Constant failure

Why do small little words bury so deep? Why do good intentioned thoughts and wishes affect me negatively? How can something so meaningless make me double over with depression?

“I hope 2019 is a good one for you! Positive things coming your way.”

“Are you feeling better?”

Two completely innocent statements! The first I felt a real love and good will from the person. I felt like they really cared. The second again from someone who I know loves and cares for me, just willing me to be well.

What does my brain do? Twist them and make me feel like a failure. For both I end up feeling why do these people have to KEEP asking? Why do they have to wish me well?

The reason is because I’m continually letting them down. Over and over I am a failure at my life. How must it feel to be my friend? How must it feel to be a family member? When consistently I’m not well or I’m up and down like a yo-yo.!

My mind then makes it worse. Do they think I’m making this all up? Do they think I’m seeking their attention? Do they think I like the limelight? Do they think I’m a waste of space because I can’t get well.

Then I start to plan how I am going to increase the efforts to be well and put on a front. Then I am going to try harder to not let them see what is happening inside.

This in turn makes it worse. I spend even longer internalising the feelings than normal. The self harm triples. The isolating behaviour increases. The sense of failure intensifies.

So what’s the answer? Please don’t read this and think you shouldn’t ask how I am or wish me well. Please don’t stop. My rational brain is still in there some where feeling good that people care.

The problem is I have to live with this illness. Most of the time I have it in control enough to function which I have to be grateful for, as many don’t. I have a loving family, great friends and a good job.

The honest answer is I haven’t recovered from my horrific depressive episode 2 years ago. I have in the sense I’m coping and functioning, but inside it’s still messed up. I will keep working on it. Please don’t give up on me.

Author: shatterthestigmadepressionwriter

Mental health advocate. Mother to two young boys. Wife. Teacher. Daughter to dad with Alzheimer's. Trying to shatter the stigma of depression.

8 thoughts on “Constant failure”

  1. I understand what you’re feeling, depression makes you feel like a failure and puts its own negative spin on innocent interactions. These people are asking because they care, they are very unlikely to be judging you. Depression tells us things that aren’t true.
    Take care x


  2. I understand your message, and I can relate to the irrational twist you experience on these spoken good intentions. It is good that you recognise this. Keep going.


  3. I stumbled across your blog yesterday and read the whole thing in a single sitting. I’ve never read anything that described my experience with anxiety and depression as well as your words have. Are you me? The only difference between us is that I use food to soothe instead of self harm and my sucidal thoughts are not as strong – like you my kid and husband kept me anchored – I could never do that to them.

    I know what it like to feel like a constant failure. I know what it is to be high functioning and look like everything is perfectly fine on the surface when it is not. I worked in IT for 20 years and was great at my job but it wasn’t great for me. I burned myself into the ground and flamed out last March and am still off work recovering. I’m lucky I’m in a place where I can choose whether to go back or retire. Can’t make such a big decision until I am more well.

    I’ve been on and off antidepressants for years hoping I’d never need them again but always wind up sliding down the sides of the glass jar again. I’ve tried 5 or 7 different ones and have found one that seems to be helping abit. Definitely not the magic cure but helps me feel more able to let the comments and words slide off my skin and stop some of the overthinking. I’ve done councilling for the last 15 years on and off and it has been my lifeline.

    All I can say to you is I that I see you… I know you although we’ve never met… hugs, hugs, hugs .. move over and let me hide under the blanket with you…. we’re safe there…


    1. This is the nicest message I have ever received, thank you. It is truly so special to know that a) someone likes what you have been writing b) understands you because they too suffer in such a similar way. It makes me feel less of a fraud (which I do most of the time). And btw I use food to soothe as well as the self harm I have but on about 4 stone of weight which I am desperate to lose but I’m not sure how when my brain feels so poorly still.

      I’m sorry that you burned yourself into the ground but I’m also really pleased for you that you have the time and options to decide what you will do next. I think one of the problems for me is I went back to work so poorly (due to a need for money) and therefore I haven’t really ever recovered. Take your time and don’t rush any decisions you deserve to take the time you need.

      And the antidepressants – you sounds just like me there too! Currently off them but feel an inevitability about probably having to go back on them again sometime soon.

      You take care. Lots of hugs coming your way and yes let’s hide from the world under the blanket – I’m desperate for that today when back to work tmrw after the holidays!


  4. Depression lies to us. It makes us believe that the people we love, and who love us, are sick of our shit. It’s a constant battle between what your mind is saying, and what is actually happening. It’s exhausting to live like this.
    When those bad days come along, I try to think of my cat, who is the one living being that I’m sure needs me.


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