm lately but now that we have started this process I can’t help but ruminate on the possibly that I will f*ck it all up. That all of the stuff that can go wrong, will go wrong and it will be all my fault.

I’m not adult enough for this. I’m not smart enough to make the best decisions.

Right now I feel like a child who is getting in way over her head.

What if I ruin everything? I can’t repair a credit score or a relationship if I’ve done serious damage to it. I’m so afraid of failing.

 

Attempting to Be Social

As I’ve written in past posts, like this and this, I’ve spoken about how I’ve really struggled with socializing as an adult.

The older I get the fewer friends I have. It is partly because I have lost touch with friends I rarely see, got rid of toxic people and changed jobs two years ago. Now I would say I have 2 solid friends (maybe).

This morning my gas tank was on empty so naturally I went to fill up at the cheapest gas station. On my way I saw a sign for a cat cafe that will be opening soon! I was overjoyed because I love cats. The closest cat cafe is 30 minutes away so it’s not the most convenient.

I said to myself, “I could volunteer there. I could do that.”

So I emailed the place, submitted a volunteer application and will be attending their training this Saturday.

Working at a non-profit full time, I don’t often volunteer. I work with the volunteers that come to my work but I haven’t volunteered with a charity in a really long time. Going through so many ups and downs in my mental health discouraged me from doing anything outside my realm of comfort.

After working all of that out, I’m slightly anxious. Diverting from my normal routine scares me. It makes me uncomfortable when I have to do something different or when I have to be in a new setting. I’ve always had trouble with change even if it’s something small.

I’m going to give it a shot though. I think it would be good for me to get out of the house and maybe make a new crazy cat lady friend. Even if I don’t make a friend, I love cats so I will always have their company.

Do you have any tricks to help you through the anxiety of change?

Speaking Up is Hard

This post is inspired by autumnskiesblog’s post on The Bipolar Writer. She wrote about how it is difficult for her to speak when somebody asks her a question or for her input. I relate to this so much so I wanted to share my experience too.

All throughout school I would almost never raise my hand to answer a question. Getting called on out of the blue was a fate as bad as getting yelled at by the teacher. Teachers felt like they had to call on me because I rarely raised my hand. I either didn’t have anything to say or I was nervous that my answer was wrong.

In college it was the same. One of my professors actually confronted me about it. Her name was Dr. Simcox, very smart and serious woman, who wondered why I never contributed in class. I flat out told her the truth.

I said, “I don’t have anything to say and I don’t want to get the answer wrong.”

I have always been afraid of sounding stupid or saying the wrong thing in front of a lot of people. Oddly enough I didn’t have those worries when I performed minor roles in the plays in high school.

Those fears have stayed with me all of my life. The fear of speaking up (even if it would mean something positive could happen for myself) has held me back. I often leave a situation regretting that I didn’t say something that I wanted to.

I’ve worked with my therapist to try to speak up in meetings at work or in general conversations with other humans. The conversations with my cats go very differently.

Yesterday I found the courage to speak up in a meeting. I don’t know where it came from but I opened my mouth and gave my opinion. My idea was shot down but I think that was good practice to realize that if I’m wrong about something, I can survive it.

Isolation vs Introversion

Is there a clear line between someone who is introverted and someone who is choosing to isolate themselves? When does “needing alone time to recharge” go from something normal to the extreme of isolation?

I feel that I have become a routine isolationist of sorts. By that I mean that for so long, especially during some very low times in the last few years, I didn’t want to be around most people because I was so deeply depressed. I had zero energy to spend on others because I used it all up trying to get by day to day. I needed that energy for basics functions as well as being able to work a full-time and part-time job.

So being alone became a routine. I would cancel on people, I would keep my free time open so I could truly rest.

Right now (knock on wood) my mental health is in pretty good condition. Things are going well at the moment so I hope that things stay that way for a while.

Since my mental health is fine, why can’t I break out of my isolationist routine?

Maybe it’s because I don’t have any close friends in my life. Maybe I’m turning into a hermit. Maybe I’ve lost my ability to be social.

I had the opportunity today to have lunch with a friend but canceled. I got a flat tire today so I said I couldn’t do lunch because of that even though my tire is fixed. I totally could have gone, but I chose not to.

My therapist encourages me to make friends and go out and do things but I find it very challenging to do when my comfort zone is so cozy.

Anxiety Attacks

Last night I woke up to my heart pounding in my ears, my dark room spinning and my brain was in fight/flight mode. I began to have an anxiety attack.

Yesterday I let my boyfriend down in a multitude of ways. I disappointed him. Then I was going to stay the night but decided to go home instead. The whole drive home I regretted it because I saw in his face how sad he felt that I was leaving.

I cried and cried all the way home. Every exit I passed I regretted that I didn’t take it to turn around to go back to my love.

Once I got in bed I fell asleep immediately. A half hour later my brain jolted me awake by suffocating me with an anxiety attack. A racing heart and the feeling of impending doom.

My anxiety whispered so softly that I could barely hear it. It didn’t call me a failure. It didn’t call me a terrible girlfriend/person. It whispered, “why didn’t you stay?”

Over and over my feelings of regret had me tossing and turning from the evening into the morning. I still am recovering from this long anxiety attack.

In the morning I had to take anxiety medicine to help calm me down. I laid in bed wishing to be wrapped in his arms where I feel the most safe and loved. Sadly last night I made the dumb decision that I didn’t want to be cuddled in the morning. Oh Megan!

When I feel regret I usually feel it pretty intensely. I think it all goes back to how I wasn’t being my best self and already feeling guilty about the choices that I made yesterday.

After all of that I am really going to step up my game for him.

He needs me to support him in his recent job promotion which has come with a big shift switch.

He needs me to work on my anxious thoughts that tell me that everybody hates me. It hurts him when I lash out because of my anxiety. It hurts our relationship in many ways.

Yesterday  I was saying how everybody hates me, his reply was, “Megan there is nothing wrong with you.” Writing that out brought me to tears. It means so much to hear the person I’m in love with say that about me despite seeing my every flaw.

He needs me to just be honest and be myself.

So that anxiety attack maybe was a strange, weird blessing because I am now able to see how I can improve and be better for my man.

A Burden

I don’t know if I will ever feel like an important person. Not important as in somebody with influence or fame. I mean someone whose purpose is a meaningful one, someone who matters.

I have felt this way for most of my life so it’s ingrained in my mind.

Other people I can see are important. Others do good in the world and make things better whether for people, animals or the environment. I see people make an impact that I don’t think I ever will be able to do.

I bring down the mood. I make those closest to me sad. I only add problems and hurdles into the lives of those around me.

I feel like a prickly sea urchin that nobody wants to touch. That my mental illness makes me undesirable. That it creates more issues than anything else. That it has made me rotten from the inside out.

I am a burden.

I take up space.

I don’t think anybody likes me.

The only person who actually loves me is my mom. Which of course she does, she’s my mom! She has to love me.

I think about myself in all aspects of life and how if I wasn’t there, there would be room for somebody better.

Like at work, if I quit that would make room for somebody with much more talent than me. In my relationship, he could find somebody 100 times better than me in an instant. It wouldn’t take much looking to do either of those tasks.

Same goes for being a daughter, friend and sister too.

I’m not perfect at all but I wish that I was. I wish I could write beautiful words and create stunning graphics at work. I wish I had no issues, triggers or problems to put on the shoulders of my boyfriend and family.

I’m not considering ending my life so don’t worry about that. I have that sorted out for the most part (thank you therapy and medicine!).

Is this a big shit session directed at myself? Absolutely.

Sorry this was so long and incredibly negative. I really needed to get this off my chest. I don’t have therapy until Thursday so I decided to toss my thoughts up on here.