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FACING FAILURE ~ Lori Watson Stories
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“the archive” december 28, 2016

Facing Failure LoriWatsonStories.comFailure is a curly redhead with porcelain skin and curves in all the right places. She sits on the corner of my desk, legs crossed, one foot swinging back and forth, face frozen in a permanent smirk. She knows everything I’m not.

Failure is a statuesque warrior woman with firm muscles under deep brown skin and fire in her eyes. She stands beside my desk, hands on hips, shoulders back- confident in her role as a wonder of a woman. She looks me up and down and snorts her disapproval.

Failure is the frequently changing face. The family member. The forgotten child. The former friend. Failure’s everything I want to be and everything I’ll never be and everyone I disappoint. So many voices in my head. Whispering. Accusing. Judging.

Failure is a brown haired, green eyed screw up covered in weird red moles who tries so hard and wants so much and wonders why she’s so flawed and fragile.

“You failed again,” she says. “You always fail.”

I hang my head, ashamed of the pattern of obsession without follow through. The unfinished manuscripts. Neglected websites. Gaming campaigns awaiting closure. Tests to be created. Relationships left to simmer.

I try and try again. I fail and fail again.

Facing Failure

The ADHD diagnosis gave me a reason. The medication gave me hope. But here I am again, surrounded.

“Failure,” they whisper. “Flawed, unworthy failure.”

I slump in my chair, give in to their attack. The words wash over me; the voices so familiar they’ve become the best of friends.


I lift my head and face my firing squad. My perception of sexiness. My vision of strength. My family and friends, speaking words of memory and make-believe. Me.

They merge into one and I am alone with myself.

“Don’t bother,” I say. “You’ll only screw up again.” I’m so sure of myself, so dismissive. My tone drips with condescension.

Facing Failure

Would I speak this way to a friend? Would I accept this m a friend? No.

I say it aloud.

“I won’t screw it up. Or maybe I will. But I’m still trying. I’m still living.”

I pull my laptop closer to me. Open a document. Give myself a tentative smile.

“I fail,” I whisper. “I’m not a failure.”

I try to believe it. The voices shift perspective, if not tone. We’re a work in progress.

“Stop remembering everything you’re not,” they say, “and forgetting who you are.”

I nod and sit up straighter in my chair. I am stubborn, I am strong, and I will not give up.

At least, not today.





  • Adri Sinclair
    Posted at 10:54h, 02 January Reply

    I must say that reading this, had me all sorts of reflective. There are so many who can relate (me being one of those) and it is often infuriating when we read something of such a sensitive nature, and feel it is misrepresented.
    You did an excellent job on sharing those pesky, internal dialogues. Thank you! <3

    • Lori Watson
      Posted at 11:15h, 02 January Reply

      It’s nice to know someone “gets it”. Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one who argues with herself and doesn’t always win. 😉

      Thanks for the feedback!

  • Dave Burnham
    Posted at 12:08h, 02 January Reply

    Lori, I’m so glad I took a break from my writing to sit back and read your post.

    Facing Failure is one of the most honest, powerful pieces of text I’ve ever read. As writers, I believe we all have those internal struggles to varying degrees but to see it written about so eloquently is amazing.

    Before I run out of superlatives I’ll simply say “well done” on writing such a superbly crafted post.

    • Lori Watson
      Posted at 12:18h, 02 January Reply

      Wow. That’s quite a compliment and I suck at taking compliments. There’s honesty for you. 😀 But seriously, you made my day. There’s not much better than writing from your heart and having someone recognize and understand what you’re trying to communicate. It’s like putting yourself on the page and having others say, “I see you.” And it’s nice to be seen sometimes. Thanks for reading and for sharing your response. Much appreciated.

  • Agnieszka Hałas
    Posted at 15:19h, 03 January Reply

    No, you’re not the only one whose internal voices scream “You’re a failure!”. I can definitely relate. I can sense that you’re doing everything to stay strong and brave and determined, but I know it can be daunting at times. Try reaching out to the tearful child inside you who’s being bullied by those voices and give her a big comforting hug.

    • Lori Watson
      Posted at 15:36h, 03 January Reply

      Some days are easy, some days aren’t. This is a reflection of a not so easy day. I love the visual of hugging the bullied child inside. Will have to try that the next time she’s front and center and needing to be heard. 🙂

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