I am a failure. I know it’s true. I have tried and failed at so many things. I didn’t finish college or roller skate very well. I still don’t know how to knit or play guitar. I fail on a daily basis- my phone sidetracks me, I eat things I say I don’t want to, I lay in bed until 8:47 instead of getting up at 5 am like I planned. I try to get dressed and end up in pajamas all day. I don’t change my old stories, I have low standards. I start and stop a million times a day.

I’m a success. I know it’s true. I have tried and succeeded at so many things. I got sober on my own and I celebrate six years in December. I am making my own coaching practice. I succeed on a daily basis- my phone is a tool, I eat the things I want to, I get up at 5 am like I planned. I get dressed in clothes. I tell new old stories, I have high standards. I start and stop a million times a day.

I can remember when I was drinking and I knew that I had to quit. I didn’t know how. I failed at quitting over and over again and instead of motivating me to keep trying it made me feel like I was never going to make it. Which then got me right back to the store buying more wine because I knew how to fail really well, might as well just go ahead and do it. I gave myself the label of failure and it felt bad and that was good.

It seems like there’s so much pressure out there to succeed. But wasn’t I successful as a black out drinker? So then I attach good and bad to success and failure and now I have polarization- one side or another. Succeed=Good. Failure=Bad. Which team am I on? Do I want to be on the bad team?

What’s the deal with having to pick? I either live my best life or I’m not. I’m positive and grounded and happy and good and that’s right. Or I’m negative and bummed out and miserable and bad and that’s wrong. I can’t be both, I have to be more one way than the other and hopefully it’s the good one, and if it isn’t then I need to have affirmations and try so hard to be good and when I fail think I’m bad.

It’s so exhausting. Does it ever work to pretend our failures don’t exist? How can we get a full experience of life that’s ours instead of one that’s just successful and good? One that holds all the words, all the worlds.