self-doubt & regrets - 2010 edition

I am beginning to feel better. To be honest, I was having a hard time believing this day would ever come. I've been less depressed lately and have figured out a way to put myself to sleep (rescue drops work wonders on me). Also this deep exhaustion seizes control of me a lot less than it used to only a couple of weeks ago. Basically it's a whole new me. I'm nowhere near my old self but then that crazy lady isn't exactly who I should be anyway. I'm beginning to see how other people (used to) perceive me. Apparently a lot of people see me as this super fast, hyper active, hyper performing, constantly on-the-move person. A stark contrast to my self-perception: underachieving mess.

Unfortunately the minus of exhaustion coupled with that lovely opinion I have of myself leads to the return of THE THINKING (= certain doom). It takes place mostly late-night. However, thanks to my friends the rescue drops I now do this half-asleep or in my dreams instead of wide awake. That's some progress, I say.

Sooooo... I've been thinking. About the things in my life that I could've done differently which, if you spell it out, basically means: self doubt and regrets chasing each other in a nice little circle... ad infinitum. What'cha call that? That's right: "Not healthy". But I've accepted it as part of my old self as well as part of my recovery - because I am getting better at this, learning to view things in a positive light et cetera et cetera, I know it's nauseatingly esoteric and I apologise in retrospect and advance.

Since I hit 22 or so I've had an even harder time accepting that my choices have kept me here in crummy Austria while others have been out conquering the world, as I see it. The worst are ex-classmates from school that have gone to New York/L.A./London/pickyourfuckingawesomecity, totally absolutely making it there. It's especially bad when they were so-called frenemies (though we didn't have that lovely label when I was in school, thank you, Gossip Girl). Then the green monster rears it fucking ugly head. I get jealous, more like envious. Is it dumb? Absofuckinglutely. But I've begun to understand that this isn't my especially bad character that's doing this but that it rings true for other people too. Maybe not for you, if you're lucky. But just think of one of your biggest dreams in life - Got it? Good. Now envision it. And now imagine reading on facebook how someone else is living that dream.... ouch. And would you like some salt with your gashing wound? Btw. yes, I do know that people brush up their lives on facebook, but that doesn't mean it'll sting less.

But since I said I was going to be positive:
So I didn't make my dream to go to New York and Be Someone come true - yet.
So I haven't actually been quite the overachiever I imagined myself to be. (My burnout would probably be a lot messier if I had.)
So I don't exactly know where I'm going or am just figuring it out at the age of 26.

But there are good sides to this, very good sides. If I'd lived my life like I thought I would when I was sixteen, I would have missed out on a shitload of awesomeness too:
Biggest of all is I met my wife! I mean, who gets to meet the love of their lives when their 21? Not many people I've known. I do not have to spend years as a serial monogamist looking for my soulmate because I can check that item off the fucking list. High Five!
I have a somewhat stable living situation, not living out of a tiny box in a shared flat or a garconniere and I usually have some money to spend at the end of the months or even the middle if it goddamn pleases me (at least when we're not both momentarily out of work).
And I've worked a variety of different jobs in completely different fields of work. I've worked as a journalist, a phone marketer, an animator at children's parties, as an usher in a musical theatre, as a floor manager in television, an editing assistant, in a PR position (in fact, the only PR position) in a small company, a social media marketer and I'm sure I forgot something. I've had the chance to test myself, to adapt, to learn new things and if that isn't awesome then I really don't know what is.

Now what I need to really get is that all this doesn't mean that I can't still go to New York or wherever the fuck I please and be someone there. It doesn't preclude that I already am someone, right here.

I'd love to hear some opinions on this, know how others deal with these bouts of self doubt. Or do you not have those moments? Please, tell me you have those moments ;)


  1. There was a time when I actively avoided all former classmates because I was incredibly ashamed of myself and what I've achieved or haven't achieved in my life. While others finished their studies and worked their first jobs as doctors and lawyers I had to face the fact that I had to give up on my biggest dream because I got sick. I was ashamed of that fact, didn't want to explain myself, didn't want to bump into them so that I wouldn't have to give them my full life story as not to seem like a complete failure.
    Two weeks ago I bumped into a former classmate on the subway. We talked for 5 minutes until the train arrived. I wasn't ashamed of myself for the first time. I am fine as I am. I may not have achieved to live my dream but I am doing fairly fine. What's mire important - I am happy about who I am. And so should you.

    In a few years you will look back and notice that you are, in fact, living your dream. Just not the one that you initially had.

  2. I pack those moments really tight, put them in the closet in the back of my mind between all the others, and shut the door. Sometimes it gets a little packed in there, sometimes they even spill out on the floor and need a thorough restacking. But sometimes some of them just vanish.

  3. THE THINKING (= certain doom).... ---> love this one. :)
    I know a great deal about the thinking being a certain doom.

    I don't have many self-doubt issues concerning my "life-plan" (it worked out surprsingly well and still is... so far), only sometimes I get the slight feeling that others are publishing and shouldn't I, too...? But it's not too much of an issue.
    It shouldn't be for you, either. Not only because you've achieved quite a lot, also because it isn't someone else's assumed perception of a right life-style that counts. It's what you like that counts. : )And of course you can still go to NY, L.A. or Berlin or wherever you want.

    But I have other things with "the thinking". Like these Linkin Park lyrics go "wounds so deep they never show, they never go away". I sometimes get the thinking that maybe I'm just pretending that certain things (like being weak and hurt) have changed but in fact they will never change and never leave.
    --> This has little to do with doubting one's achievements. I just meant to say that, well, I'm spending nights with gloomy thoughts, too. :P

  4. I think everybody has those moments. I catch myself berating myself for not finishing university as almost everybody my age I know did. Even though I know that I don't want to study, am not interested in a title and have struggled 6 years until I could admit this to myself.

  5. I have these moments all the damn time. And I’ve spent my time living in all these awesome cities but as my father always used to say “Ein Zwerg bleibt auch ein Zwerg und steht er noch am höchsten Berg” - meaning you take yourself wherever you go. And yes, New York is fantastic but besides the people around you who make life worthwhile, your inside has to match. If you are truly happy, you can be happy anywhere but the same goes for sadness too.

    What you see is never all there is. Even the prettiest girl at the party, the one who seems to have it all, has something in her life that can make her feel completely and utterly worthless.

    And also everyone truly has their own path, you can only compare yourself with yourself. Sounds cheesy but try to only compete with yourself - try to make this day more wonderful than the day before, because it really all comes down to YOU. The outside can not provide all that the inside needs.

    This comes written from Paris - and being self doubting works wonderfully here as well….bises