I thought long and hard to figure out what went wrong. I guess I have an answer now.
I drove myself crazy in nursing school. I set such high expectations on myself for skill assessments. I was in trepidation every single time, and wouldn’t take failure as an outcome. I demanded so much from group presentations. When things didn’t go well, I’d blame myself for everything. I got upset when things fell short of my expectations. I was a control freak who didn’t want to lose control. I took it upon myself to do many extraneous things so that I could get better outcomes. I set high expectations for my peers, but what they didn’t know is that I was harshest on myself.
I drove myself crazy during my dancing days. I was overly critical of myself, and always told myself that I wasn’t good enough. I struggled so much, and now I’m not dancing because I’ve set a requirement for stepping into a studio- lose weight, or never go back to ballet because I bring shame to the artform.
I drove myself crazy with RA. I was adamant on not taking steroids, and didn’t want to rely on pain medications. I was adamant even on the worst flare days. The pain got to me, and I became highly irritable at times. Because I don’t use RA as an excuse, I set expectations on the people around me, and drove myself crazy when they had a thousand and one excuses.
Then I drove myself nuts when the final semester started. I drove myself crazy with the trainings because I wanted it so badly, and I pinned my sense of self-worth on it. There were exams, presentations, and a large scale project which had me working on it endlessly till it ended. My peers were driving me crazy. The skills assessments drove me crazy. Then I had people in training who drove me up the wall.
I somehow set some ground rules for myself. So whenever I broke them, I felt condemned even though the teachers had no part in it. I believed that when I cried, they’d put a black mark on me for being weak. My partner drove me crazy, as I did for myself as well. I couldn’t take it standing that the other half of the pair was half-hearted, did slipshod work, and had zero respect for anyone else. I lost my respect for such a person. The teachers had high expectations, and I struggled very hard to meet it. I always fell short, and I couldn’t stop berating myself for it.
I lost it all when I lost my sense of self-worth and pride, and when it became too obvious that I was losing the fight. Everyone’s words, no matter how kind they were, stung. I thought that everyone was against me. The constant self-defeating talk did more harm than good.
And now that I’m at where I am right now, I’m driving myself crazy for driving myself nuts in the past. And till this very day, I still feel that all the blamed has been pushed to me, and that I was the one who created all the problems, when it is evidently not the case. Look at where they are right now? I ought to give myself credit. A pat on the back, and ‘hey, it is their real loss not to have me’.
I fought a tough and long battle, and I did my best. I think the best lesson learnt are not those from the trainings, but for the fact that people will do anything at the expense of others, to get what they want. Pure evil. The world can be such an ugly place to be. And that I must never ever trust anyone. Because the most unlikely person is gonna be the one who betrays you.
It’s time to be a little kinder to myself. To manage my expectations. To know that it is ok if people around me fall short of my standards. To know that it is ok as long as I’ve done my best. To take pride in whatever I do. And most of all, be patient with myself.
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