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At a loss, grappling with failure & depression June 5, 2009

Posted by Trisha Lyn Fawver in General Rambling.

I really wish I could get to a place like this and take it with caution but optimism like most people.  People face greater challenges than this every day and handle it with far more ability than I can handle average tough situations.

So Dominic’s almost done with DeVry.  The estimate is that he’ll be done in October and have his bachelor’s in project management.  This means so much to him and I’m so proud of him that he’s stuck with this for the last three or four years to finish is degree in the evenings over the ‘net.  I can’t even express it.  We always knew that his financial aid would run out towards the end and that we’d have to get a loan from our bank for the rest.  Without going into an enormous amount of personal financial details, we’re having issues with the bank securing the loan.  I was denied as a cosigner due to my unstable recent work history (2 mo. self-employed, 8 mo. at NEM).  Of course Dominic was all kinds of pissed off about the problems and concerned he wouldn’t be able to finish school when he’s so close, and had many angry choice words about the bank and my former employer and  other stuff that, while mostly not directed at ME, I took like this:

This is my fault.  I should never have left PsPrint.  I should have stayed and been miserable, but miserable with a steady job and paycheck and employment history.  Had I not taken the risk to work for NEM and subsequently been let go, he’d have no problem getting the loan.  If I’d taken perhaps another job instead of the current contractor stuff I’m doing, with better up-front pay, maybe that would override the history thing.  This is my fault.

A more rational or emotionally stable person might look at that and not understand how I could think this was solely my fault.  How could I have known NEM would fold – I was assured it was stable.  PMG, the firm I work with now, assured me they had clients days away from signing contracts, and I don’t touch those initial deals so how’s it my fault they haven’t been able to give me another contract.  How can I be blamed for wanting out of a job that, while stable, was making me even more depressed and miserable.

But this is what I do… I internalize.  At first, after getting off the phone with the bank about the loan, I suggested that we could ask my dad to co-sign instead.  I started to call him, but then realized that with the time difference it was 11pm in SC and he was probably headed to bed, so I hung up and sent him an email instead.  Of course, after that, and more angry words about the situation from Dominic… panic attack was in full swing.  Turns out my dad was still up, just in a different room than his cell phone, so he called me to see what I’d called about, and by that time I was crying and hyperventilating to the point where I could barely talk and tried to spit out something like “Dominic applied for a loan…” and all that came out was “Dom… D… Dominic…” sniffle cry wheeze… he had to ask me if everyone was OK.  (Which later made me think that if I get this worked up over something that supremely sucks but isn’t the absolute end of the world, I think I’d immediately throw up and have to be sedated if anything ever DID happen to Dominic…).  Dad assured me that he had no problem at all helping and to chin up and tried to help me calm down.  By this point Dominic had found me in the bedroom putting clothes away and trying to breathe and was trying to calm me down too.  So at this point things are still sticky with the bank, but after another talk with my dad and Dominic talking to the financial aid people at DeVry, it’s not looking as bleak.

I still can’t help but internalize this and try to fix it, and feel like it’s my fault it’s not fixed.  I put this enormous pressure on myself.  PMG has more leads for contracts but still nothing signed yet, so I actually applied for some part-time receptionist jobs to help supplement my income until they can land another client for me.  I know there’s a lot of potential here to work with them and to make even double what I was making before, and it’s not necessarily her fault that these clients are passing on the proposals given the economic climate we’re in.  It’s just taking longer to get back up to what I was making before than I anticipated.  We’re not suffering and haven’t had to make any serious sacrifices like cutting the fun stuff we pay for monthly like XM Radio, Netflix, etc, and haven’t had any trouble paying bills thanks to savings and the little bit of Unemployment benefits I did receive in those few weeks between being let go from NEM and actually starting my contract with PMG.  I was starting, as well, to worry about my prescriptions and health.  I’ve cut myself back on how often I’ve been taking my pills when I lost my health insurance.  We tried to add me to Dominic’s but hadn’t heard anything back.  One positive note this week has been that we received the new health insurance cards adding me to his insurance, so I can go back to taking the number of pills per day I should have been taking and go back to the doctor soon to start getting my diabetes more in-check.

Back to why I’m writing this… because I don’t have a therapist and unfortunately feel like I don’t really have anyone to tell this to that will honestly just listen in person… or that I’d start to blubber again and not be able to get it all out.  I feel like a failure.  My marketing blog has been around for 2 years come August and still gets low traffic.  The Google Page Rank was PR0 for the longest time to a PR2 in January… then mysteriously back to PR0 in March without me making any big changes to it, so I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.  I’m speaking on a panel at a convention this month and at a convention in August, so I must be doing something right in terms of my career, but I still feel like I’m doing something fatally wrong.  Like there’s something I should be doing to make the bigger bloggers in the affiliate marketing space – who mostly know me and are friendly with me – want to link to my blog in their links area.  None do.  I feel like maybe they think I’m a hack or something, I don’t know.  I know there are things I could be doing, topics I could be writing about, I could be writing more often, but finding the energy to craft good stuff isn’t always easy.  This, this is easy.  This is just pouring what I’m thinking out through my fingers into a blog that I don’t expect anyone to give two shits about.  This is more for me, I know.

I’ve always been told I’m a great asset for any company to have.  My work is excellent.  I have good ideas and work efficiently and produce results.  I have potential.  I just don’t know why I don’t believe that and can’t help but think that I have no business aspiring to anything.  That I’m not good enough to have aspirations and should have just relegated myself to an average job at an average company long ago.  Who the fuck did I think I was, getting a degree in theatre arts?  Anything else at the time just felt too average for me.  I’ve always felt like I could be really great at something and known for something.  Do something notable.  I feel a lot like I can’t help if that I’m above average… I’ve always been above average, but I feel like I’m not far enough above average to be special or remarkable. I’ve always felt like I was better than average and that I’d never be happy just being average, and it terrifies me that maybe that’s all I am – average.  Nothing special.  I don’t know what I can do to not feel this way…all the Paxil or Lexapro in the world won’t help.  And I don’t say this, about being better than average, to be superior or better than anyone.  Maybe that’s why I have such problems with depression and self-image, because it evens out my ego.

Sometimes I don’t know if I’m trying too hard to achieve recognition, or not hard enough.  I wish I could get more out of this turmoil than insomnia, like crazy good art or something, but unfortunately I’m not better than average in that way.

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