Mental Health & Wellbeing Matters: you really can’t win them all

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In our space on the site where we chat about mental health, a few thoughts on trying to win every fight and why it’s a losing battle.

Hello and a very warm welcome to the little bit of the site we reserve for chat about mental health, wellbeing, and generally looking after ourselves. There’s no magic elixir here, and we’re very aware that not every piece we run will be of use to every person. But still, hopefully there’s something across this weekly collection of articles that may be of use at some point.

This week, just the general acceptance that oftentimes in life, we all get our asses kicked. That few things quite go to plan. And getting through life means navigating that as difficult as it may be.

Appreciating that the vast majority of us aren’t insanely rich and doing our best on a day to day basis, there are going to be testing challenges just to get by. This isn’t news of course. But outside of making ends meet and getting through difficult days, it’s worth acknowledging too that it’s impossible to be a human being and not get on somebody’s nerves at some point. It’s impossible to avoid making mistakes. It’s impossible to make everybody happy. It’s impossible to not hurt people accidentally. These things happen, and they can be horrible to live through.

Yet these are the ideals that many of us find ourselves trying to live up to. And if we do piss someone off, or mess something up, or something doesn’t quite go to plan, it’s very easy to start beating ourselves up for it. There are patterns of life where it feels like everything goes wrong in batches. That if ten things are going to go wrong in a week, the ten will come at once, rather than being evenly spaced in a way that makes it possible to at least deal with. And then it’s easy to start feeling in a cyclical rut.

Life is full of pitfalls, and things waiting to kick the shit out of us. But the fact that we find a way through is quite something, as tough as it may be.

I fully appreciate that this is a meandering piece, meandering even by the usual standards of this column. But it’s at heart a conversation about giving ourselves just a little bit of slack. To as best as possible temper expectations about what we’re able to do, and how we’re able to cope, and what life will throw at us in return.

Not for nothing is this article entitled ‘you can’t win them all’, but built into that is the fact that many of us are trying to. And when we don’t, it hurts, we feel like failures, or just are generally a bit shitty to ourselves.

Humans are imperfect. You’re imperfect. I’m imperfect. At the very least, it’s worth recognising and acknowledging that. It might be hard to do in the midst of a particularly bad day. But heck, it’s still worth a try.

You all take care and look after yourselves.

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