That I would be good even if I did nothing.
That I would be good even if I got the thumbs down.
That I would be good if I got and stayed sick.
That I would be good even if I gained ten pounds. – “That I Would Be Good,” Alanis Morissette
I’m not sure there has ever been a song that has described me as well as this one. I have always wanted to be good enough- for my mother, for my friends, for a partner. And I’ve never felt like I was. Sure, I’ve accomplished plenty, and I’m proud of that. But ordinary people accomplish things every day. Doesn’t make me… good enough.
Not measuring up, not being enough, not able to compete; all things I have feared both personally and professionally. Getting sick and dying alone nags at the back of my mind. And my looks and weight? I’ve struggled with that my entire life. They even led me to having gastric sleeve surgery about a year ago. A decision I don’t regret, but has opened my eyes to the truth about a few situations in my life. First and foremost that me being fat wasn’t what was preventing me from having a successful relationship. I’m 95 pounds smaller than I was a year ago, but can’t keep a girl interested, and in some cases even GET her interested in the first place. So maybe it wasn’t the weight. Maybe its actually just… me.
That I would be fine even if I went bankrupt.
That I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth.
That I would be great if I was no longer queen.
That I would be grand if I was not all-knowing.
Money has always been a big motivator in my life. I often relate making the money to wearing the pants and having control. I like being in control. And in relationships I like being the one with the better paying job. With The Ex, she ended up making more money than me at the end, and it was hard to take. I felt useless. Like I wasn’t worth as much. And it sucked.
I’m also not fond of growing old. My knee locks out weekly, I have bags under my eyes, and my neck hurts more often when I sleep wrong. In my job I’m surrounded by younger kids that are just out of college, and it really ages me in some ways and keeps me young in others. But I feel old a lot. Also sucks.
That I would be loved even when I numb myself.
That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed.
That I would be loved even when I was fuming.
That I would be good even if I was clingy.
Functional depression is a bitch. Whether you believe in it or not, the daily reality can kick your ass. I can get up, go to work, occasionally get something done around the house, have a drink with friends or co-workers, and carry on in such a way that most people would have no idea how dead I feel inside. I often try to cover that feeling with alcohol, sometimes pot, sometimes food, sometimes sleep, sometimes sex, sometimes just keeping incredibly busy, sometimes exercise. And sometimes I just don’t try to cover it up and I let myself feel weighted and heavy and worthless. Lately the depression keeps getting stronger, making it harder to cover up. Which leads into wanting to still be good enough when I feel overwhelmed by work or loneliness. Still wanting to be loved by someone even when I’m angry, whether at them or at myself. And wanting someone to be able to stick around long enough for me to trust that if I cling to them, they won’t run. Being clingy isn’t normally a problem for me- I don’t usually let myself get close enough to a person to cling to them. But with The Ex… I lost who I was in her, and clung to her for dear life because of it. And she hated it. Rightfully so.
I obviously deal with some level of self-hatred. Otherwise I wouldn’t punish my body the way I do when I drink or smoke or eat. I wouldn’t have had weight loss surgery. And I wouldn’t have to combat the thoughts of worthlessness and tragedy that my head feeds my heart on a daily basis.
That I would be good even if I lost sanity.
That I would be good whether with or without you.
I am not enough. It’s a phrase I’ve told myself often. I wasn’t enough for my Bio Dad to stay around. I wasn’t enough to keep The Ex from cheating multiple times. I wasn’t enough to make it in the music or theater world. I wasn’t enough for The Sister to let go of her hang up on the dude and give me a chance. I’ve come to expect these things, just as I expect to be successful in my current career and expect to enjoy my life of amusement park and live concert adventures. It’s exhausting.
As much as I try not to need people, I get lonely sometimes or need to talk things out with someone. But I’ve been learning how to stand on my own and be a complete person without anyone else around. It’s not easy, and sometimes even the small things have been hard. For example, it took me almost two years of being single before I finally made myself go to the movies alone. Now I love it. I still have trouble going to a bar by myself, but a restaurant is easy for me. So I’m still a work in progress. Next step- figure out how to feel like I’m good enough. Not for all those people whose approval I looked for and may have or may not have ever gotten. But somehow find a way to be good enough for myself.