Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Weight of Failure

I'm feeling kind of low just now... I have been falling behind in things, largely out of having been too busy, but there are these feelings of guilt and inadequacy, and even shame, attached to each activity or committment I let slip. These negative feelings build up as I let go of more things, and each feeling carries its own weight, its own degree of inertia... to such an extent that I find it even harder to pick up the things I've dropped — I feel a heaviness in my heart that makes activity so much harder to initiate, and so the dropped things stay dropped and the heavy feeling intensifies slowly and it all gets worserer and worserer.

Last week I failed to send out the newsletter for my General Service District; all throughout the month I have failed to update my District's registry changes; now I am more than tempted to resign from my General Service committments... I am even tempted to simply not show up at the District meeting tonight. I'm not going to do that, of course, but the weight of shame I feel right now about showing up tonight and apologizing for my failure is making me absolutely squirm with discomfort.

On a similar note, I failed last night to call my sponsor at my appointed time — now, part of this is because there were people in the office when it was time to call, and my cell-phone was dead so I couldn't call from the car, and when I got home I was drawn into dinner preparations and then I had my homegroup meeting; and while these were all perfectly good reasons, the real reason I avoided making that call is because I haven't written one word of the ninth-step letter that I am supposed to be engaged in writing and I didn't want to have to tell her again, for the umpteenth time, that I haven't started it yet.

I have failed so far to either file an accident report at the DMV or get an estimate on Miss Jane's repairs to the insurance company; plus I have yet to wash the poor thing in all the time I've had her and she's parked outside and is now encrusted with an inch of smoggy, buggy, crape-myrtle-polleny shmutz. And now I'm supposed to get her oil changed, as I've driven three thousand miles since purchase. And still wallowing in the auto zone, I have to get Miss Marjorie cleaned out before the charity towtruck comes and takes her away on Friday for a new life in the service of others (though I fear her rebirth will be more like "Capricorn" in Logan's Run, but I just can't think about that).

While I have managed to sort of stick to my diet (with the notable exception of my large chocolate-dipped waffle cone from Coldstone Creamery for lunch on Saturday), I haven't been to the gym since last Thursday. My excuse? I keep forgetting to bring my gym-clothes with me, and I just know if I had to go home and change I wouldn't leave again to go to the gym — and with my new budget I can't just buy a pair of shorts and a t-shirt at the gym shop.

I won't even get into too much detail about the office work I'm behind on... the database needs updating, I haven't fully updated the National database in over a year, my filing "system" grows worse every day, the mail is behindhand, I haven't even finished typing up Friday's meeting notes and now need to start yesterday's meeting notes as well as the minutes from May and a couple of other pending projects. These are all things that nobody would notice except myself (aside from the notes), so I can slide and skate indefinitely... but even when I get away with not doing it, I feel the guilty onus of having not done it.

All this and much, much more! Emails to write, nail appointments to change, laundry to wash, shelves to dust, the list goes on and on. And the further behind I fall, the worse I feel about it; and the worse I feel about it, the futher behind I fall. It's a nasty, vicious, stupid circle.

The cure, of course, is to do the things and get caught up with the committments, and to do that I have to somehow rid myself of these onerous Feelings. "Prayer and meditation" you say? What a novel idea! Why didn't I think of that?

The other thing I have to do, what I have to pray for and meditate on, is to learn to forgive myself for my failures. That is, I think, a bit harder. No matter how much I tell myself that I don't expect perfection, I still do... well, maybe not "perfection," but at least consistent unfailing competence. I think it's natural for people who grew up feeling unvalued and unwanted to have this need to excel and be perfect, to be dependable and depended upon. And so I commit myself to things, one after the other, until they're all too much for me. And then I fall apart. And then... and then... I don't know what then.

I always do muddle through one way or another, don't I? Why am I getting my panties in a wad? It's all so illogical. But then, feelings and logic are pretty much mutually exclusive, aren't they?

So I guess I'd better get started catching up on my work, one thing at a time, one step at a time, one day at a time. Today, I must finish my meeting notes and must type up and copy out the agenda for the District meeting tonight. That's enough to be getting on with.

Thanks for listening to me babble and rant. You're super!

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