I’m a twenty-five year-old woman. I live in student housing. No, I’m not studying for a master’s program or trying to get my Ph.D. I’m going back to school for a Bachelor’s degree. For the third time. What this means, in a nutshell, is that I’ve failed out of college twice already. It’s looking like I’m going for a third time. I tell people that I took a break to work so that I could pay for school myself. While it is true that my parents have put five children through college, it isn’t true that I took a break out of any altruistic ideation of paying for school myself. The truth is that I’m a perpetual failure.
People might say, “Don’t look down on yourself,” or “That kind of attitude is what’s causing you to fail/be depressed.” If I were the kind of person who could say what I truly think of comments like this, I’d say, “Don’t be stupid. I’m not depressed because I’m overly pessimistic. I’m telling you the truth the way I see it, not begging for sympathy.” One of the side-effects of my depression is that when I’m doing fairly okay, I have the ability to be brutally honest with myself. This is more constructive for me than one might think. Here’s the difference between my inner monologue when I’m having a good day and when I’m having a bad day.
Good day: I’m not where I want to be in life. So far has been a long string of failures. Here are some of the ways that I think or have thought I have failed. Hindsight shows me that A, B, and F weren’t failures on my part so much as they were accidents or unavoidable setbacks. C, D, and E were failures on my part. Here is why I think I failed. Here is what I can do to make it better.
See? Realistic. Constructive. On my good days, I’m analytic, not apologetic. To paraphrase, I get stuff done.
Bad day: I’m not where I want to be in life. Nothing I do will ever result in anything good. I’m a disappointment to my family. It might hurt for a little bit, but they’ll be better off without me in the long run.
The thing is, even on bad days I know what I’m thinking and feeling isn’t true. I know that I won’t feel the same way in a few hours or a few days, depending. I still have my logical me running somewhere in the background, but sometimes I can’t hear it all that well. Which is why I’m still kicking along. Still trying to get that undergraduate degree. Still trying to make something out of my life. Because I’m not hopeless. I have dreams and aspirations. I have things to do and goals to achieve. I have great things that I hope I’ll get to do with my life. One day, I might even get to show you those things. Because it isn’t over yet.
Also, the mug says “I REALLY NEED A DAY BETWEEN SATURDAY & SUNDAY”.