I used to think that I was not a perfectionist. How could I be? Afterall, I am far from perfect. It was not until my first time in treatment where I learned that perfectionists are not perfect, they strive to be perfect. I thought long and hard about this until coming to the conclusion that, yes, I am a perfectionist. Now, this post is not really on perfectionism, per se, but I am more than happy to do a post centered around that if you all would like! This post is more about my struggle and reflections on the broad topic: my struggle with not being perfect and feeling the pressure to be perfect all of the time, in my recovery and really in every aspect of my life.
Today I was hanging out with my best friend. We met up in Starbucks and chatted for a while, and then we went shopping. I was really wanting to go and look around in the store Francesca’s. My friend loves this store, too, so we went. Of course I found a million things that I loved and could have bought. I am not sure if this is part of my OCD, but whenever it comes to making purchases, I am SO very indecisive. I thoroughly look at everything that I like, compare prices, quality, and weigh out the pros and cons to buying the item. I think through where and how I will use the item, and try to predict if it will be a worth while purchase. Now, this may just sound like being frugal or careful, and there is nothing wrong with that! But I think this goes a step further for me, it consumes my mind and after my purchase I have a never ending spiral of thoughts and feelings of guilt. Anyways, I am digressing a bit. What I really wanted to get to was that, after much contemplating, going back and forth, and feeling a bit embarrassed about how long it was taking me to come to a decision, I decided to buy a shirt. My friend picked this shirt out when we first went into the store. I liked it, but convinced myself I was not going to buy it. At the last minute I decided to get this shirt too. I really liked the message that was written on the shirt. It read: what a beautiful mess.
A beautiful mess. Those words just resonated with me so much. I could identify with them, and it was almost like that shirt was made for me…because that’s EXACTLY how I feel sometimes. Normally, I would tell you that I just feel like a plain, old mess (haha!). But I like adding the ‘beautiful’ in there, because well, it puts a positive spin to the phrase! We are all beautiful in our own unique ways, regardless if we are, or perceive ourselves to be, a mess.
Today I was experiencing feelings of immense guilt over the fact that I am not always perfect in my recovery. There are reasons for feeling this way that I am not going to share here, but I will say that certain actions and events that took place lead me to feeling like I just am. never. good. enough. No matter what I do, it is never enough! Sometimes I feel like I am jumping to reach a bar, or set of standards that are held for me, but can never quite make it to that level, you know? That is when I have to remember that I am NOT perfect, and that is okay. Sometimes I need to be reminded that I am good enough. And when no one else reminds me, it is up to me to remind myself. Then, there is the issue of saying “oh well, I am not perfect so I will continue to slip today and not try” (referencing to using ED behaviors) because I am guilty of thinking this way as well! I think it is important to find a healthy balance, to be somewhere in the middle. As a person who has never really been, well, balanced, this is a difficult task to accomplish!
A beautiful mess. I like those words, that phrase. No one has it 100% together all of the time. Even when you think someone does, there is always something going on behind the scenes that you don’t know about. We cannot judge a book by it’s cover. I think that each and every one of us are just beautiful messes trying the best that we can.