Setting myself up for failure
Mental Health, Personal
Setting myself up for failure

I really don’t know how else to explain it.  Perhaps it’s the constant mental conditions that are playing at odds with each other.  My anxiety constantly worried about being good enough, about what other people are thinking of me and the constant fear of change.

My depression, on the other hand, tells me that I’ll never do well – that I’m mediocre at best at everything that I do.  Nothing that I will take on will be great because I fail at everything.


It’s exhausting, to say the least.

I hate that my mind is constantly at war with itself over every little thing.

Anxiety & depression have a very complicated relationship... Click To Tweet

I put a lot on my plate

I’m constantly putting more and more on my plate and then I get overwhelmed with the idea and back off.  This past week I took a break from blogging because of that.  Because it was too much and I needed to sit back and lick my wounds for a while.

The depression won that round.

I stopped creating images for Instagram, I bought pop and drank it.  Even ordered out when I was trying not to.

I stopped my goals and just went into a self-preservation mode.  I ate anything that I wanted and logged it all on my Weight Watchers.  I’m pretty sure that I gained back 5 pounds last week because of this.  I don’t know for sure because I’m terrified of the information.

Why do we set ourselves up for failure?

Perhaps it is the way that we look at it.  For those that are struggling with the same mental conditions as I am they really do put us on edge.

The two plays off each other – most of the time one starts (usually the anxiety) – you have this irrational fear of whatever and then you start to feel bad about it… thus moving into the depression part.  This is a constant cycle that just takes over.

The fear of failure (in my case) usually outweighs the actual failure part.  I stop trying thus I never completely let myself dive into something and fail.  After all I can’t fail if I never complete it.  But, I do in turn fail at it by not completing it.

Then the depression kicks in and I’m spent – hence the self-preservation.  If I hide and don’t let it in that I’ve been failing it will be alright.

This is what I did this past week.  If I’m actually honest with myself – this is what my body and self-care programmed to do every time it’s too much.

Setting myself up for failure

How do we stop the cycle?

I’m still struggling with this, but what I have noticed is that the cycles are becoming shorter.  There was a time that if I felt like this I’d stop completely.  I would never come back to it.

This is the reason why I’ve started so many other blogs in the past and now they are nowhere to be seen.

I’ve become more self-aware

I allow myself a time to lick my wounds and then I put my big girl pants on and start over again.

Every single time that I’ve stopped working on my blog for a certain amount of time I give pause and then come back.  I love expression myself here – and though it’s still a work in progress (like my mental health) I will always push myself forward.

What have I learned?

  • I am stronger than before. Though it’s hard to say that during my off days – I am better than when I was younger.
  • With practiced self-care, a person can come back out of this much faster.
  • Allowing yourself time to heal and repair when you fall down is okay.
  • Putting support in place. I have a good group of friends that I can talk to about this.


It’s perfectly normal to feel this way from time to time.  I know that for me dealing with both depressions as well as anxiety – I have a hard time accepting this failure.  I feel like I should be doing more than I already do and then feel both anxious and sad about it.

Keeping support systems in place will help you to bounce back better – but remember that it’s always best to get the doctor’s assessment to help find the right way for treatment.

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TORONTO Distress Line: 416-408-4357

Survivor Support Program: 416-595-1716


  • Angela Tolsma

    March 13, 2017

    I’ve been sitting on this post for a while wanting to find the perfect words to comment. But they haven’t come to me. We do build ourselves up for failure. But I believe that is the way we are raised. We are raised to do everything on our own and not ask for help or talk about doing it all. And yet we strive for that perfection. Then depression wins because perfection is not real. It’s hard finding a balance and striving for self care that works for us and not what works for the world. Lots of hugs and I hope you are having a better week. xoxo

    • Chel Williams @ Oh Chel

      March 27, 2017

      Thanks Angela. I think that I’m finally feeling more like myself. I noticed that I took more time off than expected, but that’s okay too.

      Very true. We do so much and want to be perfect – and when we can’t achieve those we doom ourselves to think that we are failures. One thing that I’ve noticed with my Bounce Back program was to count the little things.

      Thanks again. Hope you have a wonderful Monday.

  • John Michael Sharp

    March 27, 2017

    I’ve known a lot of people who suffer from anxiety and depression, and have never fully understood it. I get the fear of anxiety. I get some of the sense of “What is the point?” with depression, but have never fully managed to grasp it all. You have helped my understanding, and hopefully my empathy. Thank you

    • Chel Williams @ Oh Chel

      March 27, 2017

      Thank you so much, John. I’m glad that I was able to help you understand a little that is anxiety and depression. My goal it to help those that deal with those issues as well as help educate those that are close to them.

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