On stubborness

My goal after my depression was to strive and better myself. I met some goals, others failed dismally, and still others I have yet to obtain.

I may never achieve all that I strive to reach, but that is not the point. The thing is to try. One has already failed who has not made the attempt of trying to do something you put your mind to.

Some people whom I grew up with used to think I was stubborn. I struggled to play games or sports with my brothers and my friends. I may not have been expert, but always gave it my best. The stubbornness worked to my advantage. It helped me to try to do things most people thought I could not do; however, there were limits.

I remember the winter before my fourteenth birthday, after a number of years of trying to learn how to skate. After yet another frustrating attempt and me not having shown any improvement whatsoever. I came home in a huff and threw down the skates. My father upon seeing this asked me what the matter was. I explained that I have been trying for years to learn how to skate, but I was not showing any further improvement. I told him that I had enough and that I would never put on skates again. He laughed and said, “I was wondering how long it would take you before you gave up. It took you long enough.” We both had a good chuckle after that.

My being stubborn helped me to push myself. When I started working, I always gave it my all. I had bosses tell me that they underestimated what I was able to do (and on more than one occasion).

In my late teens and early twenties. I lost this drive when I went through my depression stage. My depression was a result of lack of self-worth and confidence. I started to believe the so call professionals in my life who told me (with no malice) that I could not do this, or I could not do that. They wanted me to be realistic about my life choices, but they wiggled away at my self-confidence in the process. I gave in.

I stopped trying, or striving for the things that I wanted. To be fair some of my goals were unrealistic and probably unattainable, so it was not their fault completely. What kept me there though was worrying about the past, the present and the future. It became a circular thing and I could not see anything but despair.

My disability was not the only issue. Being a loner, in my late teens and early twenties, never helped.

My being a secretly gay person did not help either. Although, I did not want to admit this even to myself. As a good Catholic, I tried to ‘pray the gay away’ to no avail. It was hopeless.

After I hit rock bottom, I started to get some help.

It was slow going, but I went back to the start. I relied on the support of my parents (as I should always have). Small steps grew into great strides. I went back to school, and where I once was meager, I was now excelling. My confidence grew with every success. Eventually, I got my drive and determination to succeed back.

I never looked back.

Robert Confiant 23 February 2015 (mod 12 March 2016)

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