Let’s Play Pretend.

pink revolver gun
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So, once again as often seems to be the case, I start writing a blog and then something sparks a new one so this is a rejig of my original thoughts.

It’s been an intense week and this morning I have blown up. There’s been two days during the week prior to this that I was thoroughly on the edge and this morning I have taken a running jump over it. It always feels like you are getting one aspect of your life together and the rest of it is, to put it bluntly, an absolute shit show.

I’ll start from the beginning.

I started my new job this week and it’s already seemingly everything I was after in a new role or opportunity. It’s diverse, exciting, lots to learn, lots of prospects, the people are lovely and there is a lot of opportunity for autonomy and creative control. So, at this point you’re probably wondering how I could have been edgy, upset and finally explode this morning? I’ve got what I wanted. The start of a real career. The start of my success. I was getting told these really lovely things by my new director. I have a calming aura about me apparently and I have a lot of potential. I have never really been complimented by an employer in this way before and it was so nice to hear.

It was also overwhelming. The fear kicked in. What happens if all the faith my colleagues have in me is incorrect? The thing that really got to me was something a family member had said to me at the weekend. They attributed my success at interview to the fact I am on a (very low dose) of antidepressant for my anxiety. This then proceeded to ring in my ears after the praise because I feared the praise wasn’t warranted because it wasn’t me, it was the tablets.

Thankfully a couple of things stopped me in this fear spiral. Talking to someone about it was the main one. Living on your own can sometimes make you realise how important it is to feel like you have people to talk to. As adorable as my cat is, she’s not much of a conversationalist. This person was able to highlight to me that they agree with the calming ‘aura’ that I have when I am at my best and it’s nothing to do with any tablets. I am right to be excited and it’s normal to be overwhelmed. Sometimes I forget that I am human.

The other thing that has helped was that I have started to read Vanessa Van Edwards book called Captivate. Vanessa is a behavioural investigator in her self-made research lab. She said in her book about how ‘fake it until you make it’ doesn’t work. People simply don’t like fakers and they can sense one a mile off. Confidence is contagious, and so is lack thereof. People are not easily fooled. This got me thinking about what my family member had said and how it wasn’t true. My small dose of antidepressant will not mask me or change who I am as a person. I am not defined by the tablets I take or by my low points, and what my family member said to me wasn’t true. I work hard. I research, I hone my applications, I prepare for interviews. Getting this job was important to me and I worked for it. I deserve it and I deserve it on my own merit.

So, I am feeling good about work, excited to grab the bull by the horns and get the career I have always wanted. So, where’s the shit show I mentioned?  Why did I jump over the edge this morning? I just screamed at my best friend on the phone. We have been spending so much amazing time together and there have been moments I would never change for the world. But today I realised they don’t really know me, or they do but there was a certain aspect they chose to ignore. This is probably really unfair of me to say as I know I put too much expectation on them. This event scares me and makes me fear I am not doing well. I know I have come so far, the last few months, I know I have. I feel I have. And to carry on without the support of this person terrifies me.  I get scared that I can’t do it without them. But I am strong. I know I am.

There’s good and bad in this week. I really hope that one day I will learn not to expect people to feel the same as I do. I just end up feeling stupid every time. Having said this, I won’t let the bad in this week stop the progress I have made and just use it as more motivation. I just hate the thought of doing it without my best friend. I hate the reality. But the pretending is always fun whilst it lasts, isn’t it?

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