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I did it my way

I participated in a three-day challenge on Facebook, organized by the group Timidity and self-confidence. In this course, I answered these questions:

1. What are the fears that prevent you from moving forward?

I only know one fear but it is very strong that one, and it is the fear of being ridiculous. I'm always wondering if I'm not making a blunder, and if I'm not off the mark. My adored cousin (and it is with a heavy heart that I recall her memory: 36 years ago, she ended her life at the age of 25) said to me: "But it is precisely because you have the false feeling that we are constantly walking on broken glass in life, that you are making blunders! Cool man! Let yourself live!” She concluded by telling me:” I say little stupidities all the time, it prevents me from saying big ones!” Meditate on that!

2. What stories do you tell yourself?

1) I am 66 years old. I have a mental illness (schizoaffective disorder: depression + schizophrenia), I have been recognized as disabled and I have not worked for 17 years.

2) My professional life was a total fiasco. After finishing engineering school (the pride of my life), I worked first in France then in Israel in an incalculable number of companies, only to be fired each time, either for professional reasons or because I didn't know how to communicate with people.

3) My social life was also a failure. I spent long years without having any friends, or having only one friend whom I monopolized and to whom I clung to like a lifeline.

4) My love life, let’s not talk about it! I was married only once. My wife left home and filed for divorce after 18 months of putting me through hell. Needless to say, we didn't have a child, or even had sex, which must be a unique case in the annals.

3. What other story could you replace them with?

1) What you are saying here are not flaws, but facts for which you are not responsible, this is what the people who love you and the doctors keep telling you.

2) A TOTAL fiasco? Calm down ! First of all, not everyone is admitted or ends up with an average of 78.4/100 in your engineering school. Then, while it's true that I always ended up being fired, there are several prestigious companies in which I worked and where I was appreciated for some time, and if they accepted me in their staff, I was able to convince them first during my job interview, despite a CV that did not plead in my favor. As for professional reasons, I repeat that I was sick, that it was not my fault and that I was not being treated. Today I am a member of a club, I write a blog, I am active in several Facebook groups, in which I write posts, some of which are highly appreciated by readers, I improve my English, I am learning Arabic, I play in a chess club, I take piano lessons and a memory development course (among other things!). I tell you all this because 17 years ago, when I stopped working, I was unable to do anything but sleep all day and dream in front of my television set. According to the psychiatrist, I am in almost total remission, and I have the merit of never having given up (I have never been unemployed except for short periods of time, and I have never considered giving up my engineering profession). My communication skills have also improved remarkably (see what I say in answer to 3). If I cannot demonstrate it formally, everything I have just said proves, it seems to me, that my career would have been quite different if I had been treated and therefore if I had had the abilities that are mine today.

3) Today, I have lots of friends and I keep making them. And yet I remained the same. How did I do this? I explain it in detail in my blog

4) I am still single but I no longer suffer from loneliness at all, because as I said I have a lot of activities.


Recently, I asked to take a course in order to work as a coach. My application is currently under consideration but I have excellent recommendations, especially from the director of my club. He asked me what mission I could accomplish as a coach, for example, I offered to give lectures on my blog, which deals with mental illness and personal development. My director thought the idea was excellent. I come to: THE THING THAT STILL SCARE ME TODAY BUT WHAT I COMMIT TO DOING BEFORE TOMORROW IS... Well, in this course I’ll have to speak in public. I must say that the very few times I have tried this exercise have been catastrophic. I'm curious how I'll do now.

Share your success on the Facebook group to inspire others...

I authorize you to publish ANYTHING I have just written on Facebook. I draw neither glory nor shame from my journey. I make my own the words of Paul Anka in the song My Way, sung by Frank Sinatra (the American version of the song "Comme d'habitude" by Claude François, but with entirely different words. I tell you a few sentences of this song.

And now, the end is near (I'm 66) And so I face the final curtain Regrets, I've had a few But then again, too few to mention

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew When I bit off more than I could chew But through it all, when there was doubt I ate it up and spit it out I faced it all, and I stood tall And did it my way

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