A Classic Doom Spiral

I wrote this in May and never published it. I was busy…..dress rehearsing tragedy.

“Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience and if you cannot tolerate joy, what you do is you start dress rehearsing tragedy. Dress rehearsing tragedy is imagining something bad is going to happen when in reality, nothing is wrong. “How many of you have ever stood over your child while they’re sleeping and thought, ‘Oh my God, I love you’ — and then pictured something horrific happening? Or woke up in the morning and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, job’s going great. Parents are good. This can’t last.” -Dr. Brené Brown in interview with Oprah

My name is Candice and I can not tolerate joy….

Oof. Brené always keeps it real and it is not what I needed to hear this morning! When she said “you can not tolerate joy”, my knee jerk reaction was a telling sign. I instantly felt defensive. OF COURSE I tolerate JOY! The thing is…..do I? Dr. Brown talks about the armour we build over time and what it looks like. Dress rehearsing tragedy is the best description I’ve ever heard for my brand of armour. I can’t be disappointed if I never get my hopes up, right? I can never be hurt if I don’t let anyone in, right? If I assume all of the worst case scenarios, I’ll be prepared for anything…..right? Right?

The thing is, all the joy is on the other side of the armour. According to Dr. Brown the only way to get to it is to take the armour off. She calls it vulnerability, my mind calls it weak defences. As easy as it is to accept what she’s saying on an intellectual level, it’s harder to put into practice on a personal level. How do you put down your defences when your mind has taken so many hits? If you get stabbed over and over again, how do you walk out the front door each morning without protection? If you do and you get stabbed it’s hard to not see that as your own fault.

I applied for a job. I’ve dedicated the last 8+ years to raising small humans and it is very rewarding, but there are hardships that come with being a single-income family. There’s also a very personal side to watching your friends get degrees and flourish in their careers. A tinge of jealousy I guess. It doesn’t influence how proud I am of them, I just feel a little left behind.

I worked on my resume and wrote my first real cover letter. I survived the first round of interviews, and made it to round two. I think it went pretty well, but now I’m dress hearsing tragedy. I’m trying my best to be positive and think of the good things that could come with getting this position, but there’s always a voice at the back of my mind that says “don’t set yourself up for disappointment”. If I only consider the worst case scenario getting the job is a pleasant surprise right? But it doesn’t stop there, I’m also considering all the hardships that might come with getting the position. Managing schedules, working around the kids, all the organization and prep that comes with it. Doom spiral.

Even if I don’t get it, I’m proud of myself for putting myself out there.



Update since then: I got the job!