Feeling Like a Failure for Getting Help
I recently had to hire someone to help clean my apartment, and this made me feel like a failure. And when I say failure, I mean I felt like an abject failure. I actually cried when I made the appointment. I don’t want someone in my space. I don’t want someone touching my things. I don’t want someone doing things I should be capable of doing. In short, I don’t want help. Help makes me feel like a failure.
Feeling Like a Failure Because of Having a Dirty, Messy Apartment
Let me just admit to something: I usually have a dirty apartment. I usually have a messy apartment. I usually have an apartment with a build-up of cardboard boxes from deliveries strewn about. And I usually have an apartment with things everywhere. I keep doing my nails, so my manicure stuff is always on the side table. I hate opening mail, so it’s floating around too. The apartment is small, and not everything has a home, so clutter is the rule rather than the exception. And I’m ashamed about all of it.
And it’s not like I don’t try to clean up. I do. But I’m exhausted and overwhelmed at all times, making anything beyond a load of laundry nigh-on impossible.
But know I should be able to do it. I know I should be able to take care of a tiny apartment. The thing is, I can’t. And my inability to take care of my apartment properly makes me feel like a failure.
I Feel Like a Failure for Getting Help
And I’ve rejected getting any kind of help for years. I couldn’t really afford it, and I didn’t want to face up to feeling like a failure. My desire not to be a failure is quite high. So I’ve lived like this for years. I’ve lived with so many things undone for so many years because of shame and avoidance of failure.
I Hired Help and Felt Like a Failure
But a coupon crossed my way, and I bit the bullet and had a cleaner in for two hours. He put his head down and did his job. And now it does look much better, I’ll admit. And I’m trying to get over feeling like a failure.
Because, of course, many, many people have cleaners in to help them with that task and they are not failures. These are people without enough time on their hands or people who just hate cleaning. These things are okay and do not make anyone a failure.
Except for me, of course. There is always a double-standard where I am concerned. It’s okay for other people to get help but not me. I need to be 100% self-sufficient. I can’t admit to anything less. I can’t live with anything less.
Feeling Like a Failure Stems from Flawed Thoughts
Of course, these thoughts are flawed. I know that. But there are reasons for these flawed thoughts. One of these reasons is depression. As it turns out, perfectionism and depression have been found to be linked in several studies in several ways. In short, people with depression tend to be perfectionists, and perfectionism can goad depression forward.
And, of course, if you’re feeling perfectionistic, then you also tend to feel failure a lot as no one, indeed, is perfect.
So, I’m trying to tell my bipolar depression to get lost and take its perfectionism with it. What I did was reasonable and understandable, given the fact that I have at least two chronic health conditions and have to focus on making a living in order to survive. When you’re chronically ill, with a mental illness or anything else, you must adapt, and part of that adaptation is getting help for what you can’t manage yourself. This is a make-it or break-it skill. And while I acknowledge that, I also acknowledge that I’m still working on it.