When I make a mistake it feels like an avalanche. A criticism makes me feel like my heart is made of lead and dropped into my stomach. I become short of breath and I want to stay in bed away from anyone.
I know we all make mistakes, it is part of being human. I am happy to admit it and repair any mistakes. I will always do what is needed like apologise and make amends. I have no issue with all of that. Yet my brain and body seem to have an after shock it has to go through.
Maybe it is the perfectionist in me. Being my own hardest critic I need to punish myself. I need to feel bad and horrid. I don’t know how to let it go and forgive myself.
The mistake goes around and around my head. Guilt and worry chasing it in circles. I catastrophise outcomes and imagine all the worst possibilities. I just can’t stop my mind, it fills cloudy and full.
I distract myself with tv, reading, meditation, errands and anything that I do not have to think about. Things that will fill my head trying to push out the negative thoughts.
I am useless, worthless and always a failure. I can hear my mother’s voice. I am a horrible person and don’t deserve to be happy. I have let everyone down.
How do you move on from it? I need to be able to accept the mistake has happened and carry on? Rather than mourn my failure and let it eat me up inside for weeks.
Even when the mistake was minor or even out of my control. I just can not help but feel all these feelings of dread in my life in this mental world.
2 thoughts on “Mourning mistakes”
I feel the exact same way. It is so damn hard (whether the mistake is small or big) but these days I try to remember the feeling will melt over the first couple weeks, it really will.
Here’s one very minor example but it was something that flipped me out. I had a reader give me a super-shitty review on Goodreads last week. Her bullshit REALLY upset me despite the fact her review had so many errors in it, she didn’t even understand what my book was truly about, and she was a bee-yotch to write the things she did knowing there was a good chance I would read her “review.”
I felt bad and I thought about this woman’s remarks often. She wrote that my book “should’ve been an article” (WTF???) and reading it was a “chore” – well if it was a chore, masochist lady, you should have stopped reading it.
I wanted to be able to tell her to fuck off! But I could not. I had to act “professional.” Luckily, three other readers saw what she wrote and they wrote awesome defenses on the book’s behalf.
But each day I ponder this stranger’s rude review less, I feel less like an “imposter, and it will be the same way for you, no matter what it is -the mistake will melt away in your mind, for the most part.
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There is a lot in this that as hard as it is, the self-compassionate you can help with. Sending you a big hug and the kind wish that the self-critic can ease in time into a self-supporter , and is more helpful to you. Take care.
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