Violence is never the way but sometimes I want to throttle my husband for his unwavering ‘look on the bright side’ attitude at life’s setbacks and disappointments. Sometimes I just wanna wallow in self-pity, you know? Like throw myself one big pity party where I can mooch around in my comfy pyjamas and eat a ton of salted caramel ice-cream. Maybe while watching trashy reality TV so I can laugh at those poor suckers and their life choices. You know, the usual way people deal with these things. But my husband’s eternal optimism and blunt honesty has a way of making me feel guilty for wasting energy on emotional angst and despondency.

“Go for a walk for school pickup. You’ll feel better with fresh air and exercise.”

I would but you know, I have that thing, with my shoulders and my ankle. Also my hip. Most importantly, I have an allergic reaction thing to sweating. It’s just out of my control. Exercise is not meant for me.

“Drink more water. You shouldn’t be drinking alcohol.”

This statement certainly has merit. I don’t drink enough water. Last time I drank a glass of wine, my daughter made an observation. Pointing to the wine label, she exclaimed “Mummy, it says here that women with big tummies should NOT drink this!”

“I don’t think you need to eat that bag of chips.”

I feel it should be a major faux pas for partners to comment on snack habits. I’ve heard the late-night pantry door opening and the sound of bag crinkling. Pot calling the kettle black much?

Recently, an editor from an overseas online literary magazine commented on one of my blog posts and suggested I consider submitting my work for publication. At the time, I was hesitant to send anything. My last attempt at literary publication saw the obliteration of my confidence in writing due to the callous way in which one of the editors ripped my work to shreds. But my husband encouraged me to follow through with this submission.

“What have you got to lose?”

When the blog post was accepted for publication, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe that someone from around the world would come across my work and actually seek me out for publication. I didn’t think my writing was good enough. Instantly, I commented that perhaps they were short on submissions and I only got in to make up the numbers. My husband reprimanded me for such negativity.

“What does it matter how you got accepted? It’s pointless to ponder. You know you have gotten better each time you write.”

I let myself feel a little proud of the achievement. Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding with requirements on work previously published on blogs and so the accepted blog post I submitted was withdrawn. To say I was disappointed is an understatement.

“What are you going to do about it?”

What can I do? It is what it is, right? Surely, now is the time I reach for the ice-cream tub and tuck in.

“Write another piece. Don’t sabotage yourself because you are afraid of failure and rejection.”

For someone who grew up feeling deep shame when I failed at something, it’s a difficult task to realign my thinking. The intensity of negative feelings like frustration, insecurities, defeat, anger, remorse and disappointment are unappealing to cope with, let alone shame thrown into the mix. But at some point in life, you have to make changes if you want to improve your quality of life and grow as a person.

So what can I do? Own my fear. Be conscious of my actions and efforts so not to sabotage myself. Believe in my self-worth and build a resilient me. Put my best foot foward and write a piece for submission! What have I got to lose?

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