I’m a perfectionist. And as a perfectionist, I’m rarely satisfied with… well… anything. I always want better – even if better doesn’t really exist. There is no such thing as “good enough” for a perfectionist. It is truly an exhausting way to live. Because I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill overachiever. I’m talking about never feeling adequate even with straight As. Feeling like you’ve not gotten enough done even when you work a 60 hour week. Feeling unrecognized even when awarded accolades. You simply never feel good enough. Honestly, it can be debilitating.
Jane has helped me tremendously over the past few years – helping me recognize how much my perfectionism was running my life and helping me learn to accept the lack of perfection in both my world and myself. But I have backslides. And those backslides hit like an avalanche. I can go into a tailspin, unaware of how easily I fall into my familiar habits: working too much, isolating myself, neglecting the things I enjoy, deeming myself unworthy, etc. Perfectionism can be a slippery slope to depression and anxiety.
After my last backslide, Jane and I were able to recognize the signs leading up to it. In theory now, when I see these signs, I can make changes and keep myself out of the tailspin. But like a lot of things, it’s easier said than done. All I can do is my best, even if it isn’t perfect. No matter how hard that is to accept.