I’m having one of those days where it feels like everything I do is wrong, where it feels like all I ever do is fuck things up.
Tonight, I was supposed to make calls to people running in caucuses in the next 10 days who are supporting my candidate. I needed to make sure they had recruited people to come vote for them and that they’d entered their information into our database system. Instead, I wrestled with the database system (man, that thing sucks!) for almost an hour to get the lists to work. Then I had to call my regional field director to ask how he wanted me to enter the results of those calls. I did manage to make 5 or 6 calls, but then I was busy the rest of the evening spending quality time with my toilet…by which I mean I was doubled over trying not to cry as I crapped out everything I’ve eaten in the last 14 years.
But there’s this niggling voice in my head saying, “You’re just making excuses because you didn’t want to make those calls. C (the RFD) is going to be mad because those calls were really important. He thinks you’re just a big fuck-up, and he’d probably fire you if you’d actually been good enough to get hired, which you weren’t.”
C has never said anything like that to me. He’s said more than once that I was a “great find,” that I’m very experienced, and that I’m good at rolling with the punches. But that doesn’t feel real to me. Most of the time, I feel like I’m making it all up as I go along. I’m often uncomfortable with the amount of assertiveness required to work a political campaign, and I’m afraid everyone can tell I’m faking it through the anxiety. At least half the time, I have no idea what I’m doing, so I just pretend I know and hope no one notices.
Today, I’m seriously considering the possibility that I do this work because I’m addicted to praise. I need to feel good at something. I need people to tell me I’m capable and valuable and wanted. I need other people’s approval to justify my existence. It’s pathetic, really.
Especially because no amount of approval actually convinces me that I deserve to exist and be loved.