52 Weeks 500 Words
This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.
"Do you sometimes feel as if you have failed? It could be in a task, a responsibility you undertook, as a friend, in your work, your personal life? Of course you have, for all of us sometimes doubt ourselves.
This was my week, unfortunately. I feel as I have failed. Just admitting it makes me feel terrible. Yet it wasn’t in a task or responsibility, or a relationship. I failed myself. I have this week utterly doubted myself. Every positive feeling I have worked hard at attaining meant less than nothing. Yes, I wanted to crawl into bed and stay there, never to emerge again, for I am a failure.
When I sat to write this entry, I thought to record something positive, hoping it would jog me from this state of belief. Omission though is also lying, if only to myself. So, now the words of admission pour out instead. While I hope you will learn from this or simply feel empathetic in recognising yourself in here, this journal entry is so that I may reason this all out and change my state of mind.
I stare at the screen now and wonder if a chemical deficiency isn’t causing this negativity. Perhaps the stuff that wires me is defective and I need to have my hormones tested or something. Maybe. I can’t afford to visit a doctor, though, so that won’t help me. If this continues, I may have to acknowledge there is a physical reason beyond my control and then live with it.
Still, I am of the opinion we can rewire ourselves, shift those chemicals around ourselves if we try hard enough, believe in ourselves and give it our all. The process is the same for our physical selves as it is for the intangible parts. Therefore, anything I attempt to do, whether it is physical or emotional, will in the end lead to the same result. Right? Well, that’s what I tell myself. I do doubt at the moment.
I’m sorry, I had hoped to reveal to you a journey, one which slowly over the weeks of entry showed you how it is possible to grow daily simply by being more aware of the inner self. In this I have clearly failed also. Here I sit and dump doubts and it feels as if I have just started this journey and the intervening weeks have not happened.
They did happen! I did learn so much! I fixed so many issues!
Oh, now I sound completely disjointed, but do you know what? It just occurred to me the journey is real and I have soul-searched and lip-chewed and I have GROWN. This current state of belief is but a few days in a far larger picture. Why throw what went before away? That would be the real failure. We are not perfect, not ever, and sometimes we doubt. Sometimes the big picture is overwhelming. Sometimes we have to admit we are only human.
Okay, so these few days do not define me. Your few days do not define you either. I acknowledge the bigger picture, but will now concentrate on the small stuff and use them to drag myself out of this.
I will go outside and listen to the birds. I will edit another chapter of my book. I will cook a lovely meal tonight. I will phone my brother for a quick chat. I will veg later and watch my favourite movie without telling myself I am wasting time better spent doing something constructive. I will cuddle with my partner tonight after our meal.
I will fix this.
Thank you for the opportunity to unload. This has given me the willingness to change my doubts and the path to do so. I hope you can find your path, too."