A group of us chatting about our various ups and downs in life, and how we have attempted to resolve our issues in which success varied from person to person, it was interesting to hear the different solutions found some very creative but mostly simple steps taken to improve your situation.
So this one guy asks us, “what is it like to be a failure”? the effect was electric, a few in the group began to explain why they thought their lives were failures, I couldn’t believe that such a loaded question was being answered with exactly what he thought failure meant, which of course leads to the inevitable stigma already in mind and the confirmation by those speaking from the heart.
I was pretty silent, steaming, but listening, so when it came to my turn I explained that I thought failure meant:
Having a breakdown
suffering with depression and associated issues and possibly life threatening
homelessness and with that comes loss of identity
loss of job/or being unable to work due to illness not confined to depression
other life events that can cause a breakdown in your mental health.
He was nodding sagely as I ticked of the list, in which I turned the question back to him, of course he was unable to shift from his preconceived notion that underneath we were all just pill hopping nutcase’s and that it was obvious that we had failed in life.
I can’t repeat what I was calling him in my head I would say I did fail in verbalising these thoughts…
I don’t like the word failure it can be so final, and we attach so much of the push and pull of our daily lives to it, that can give us false expectation, that if we don’t do well as seen by others we have failed.
We write the stories of our lives here, and we all have had so many different life experiences, who is anybody to say that you have failed at life, the fact that we are here, shows resilience and strength to what life throws at us.
During the darkest times of my life I did feel that I failed so much so I didn’t even recognise myself, a culmination of events can have a catastrophic influence on your life, and the threads that hold it all together can break, does that mean failure, because if that’s the case very few of us wouldn’t have even got out at the starting gate.
I’ve had many set backs some worse than others, but have also been luck to come out the other side, and making an effort to rebuild with the tools that I have, the progress I make might be at a snail’s pace, and that only affects me and it’s Ok.
A better question would be: What is it like to live without hope.
The machinery has broken down a few times but I wouldn’t signify that as a failure, however I would say fortitude is what keeps me going.