Claire’s Disappointment

Hmmm 🤔 I have been self reflecting (or is that self obsessing?) this past few days. I’m not sure it’s been particularly helpful and my brain is a bit addled with thoughts and questions. Forgive me if this post is disjointed and incoherent. I haven’t been drinking, honest! It is also likely to be long and wordy so if you bail now I totally understand. 😉

I’m a 47 year old woman. I work 30 hrs a week in a professional career and I would say I’ve been successful (as far as the NHS allows you to be these days). I have two boys and I am, on the whole, a good mum. I manage a home, the bills, the cooking and food (mostly) and a husband (or does he manage me?). I have a wide social circle that includes good friends (and some not so good but I’m sorting that out!). Why then do I become overwhelmed with crazy feelings of inadequacy, disappointment and fear of being let down? Answers on a postcard. Just kidding – you don’t have my address thank goodness 😅

Anyway, some ‘know it all’ keeps coming up with possible reasons or subtle suggestions as to why this might be happening. Sure enough, when I read up about them I find that this person could, in fact, be spot on.

Today I’m thinking about the feelings of disappointment and not feeling good enough. I hate disappointment. I hate feeling it myself and I hate feeling I’ve disappointed others. Letting someone down is soul destroying for me and I live in fear of being let down. It all ties in with not quite cutting it. Why? Let me see ….

My mum, God love her, has always lived her life as a ‘what if?’, ‘if only’ and ‘we should have’ type of person. I can find it hard to decide what to do sometimes because I’m scared I’ll wish I had done something else and the chosen event/activity will be ruined. This has improved for me but sadly not so much for mum. She’s proud of me but there has always been an undercurrent of ‘I wish Claire had done a different job’, ‘if only she’d married someone more outgoing or wealthy’ etc etc. Sometimes it’s not such a subtle undercurrent with direct statements like “you and your brother went to a good schools and neither of you have done particularly well” and “perhaps don’t wear baggy tops, they can make you look bigger”.

My dad, well he didn’t really have many expectations. I was a girl so why would he? He clearly adored me, his little princess, but all the focus was on my brother to be the sporty champ. Ironically he was never interested in sport and preferred the world of the IT geek! I tried every sport going to prove myself worthy (I just realised that now btw). Over the years he’s mellowed in his opinions of women, a little. He’s proud and very surprised that I’ve achieved all I have. Please don’t misunderstand, my parents are amazing and it’s not my intention to blame them. They have supported me through so much and we none of us are perfect. I love them, I’m just trying to make some sense of this.

In secondary school I had a ‘best friend’. We were thick as thieves for the entire 7 years. She was amazing. She was sporty, beautiful, very clever, popular, cool and loved by all. I was her ‘side kick’. Seriously, I was! She’d get invited to parties and had to beg people to include me. Sometimes they refused. Boys fell in love with her and I might end up with their mate chatting to me if I was lucky! Same at university. I had two girlfriends who were stunning and popular and had a string of men after them. I was the ‘ugly’ friend but a good laugh. Indeed, about 5 men have dumped or left me because they ‘preferred’ one of my friends. Some even got to know me just to get closer to my mates. Don’t feel sorry for me. I was a late bloomer!!!

There are other events that have happened. Some very traumatic and not for this post, but again, all contributing to general disappointment, not feeling good enough and being ‘let down’.

So I guess my period of reflection has allowed me to understand what the feelings are that trigger anxiety and where some of them may have their roots. Now I just have to work out what I do with the feelings when they pop up. Or maybe I do nothing, let them be and accept them. Easier said than done but definitely easier when you are sober! I read something earlier though that I think is important for me to remember:

“people around you won’t disappear or leave just because you’re feeling and showing your emotions in an authentic and OK way”.

Love Claire xx

36 thoughts on “Claire’s Disappointment”

  1. Hi Claire, well on your blog you are no disappointment, that’s for sure. Maybe without the alcohol, certain things are coming into view but you clearly have much to be proud of. Honest reflective post, really interesting but be kind to yourself 🙂 Jim x

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Very honest look at yourself and realize your tendencies (and where they originate) is half the battle. I think you’ll be surprised by the amount of personal growth that you will do while living sober. Feelings are feelings, they are valid and ok to have. They come and go. I agree with Jim, be kind to yourself! You are doing brave, amazing things…nothing unworthy about it!💕xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your lovely and meaningful words. I really appreciate them. It’s a fine balance between honest self discovery and being kind to myself but I think I deserve a rest for a couple of days!! Hope you’re ok xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel like you are selling yourself short! Maybe the self discovery you should be doing is figuring out more about all of the things that make you special and wonderful! It’s hard when it feels like the qualities we have are not valued. Personally, I’m hoping that learning to really love and respect myself will be part of this whole sobriety deal. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi MsNL! The post probably comes across like that but it was more about trying to work out why I hate the feeling of disappointment so much. Plus to help me stop being such a people pleaser, which puts me in situations that damage my self esteem. I feel proud of myself in many ways but I do have ‘reactions’ that are unhelpful. I suppose I’m trying to unpick what that might be a about. I think sobriety does help us to love and value ourselves more. It certainly has in my case! My next post will be all about how fab I am 😉😉 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We do for sure. I think I often relied on drink to make the unpleasant feelings a little more acceptable. Though I’d turn to drink if I was happy, sad, lonely, celebrating, commiserating or if there was a ‘y’ in the day!!!! 😉. Thanks for commenting. And you are right, I am far too over critical of myself. 😁 xx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That is absolutely fantastic! I ❤️ it. I am going to print it, laminate it and stick it on my mirror and my desk at work. It’s a great reminder and that’s exactly why I want to learn to cope with disappointment, in order to persevere and make beautiful things happen! Thanks so much 😊🤗 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome 😊 I wrote this down last year in my bullet journal. I am starting a new one from February and so I was flicking through my pages and got to reading quotes today. I thought of you when you wrote of disappointment. It is a beautiful reminder.

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  4. Claire this is a wonderful post and you are really peeling back the onion layers of how you got where you are today and the underlying processes – not self obsessing but necessary I think to get to the real why of why we drink. If this bit doesn’t happen then it’s more likely we will drink again I think. I think a lot of parents unintentionally can make their children feel ‘not good enough’ if they focus on achievements etc – their intention is to want the best for their children but this kind of parenting often means the child feels they are the disappointment and carry a sense of shame. We can then unconsciously make efforts to avoid these feelings at all costs for ourselves and others (especially our children) but as we are not perfect and life isn’t either they keep catching us! You are so reflective and self aware – I’m wondering if you have ever expressed any negative feelings towards your parents? Just because they didn’t mean it to have this impact on you doesn’t mean you can’t legitimately be angry about it? If you allow yourself to express some anger I think it might help lighten your load so to speak. Love and hugs and apologies for the long reply!💞💞💞

    Liked by 4 people

    1. No apologies for the long reply, it was really helpful. I don’t want to be tempted to drink again so delving into these feelings and where they might originate from is part of that process. These emotions can trigger the anxiety and then potentially the depression which could lead to relying on drinking again.

      I did express some of these negative feelings once, about 3 years ago, but sadly it all came out after too much drink (for both myself and my dad) and was totally unproductive and actually led to a ‘bust up’, with a physical injury for me (accidental but traumatic!). We’ve never discussed it since. They are now both mid 70 and I don’t want to upset them with it. Mum feels guilt and regret ALL the time and I don’t want to add to that.
      Ah the complexities eh? Then I think about my own parenting style and OMG .. what am I doing to my boys!! 😱
      Lots to process.
      I hope you are ok?? Xxx 😘

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m doing ok thanks Claire – had a lovely weekend away but have been flat and tired since – allowing the depression I guess! I don’t think you need to express your feelings to your parents for all the reasons you give – why hurt them, they did their best. More for yourself so you can let it go xx

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      2. Ah I see. I think writing some of it down was the first time I’d calmly considered how some of their behaviours may of contributed to feelings of disappointment and bring let down being so intense and unmanageable for me. I’m only just working out how to describe the feelings when they happen. They feel so overwhelming that it’s hard to make sense of. But yes, I need to address what went on to help me move forward (and hopefully become more positive in my own parenting style!)

        Glad you are doing ok. Flat and tired is a tough one. I often found it harder to feel lacking in emotion or motivation with depression than hyped up with anxiety. Hang on in there xx

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      3. Also the first 2 weeks after taking antidepressants I felt very weird. Like I was outside my own body, watching from afar. It did pass though. Xx 😘

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  5. Hi Claire!
    I hope you are ok! I was also a late bloomer and always had the super fit friends, I know exactly how you feel there 🤪 I suffer a lot with imposter syndrome, always feel like I am about to be found out for being a fraud even though I’m not! So much self doubt all the time especially with the sober malarkey as you’ll know from my previous posts. Never feeling quite good enough is so hard.
    I recently culled my IG and came off Facebook as it wasn’t given me any joy only negative emotions, I unfollowed so many on IG too. I’ve been reading a lot about journaling too, you mentioned writing it down helps, I also find that helps. We should give it a try! Lots of hugs xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve taken Facebook off my phone (not closed my account yet but I think I will do soon). I find I rarely look at Instagram either now. I just find it doesn’t help anything for me. I keep starting a journal but stop after a day or two. I think I should try and persevere with it. So good to hear from you. Hope you’re ok. Xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I admire you so much for sharing this and I can relate at some level. I think I will always be upset with my parents for certain things and I know they did their best and didn’t intentionally make me feel some of the ways I feel. Hopefully soon I will be brave and talk about it as you have. Keep doing you my friend, I’ll keep doing me…..we are doing pretty awesome! You are a pretty kick ass chic!!! Love ya!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s hard to feel negative emotions towards them but I do. That makes me feel very guilty and a bad person because I know they would be devastated if they knew how I felt about some of it. We are doing awesome … you are right. Keeping it real 😉😂🤗 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. awe….I tell ya, my parents would feel the very same way. I would totally break their hearts if I told them my negative feelings towards them. I can’t bear to deal with knowing I made them feel that way, so I won’t share that with them. Try not to feel guilt or a bad person as you are entitled to feel as you do. You can’t help how you feel. ❤ That's what I tell myself anyway. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Honest insight into one’s self, make for progress…you’ll learn, grown and get better with your feelings towards yourself. Life long process. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hmmmm. Sorry I’m reading this a few days late. We know why. All I see in this blog post is a person with feelings, who genuinely cares about others, loves many, has compassion for all and….and….well, is there an “and”? I don’t think so! Seems you have a pretty clear picture of it all my dear. No need to challenge Mom and Dad. They have lived their own lives as they’ve seen fit. It’s so natural for their (and our) kids to see the “otherwise”, other side, and well that’s just the way that it is all meant to be too. All OK. They, and we, and our children, and partners, only want love you see. It is the gift of all gifts. Disappointing others? Hell, we all do that too, always have, always will. Only narcissists feel no guilt or remorse for that, which you clearly are not (a Narcissist). You were also a beautiful and compassionate friend to your friends in school. You know what? They needed your friendship. So Claire, you’re beautiful just the way you are, always have been, and thanks to your sobriety you’re seeing that within yourself as well, and that’s beautiful too, isn’t it? Of course it is. Look at what sobriety brings!!?? Thank you so much for your wonderful compassion and support. 🙏💜

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  9. There’s nothing wrong with introspection. I have learned recently we should feel all our feelings that come up to help us heal. We just shouldn’t stay there. Gotta work through it and that seems like what you’re doing. I relate to feeling unworthy and it’s something I’ve been working on for quite a while. I realized that stemmed from my childhood and I think now that I know that, it will be easier to heal the issue. Just knowing helps get beyond it. You know it too. Great post.

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