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When To Stop Trying So Hard


Icarus21

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I'm not the energizer bunny people expect of me. I am a hard working guy. Most times I can't preform my hardest due to depression and other issues. People tell me its not to try so hard, to give myself a break, or to not worry. I am a person who punishes himself whenever I fail at something. I am not easy on myself. On the outside it looks like something I just do because its my personality but it's not.

The issue stemmed from very early childhood. I was raised not to make mistakes. I was always judged for decisions I have made, and always told I just need to try more. It wasn't really ok if I didn't excel at everything. My sister especially made sure she could find every flaw in me and break me down because she was jealous I was better in school. And when I do fail at something its always pointed as a character flaw or people pass judgments. I get a lot of "oh that is so easy, I can't believe you couldn't do it"

I am naturally gifted at math and a lot of people talk about how they just cannot grasp it. Unlike others I don't rub that in other peoples faces. In college grades seem to be above all else. It's like all your self worth is your grades when in reality that isn't true. Others are better at other things than others. I have also improved a lot around my personal life and I do a lot more. I achieved so much in the last year. But more of the focus is on things I haven't achieved yet. I know I shouldn't let people have that much power over how I feel about myself but it seems we live in a society where everyone wants on top and they will use any tactic to cripple you. If you didn't make it to where you are it is your fault.

To make the situation worse, I take a lot of responsibility for my actions. I never let myself get a free pass. I punish myself until I can overcome whatever obstacle. Then I hear others making excuses for just about everything in life and then come to me about how I need to improve such and such in my life and if I were to show any sign of emotion its automatically a character flaw. But they can kick scream, throw a tantrum, swear, and all that and its acceptable, but there are people who use my depression against me. Because I have depression, I'm not capable of making choices, or using logic. My favorite, "its all in your head" used as a manipulative tactic to control me and distort my head.

I don't believe everyone is out to get me. My sister most likely. I think a lot of people mean well but they usually hurt me the most. I don't think I have a moment where I'm constantly beating myself up or remembering all of the hurtful and untrue and ignorant things people said to me. I never really have a moment where I am devoid of those thoughts and never have a moment where I feel free to be me without letting so much people hold so much power. The plight of an artistic, eccentric, perfectionist whose ideas usually fall out of societies norms.

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Hi Icarus21,

Being a child and expected to be perfect are really unfair. You probably were not allowed to just be a boy, to make mistakes and learn from them. I'm sorry this has lead into your adult life. People say things without really thinking about them. It is very easy for short, quick often hurtful and rude responses but it takes kindness and thoughtfullness to communicate in an appropriate way. A lot of people do not understand this concept, and if it's any consolation, their shallowness will lead them to very unfullfilled, unhappy lives. When I say to you, do not put pressure on yourself, I am not saying it like one of those people you've come across. You have explained clearly why you strive in your post above, you've always been expected to. If possible, live up to your own expectations, not the expectations of others. Please continue to work on keeping your depression controlled and enjoying your life the way you want to.

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Thank you very much sir! Someone willing to listen to hear the whole reason I put pressure on myself. It did root from childhood and it is something I'm working on overcoming. I will learn to live up to my expectations. I think it can free me from the pressures I hold on myself. I hope I can too and believe I can. I will update how I am doing. Cheers!

Icarus

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I'm a good listener......my closest friends have always come to me just for that fact, and because I can look at things and try to bring out the good as well as a solution. I do hope to keep seeing you here. You do not have to be perfect in this life, it's a quest that will leave you weary and unsatisfied. I have OCD and try to control everything in my life because failure is one thing I have a huge problem with. But I had to get this emotion under control or I would have been controlling everything to the point of buying my casket too early to please my OCD obsessions. It's hard for me to let things happen the way that they will, but I have no choice. I'm out of energy and have to realize I can't control myself into feeling secure. It won't happen. You're allowed to make mistakes, mistakes are experiences that turn into wisdom down the road.

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You say that you punish yourself repeatedly. But anything we do over and over again actually gives us some form of satisfaction, one way or another.

I used to be this way in the past. Punish myself, self-inflicted pain, something similar at least. The urge did stop at some point. But it did not stop gradually over time, or something like that. For me, it stopped when I had sufficient joy in my life on a daily basis. Sorta like balancing pain and pleasure in a way that was healthy to me. Life never becomes perfect or problem-free, but if the pain doesn't overload, the urge to take it out of myself wasn't there.

I know as always it's case by case, but I'm just pitching words out in an attempt to help. Good luck.

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