Goals and failure.

I have a hard time with goals and deadlines.  There are a lot of reasons for this, but I need to get the heck over it and start accomplishing what I need.  The only place I can actually accomplish what I need to is work.  So I have been thinking about what it is about work that makes me able to get my job accomplished versus being at home.

I know that if I don’t accomplish my job, I run the risk of losing it.  I also know that if I don’t go, I will lose money, which is terrifying to me.  I was raised middle-class to lower middle-class.  Although I was never poor, I am terrified of it.  Because my family and I don’t have any spare money at this point in our lives, I have nothing to fall back on if I lose this job.  I would lose my apartment within 6 weeks.

So.  How can I translate that to doing things I need to do away from work? 

My therapist did come up with a suggestion about my apartment.  Because it is such a mess, I cannot use a large portion of it.  Now, if I calculate the rent I pay per square foot and then figure out how much the area I cannot use is costing me, I might start to get motivated to clean it up.  Although I haven’t figured it out exactly, I did wash some of my dishes this weekend.  I think I am getting closer to getting it picked up and cleaned.  I could also calculate what I am spending on fast food and quick meals since I have a hard time cooking in the kitchen.  I also feel guilty because I cannot invite friends over with my apartment in this shape.  One of my friends has me over almost every weekend and feeds me.  I think it would be great to return the favor.  Plus I know he would let me borrow his vaccuum since I left mine in the last apartment.

I need to set little tiny goals that lead up to a large goal like I do at work.  If I want to get the entire apartment cleaned, I should figure out everything I need to do and then break it up into little chinks before it overwhelms me.  That might be the best way for me to do it.  I need to make sure there are consequences when I don’t get things done, though.  I know what the best consequence would be not reading.  Since I am quite the addict, it is definitely an option.  There’s also the reward option.  If I can set up my budget so I can buy a single e-book per week, then the consequence could be not getting it or the reward coulf be getting it.  I will have to think about it and brainstorm with my friends.

I do want to get my apartment clean enough that I am comfortable having friends over.  I could set it up so one friend comes over this weekend, and all of them come over the following weekend.  My friend that would be coming over this weekend doesn’t care what my apartment looks like, but he would be willing to keep me company while I clean…I hope.  It also depends on what he has going this weekend.  But I will try to remember to ask him.

I also think that making certain others aware of my goals could make a huge difference.  I have been thinking very hard about taking pictures of the apartment as it currently is to let y’all get a better idea of how severe my illness can get.  On here I come across as pretty healthy to some people.  And in many areas of my life, I am highly functioning.  But when I get home where I am safe and others will not judge me, a lot of that falls apart.  I have said that I would be honest in this blog, so I will do that tomorrow.  It might give all of us a better idea of where and how I let it all out.

That will also be a motivation to get it all cleaned up.  I want to be able to put up after photos to compare to the before photos.  So I have a little more motivation for working on the apartment.

The other issue I have let slip by the wayside is my writing and drawing.  And I know that is a bad thing and a sign of a descent back into depression.  I also have the issue that I said I would post something relating to my art or writing every Wednesday.  As of right now, I don’t have anything to share.  I am going to edit something or work on my current works to take an excerpt from.  And that deadline is pretty darn firm. 

I want this blog to succeed.  I enjoy sharing my life and thoughts with others who understand in some small way and want to listen.  I think sharing this way is healthy for me and hopefully helpful to others.  Are there goals you have that you would like help with?  Even figuring out our goals can be stressful and difficult.  Asking for help in making, setting, or working toward goals can be terrifying. 

During our journey through this life, we need to keep the people in our lives that are willing to help us rather than making us feel like a failure.  That would be one of the issues I have with goals that I was talking about up above.  There are many people in this world that will ridicule us for failing to meet a goal, or for setting very small goals while we are working on recovery.  We need to listen to the encouragement and ignore everyone else.

I have friends in my life that are extremely supportive.  And I have other people that think they are being helpful, but just make me feel like a complete and utter failure. 

I have been working on getting my finances straightened out for quite a while.  One of my coworkers told me I needed to stop getting fast food (the which I knew).  I asked her to help me set up a budget along with another coworker as the first has a finance degree and the second ran payroll for a department for years.  Neither of them could find the time to actually help me, but the first one feels perfectly free to lecture me on my spending habits.  I actually kind of went off on her the other weekend when I was working all that overtime.  She said something about me eating out and I said that I haven’t been.  She pushed it and I told her that I hadn’t been because I was broke.  Then she was all condescendingly congratulatory.  I was pretty upset by this time that I told her that I hadn’t been buying fast food because I couldn’t afford freaking groceries at all, let alone anything else.  That I was losing weight because I hadn’t been eating at all not because I was trying to (another goal of mine which she also feels free to comment on as well).  So I understand that letting go of other people’s opinions are very hard!  But if we focus on the people that we truly trust and know believe in us, then we can be supported in reaching our goals rather than feeling judged as failures.

So I will no longer be sharing my goals with people that I think will judge me lacking (this can definitely include family as well as strangers or others).  But I am going to work on actually setting goals to accomplish.  They may be baby steps, but they are still steps, right? 

 I do have to tell me that my therapist did tell me something that made me feel a lot better about all of this.  She said that, back when she actually did home visits, she found that almost everyone that she treated with a mental illness other than OCD had severe issues with cleanliness.  So, although I do want to fix the issue, I feel like less of a failure.  🙂

Is there one section of your life where you need to set a small goal that feels huge to you?  Is there something you need to accomplish but feel completely overwhelmed by it?  Join the party, everyone!


~ by theartistryofthebipolarbrain on February 6, 2012.

6 Responses to “Goals and failure.”

  1. Ooooo so much to comment on.

    You know who to share your goals with and who not to. It sucks that she acted like that. I know you try to make nice and since I’m not there I can’t call her out on it or fully judge her behavior.

    I want you to pick one room in your apartment, one corner even and make a list of what needs to be done there. Do you want to improve all of the apartment a little or make everything super clean one corner at a time? Decide which works better for you right now and we can do it.

    Also, I prescribing a strict 200 word count a day goal for you until you finish PC. After you get your 200 words done you may do something in your free time but your priorities are going to be this- medication, hygiene, food, work, writing, art, reading.

    What days work best for laundry? I know that’s a struggle for you so let’s pick. You have too much to do it once a week but you work m-f. So… Saturday and Wednesday?

    That’s my unsolicited advice for right now. Feel free to ignore me completely. Hugs 🙂

  2. There’s a lot to do, but I know that I can deal with it a little at a time. When I put the pictures up, I will give you a better idea of what needs to be done. And I willd efinitely talk about how to get through it all.

    And I think 200 words per day might be attainable.

    And you brought up the medication thing, which I haven’t shared before, but I should. I’ll do that in another post, though.

    And you know I always listen to you. I may not do anything about, but I always listen.

  3. Hey, I am on a roll this morning making comments which is unlike me anyway back on topic. I have a hard time sticking to routine which includes tidying up. Sometime my humble abode collects all manners of trash usually take out boxes and the likes oh and of course my own personal, man made, coke bottle mountain.

    I tend to forget to tidy up or tell my self I will do it tomorrow forgetting that tomorrow never comes as its always today. After a while it all builds up to the point where I would not even dream of inviting anyone over. I am still coming to grips with the basics of the up-keep of my household. It is just something I have a hard time with and after a while those small things become big ugly monsters.

    Once a long time ago, about six years ago, my whole floor was taken over by what my friend coined ‘The coke bottle army’ as amusing as that sounds I was terrible ashamed by it. Still I live and I learn.

    As I heard someone say once ‘Take care of the small things and the big things will take care of them selfs.’. I think I would agree although I do not always manage to take the advice and put it into practice.


    • That is what happens in my home, although there are no Coke bottles. Instead there are clothes, books, paper plates, and dirty glasses. A few years ago I actually had a professional crew come in and clean it out. They took out so much trash I couldn’t believe it. They also took out 13 small boxes of books for donation, at least three large black bags of clothes that no longer fit, and a ton of other donations. I don’t really know where everything came from this time. I can see what is there, and I know I have room for most of it. So why does it end up all over the floor? I don’t know.

      I feel better since my therapist did say that it seems to be a very common symptom for those with bipolar.That isn’t going to stop me from trying to get everything cleaned up, but hopefully I will feel less guilty about it all. I have learned that guilt tends to freeze me solid.

      I like your bipolar smiley, btw. : ) :

  4. Lots to answer there… I’m a neat freak. Not a clean freak, a neat freak. Big difference. My dust bunnies are huge but everything, and I mean everything, is exactly where it belongs. It’s a coping mechanism for ADD; I lose everything otherwise and it drives me up the wall.

    I like making lists. That’s one way to break the tasks down into manageable chunks. Then you can make a goal of checking one or two things off the list each day. Whether it’s a bit of cleaning, working out a budget, whatever. A lot of banks now offer some kind of online account management with budget tracking tools. I’m sure that if you looked around online you’d also find budgeting tools that could help. I’m hopeless at budgeting, even if I have one, I can never stick to it. Stupid hypomanic spending…

    • Oddly enough, even though the place is a mess, I have a pretty good idea of where things are, with a few exceptions. I need to organize my paperwork so I can figure out how much I owe to who.

      Lists freak me out, but I am going to have to figure something out. Luckily I have many friends that are willing to help and support me.

      One of my friends is helping with the budgeting, but I also do the hypomanic spending. I have a pretty severe book addiction that just kills my finances. The funny thing is that people have told me there’s nothing wrong with books, blah, blah, blah. They are an addiction for me. Many people don’t understand it, but I spend large amounts of money on books. I probably have between 800 and a thousand books in my apartment, if not more. On top of that, I have approximately 1000 titles on my laptop. So it is a true addiction since I will spend grocery money on it. So budgeting is going to be really tough for me. I am working on it, though. And, yet again, I have a friend to help me out.

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

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