“I Feel Like A Failure” – Life With Chronic Mental Illness

I’m really trying to do something with my life, but at times I feel like I keep hitting a wall. I’m trying to have faith that things will work out, but it’s so difficult sometimes. I’m tired of “failing.” I’m tired of not being able to accomplish what I know in my heart that I can. I’m just tired, so very tired…

This happens all too often; I disappoint myself and my family. I let them down. It’s a never ending cycle. Life with a chronic mental illness is a challenge. I hate it and I didn’t choose this. Will I ever succeed? Will I be able to reach my goals? Time and time again it’s the same story and I’m back at square one. I can’t help but feel like an utter failure.

From working and holding a job, to making and keeping friends, to being a good mother and wife, I feel like I can’t succeed. I end up falling apart or something goes amiss every time. It’s hard to watch other people find success and achieve their goals when I can barely muster the courage to get out of bed on certain days. It’s not that I’m not happy for other people, but it makes me feel devastated for myself and it fuels the depression even further. I just want to succeed, be independent, and find a rewarding career where I’ll thrive. It would be different if I could say that this is the first time something like this has ever happened, but it’s not. This has happened more times than I can count.

A new opportunity comes along –> I get excited –> I think I’ve finally achieved success –> something then goes wrong –> I fall apart –> and the opportunity is gone as if it never even happened…

What will it take to break this vicious cycle? I already feel as though I give it my all each and every time and I end up exhausted. What if I can’t make it? What if I’m just not meant to find success? What if this is forever my normal? Is this my reality?

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10 Comments

  1. You can break the cycle. I can relate to what you are saying

  2. Hai Kait. I just want to let you know that you are not alone, i totally understand the feeling of not good enough and seems like people always do better than us. The feeling that makes me question my worth and my ability to do things. Im here to tell you that everytime you fail at things, just remember that you are not as bad as you think. You have the courage to try, put your effort into it, eventho it may not succees but you are willing to do it. Thats what makes you better than anyone who doesnt even bother to take an action. (sorry if my English weird but im not really fluent, hopefully you understand)

  3. I feel this everyday! Thanks for being a great friend and ally!

  4. I completely understand.

  5. Don’t know if you are looking for advice or just wanted to vent but here it is.
    I’ve been there. And while it’s not easy to break the cycle, it’s definitely possible, though it will take some time.

    I like to react to some points that you made that feel very familiar:
    “It’s hard to watch other people find success and achieve their goals when I can barely muster the courage to get out of bed on certain days.”
    I know it’s hard but you’re only seeing a snapshot of their lives, probably out of context. You don’t know what their past held, their future will have in store or even what kind of battles they face you cannot see. Everything is relative. If you manage to get out of bed and YOU know that it’s hard for you to do, try to relish that victory, how strange that may seem. Always remember to look back, YOU had the strength and motivation to get up and you did it. That’s what matters.

    “I just want to succeed, be independent, and find a rewarding career where I’ll thrive”. These things will happen. However, not “just” like that. One important thing I had to learn was to be patient with myself. Sure, we have disadvantages in life and sometimes we fall back, more often and longer than our peers who do not have a mental illness. We just need a little more time. Give yourself that time. It’s unfair to yourself to compare yourself to others.
    However, being able to accept my illness taught me to look more objectively at my accomplishments and my failures and try to learn from them, making me feel less like I failed (and learned more). This in turn motivated me to try more things which increased the number of “victories”, giving me more energy and confidence. All the things one would need to succeed, be independent and find a rewarding career.

    “I’m tired of “failing.” I’m tired of not being able to accomplish what I know in my heart that I can.”. I know, believe me, I know. Start small, try to break down your goals in little tasks and be happy whenever you complete one. Write them down if it helps. That way, you didn’t fail. You’re just taking a little longer.

    “A new opportunity comes along –> I get excited –> I think I’ve finally achieved success –> something then goes wrong –> I fall apart –> and the opportunity is gone as if it never even happened”.
    The last part, that’s where you can break the cycle. We can not always prevent ourselves from falling apart, nor can we always prevent things from going wrong. But even though it can be very hard, try to always realize that if you learned one thing of this ordeal, it was not in vain, just a necessary step on your road to success. Growth takes time. But as long as you keep trying, you’re getting better.

    “What if I’m just not meant to find success? What if this is forever my normal? Is this my reality?”
    Don’t wonder, make sure. Keep trying. Take the reins. And never give up.

    Hope this help! Good luck!

    P.S. Reading this made me realize I make it sound so easy. It’s not. Again, give yourself time. You’ll make it.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate your advice, reassurance, and support. It was helpful and it makes me feel better that I’m not alone in this struggle 🙂

  6. I really appreciate your honesty about how you struggle, I too struggle in the same way. I can relate. Your not a failure! Look at this awesome blog, this is a success!!! Hope your feeling good today 🙂

    • You’re so welcome! It’s always helpful I think to know that you’re not alone. I really appreciate your kind words. It means a lot! 🙂 <3

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