The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

Is it though? Thoughts on #failure

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If at first, you don’t succeed, try. Try again.

English Truism/cliché

(sidenote, I always thought the punctuation on that saying was pretty fluid. It actually reads more like a poem when I write it, cause I’ve always put the commas and full stops in there. Weird that my version actually talks about failing at least twice too. I’ll get to that later)

Failure – a loaded word

The last few weeks have been really…weird for me. I *started* making strides on becoming happier, healthier and more confident in my skin by trying to go for a walk outside and enjoying myself. I say started – last Friday, due to the completely thoughtless actions of a company that I’ll still say ‘remains nameless’ but is a social media scheduling program, who increased my bills by an eyewatering 1151% a month, this week has been a week of disruption, sadness, and annoyance.
And it didn’t help that I was fixing a stupid video problem that very few people actually see (that’ll go on my other blog, probably this weekend. What I’m hearing myself say right ow is I have a lot of blogs to work on. It’s not a happy thought, if I’m honest), but is key to a few clients who work on those platforms. And of course, I worked my ass off to fix it. But still…it’s been a rough week, and that’s meant…no walks.

I told myself that if I ‘failed’ at any point, I’d be gentle with myself – accept that it’s a ‘fact of life’ as it were when recovering that you’ll backslide, but I have to be honest. Although that language applies to me, if you stumbled on my blog out of context, you wouldn’t know what I was discussing was in fact not alcohol or drug-induced issues, but, instead, recovery from a mental health breakdown. And if I’m entirely open about that, it was a full-on ‘breakdown’. I spent a month refusing to leave our bedroom. Five years of being unable to leave the house alone. A LOT that I still don’t like to talk about.
I’ve still not gotten back to a place where the house is neat and tidy and everything has a place. I don’t think I ever will. I keep trying to put my work back together, and every little thing that knocks me off track is so significant. So hard.

When the language is all about judgement, how do you not judge?

I’m discharged from the team in question on Tuesday (hooray, I’m better…hang on), but the very last psych I worked with before I wrote this post, who I refer to as Dr C, finally said, a few Januarys ago, that he believed that everyone was a little bit on ‘the spectrum’, and in my case, I was VERY language focussed. To the point that I’ll get upset with language usage because people don’t use words precisely. It’s a form of control of course, but my psych says that he’d finally come to a conclusion that it wasn’t a power play. He thought I wasn’t/don’t do it to push people, to control them, but instead, to understand my environment. My ‘my brain won’t let this go’ is constantly stimulated. It’s language. In all it’s forms, really.

What I do know though, about all of this, is that I’ve got a bias in how I perceive language. My language ‘understanding’ has an undertone of judgementalness. It’s how my brain works, and isn’t – really – about anything other than… I guess, when you grow up as badly bullied as I was, you need to find a reason for that. When you’re young, it’s most common to blame yourself. We think, unpicking everything, that my outlook is very much coloured by wanting to belong and not managing it because…children are children. I can’t blame the kids I grew up with (I can’t – many of them are in worse places than I ever ended up), and my family did their best. I just wasn’t… I’ll be blunt I guess. I grew up in an era where bullying was still viewed as character forming. Half of my teachers didn’t know what to do with me, and I must have been difficult for my family. I was sensitive, sad, often emotionally difficult, I guess. I began to prefer my own worlds to the ones outside. I didn’t interact well. If it happened now, as in, if I was a child/teen now, I suspect I’d have been put into a specialist education program, and I may – or may not – have turned out the way I am. And there I go again, judging myself.

So. This week has been not optimal. Not even minimal. It’s been rough and hard and tiring.
But… I’m learning a lot of things. Always growing. So.

I own this one. I didn’t do any exercise this week. I have good reason for it, I was disrupted, and upset and had a really ‘poor’ week. But, I’ve been able to think, plan, consider, when I’ve not been too preoccupied with reclaiming money that shouldn’t have been removed from my account. It’s been a frustrating week, but I DID get those video fixes sorted, I *am* working through stuff with clients to get on with. The week, on the surface, looks like a failure. But really?

It’s just been a week that hasn’t worked out.

If, at first, you don’t succeed. Try. Try again.

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