You ever feel like you finally have your shit together and your head screwed on properly, only to realize that you have just been sticking your head farther in the sand than you ever thought possible? That you weren't moving forward or anything approximating that, but really just sinking past several red flagged false bottoms with willful blindness? That for as fast as you thought you were running, it was just in circles and -- by the way -- running in circles? Makes you dizzy and disoriented.
When you find yourself confronting such a reality, you have several distasteful options:
1. You can continue the pattern unabated and throw yourself firmly and permanently under the bus. Flame the hell out and really see it through to the true bottom. There is a certain commitment with this option and it very may well end in white jackets and medications. At the very least, you saw it through.
2. You can wallow in your stupidity and revel in the fact that you're soaking in it. This could involve anything from never leaving your bed to tearful drunk dials to "friends" whom you haven't spoken with in years. I am fairly confident this option ends in a wholesale adoption of The Secret or some other self help mantra, which will make you popular with your more well-adjusted friends. Particularly when you offer your insights once you've figured it all out.
3. Denial. Pretend you had it together the whole time and act "as if." As if you were always in on the joke and always knew you weren't fooling anyone. It takes some steely nerves to pull this one off and almost no one will buy it, but if you stick to the script, you can at least be consistent. Consistency should not be underrated.
4. Own it entirely. Confront it, take responsibility for it, learn from it, change your behavior, one step at a time, and don't let it paralyze you. The only way to make progress and move forward is to build some momentum towards where you are trying to go and momentum requires steps forward, no matter how small.
4 is my lucky number, so I'm going to circle that choice.