Gratitude: Failures & Fuck Ups

So, it’s Thanksgiving Eve, and the expected gratitude is slow to rise to the surface in my pensive state of mind. I’ve had a tough year- and a worse last couple of months, hardly something to jump up and down about. In fact, if it weren’t a holiday that “forced” me to stop and think about things, I would continue on my merry way, a daily break down practically imminent, finding me curled into a ball of sobs on the floor like some crazy lady. 

You have been warned.
You have been warned.

Let me just say, depression sucks- and anyone who has any experience with it whatsoever- whether in the first person or otherwise, knows this. I can tell myself over and over again to shirk off my crappy attitude, and to change my mindset, already, and the command will sit at the armored door of my brain, knocking to get in, calling out over and over for entrance. Still, like a raindrop on an umbrella, trickling around the outside of my person, it never nails a direct hit, instead allowing short splashes of positivity, shrouded in frustration at whatever belief I might pluck from my ripe tree of discontent.

Conundrum, indeed.
Conundrum, indeed.

And how often I’m told by those close to me to get my shit in perspective- to stop being a victim, to think of all that I have instead of focusing on all that I don’t have, to concentrate on the good, rather than remembering the bad. And, I hear that- living in the unhappy isn’t a pleasant place to be. But it’s so comfortable in this warm blanket of victimization, and let me tell you something about perspective- she’s a bitch, that one, showing up at the most difficult of times, and always when I’m feeling shitty. Doesn’t she know I don’t want to put things in perspective? I just want to cry.

Forced perspective.
Forced perspective.

But not today, dammit. Instead, in the vein of Thanksgiving, I’m hoping to use Forced Perspective, a technique  that is usually used in photography, filmmaking, or architecture, to help yank the blanket from my shoulders, and allow myself a bit of a break. The object of the Forced Perception technique is to manipulate human perception through the use of scaled objects, and the resulting correlation between them and the vantage point of the spectator. Which in another way of speaking can be interpreted to mean that everything is relative. 

Can't argue with that!
Can’t argue with that!

So with Forced Perspective in mind, I have decided to play along with the whole what-I’m-thankful-for game. And this year, I acknowledge my failures and my fuck ups. Because, yeah, I’m thankful for them. And as my idol Einstein said, “Failure is success in progress.”


Admittedly, it seems odd to be grateful for things that have brought about unhappiness- particularly when I’m feeling in such a funk. But this year has been wrought with opportunities by which to learn from- as many self-imposed as not, and were I to view them any other way, I would never grow into the progress I strive for. And truthfully? Victimization blows.


So rather, on this Thanksgiving, I go beyond merely acknowledging my failures and fuck ups, and alternately, seek out a lesson rooted in them- finding, with that, a morsel of truth in action, and mere crumbs of peace in motion. And, while I do not excuse the actions of either myself or others related to my failures or fuck-ups, in those tiniest of fragments, I find a bit of forgiveness.

Sometimes it's all you can do.
Sometimes it’s all you can do.

And, for this, I am indeed grateful.

10 thoughts on “Gratitude: Failures & Fuck Ups

  1. Thanks for reading, Katie. It keeps me writing to hear that what I have to say speaks to others in their own life. In the end, most of my experiences and feelings are not really unique to me, and that’s why I write the way I do. Thanks again.

  2. This is wonderfully well written, and speaks to my own life. Thank you for sharing, and caring enough to share.

  3. While I agree, and believe, that we must own our shit and take control of our lives to be mentally healthy, I also know that Depression is a disease. Would you ever tell someone with cancer or diabetes to “just get over it?” Of course not! Depression goes into remission and it requires the proper ONGOING treatment and self-care to MANAGE the symptoms but the biology remains. Anyone who says, or expects, any different is either ignorant or an asshole. I love you and I wish you well.

    1. This is the truth, Melanie. Many still hold tight to the antiquated “just get over it” attitude, and that can leave those struggling with Depression feeling even shittier for their inability to do so. Sure doesn’t help anything. Unfortunately, depression has been a huge thing in our life- Jay, Ashton, and myself all have it- and you’re so right about the ongoing self-management of things. And although that is tough sometimes- particularly for Ashton who has struggled so much since he was six years old, it is very necessary. Thanks for reading. Love you. 🙂

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