730 Deep Breaths

A 730 day journal- documenting the life of a woman with mental illness.

The Expectation of Perfect Control

8 Comments

In my world nothing is perfect. Yet, I live the life of a perfectionist. 

My mind is in shambles, my emotions awry, my stability is lacking, and my income is a big fat pile of diddly-squat.

In school I turned in assignments early, I always got straight A’s, and I was a favorite amongst all of my teachers.

At work I was under constant praise, picking up extra shifts that no one else wanted, and taking the time to go above and beyond.

I excelled at everything I did- music, art, acting, dance, track, volleyball, academics.

I won Spelling Bees.

I had manners.

I was [am] drug-free, alcohol free, baby mama drama free, STD free, and I hold no criminal history or bad driving record.

And all of that, is downright exhausting. 

I have had to be perfect my entire life, sacrificing true development as an individual for fake gold plaques and a few photos in the newspaper.

In adulthood this has messed with my relationships- always expecting perfection from partner’s leads to nothing but bickering.

And that is exactly where I am. 

I have this habit of vocalizing how I feel. Not because I am trying to be cruel or torture someone with the disappointment I feel towards them, but rather because in past relationships I chose to stay quiet and I became a weak human because of it.

The problem I have is when I try to explain why my boyfriend’s drastic allergy to affection is haunting my thoughts, it comes out as more of a collection of things he sucks at.

And I am sure always being reminded of your mistakes and flaws will make the most simple man bitter.

I have decided to approach this new-found intelligence with one burning question.

How will this benefit my life?

Meaning before I remind him rudely that he hasn’t kissed me in 18 hours, I must first ask myself that question.

How will this benefit my life? It won’t. It will sound more like an attack of character. Why must I always stir up trouble?

Rather- I need to take a step back and calmly explain that I need more from him.

And before I spend 4 hours planning perfectly symmetrical rows of vegetables in my garden, ask How will this benefit my life? It won’t I will have wasted four hours of my life on something that won’t affect my vegetable production.

I constantly pressured myself into being the best at everything I did, and during those moments I forgot to just enjoy it.

I suffer from:

  • The constant need to be right. 
  • The constant need to be accepted. 
  • The constant need to point out anything imperfect. 
  • The constant need to be the best at everything. 
  • The constant need to be perfect. 

My newest battle is to recover from perfectionism. To accept my flaws, the things I cannot control. and to let go of all that worries me.

Perfection is an impossibility. 

05.21.13-Lao-Tzu-quotes-letting-go

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8 thoughts on “The Expectation of Perfect Control

  1. So enjoyed this! Thank you for sharing and making contact. I admire your courage to share, be and to do!

    I root for you!!!

    Twanette

  2. Thank you for sharing your story…….I look forward to following, and hope by sharing you will help yourself. You will certainly help others!

  3. Hi Kelly,
    I just want to say a big THANK YOU for writing this. It takes courage, it takes vulnerability, and it is definitely not fun to write about.
    I don’t know you, but I felt I could relate to your struggles right away. My struggles with perfectionism is so subtle, I almost can trick myself into thinking they don’t exist… which in turn makes them bigger because I don’t acknowledge them as a problem. It’s what inspired me to start my blog. By bringing out this struggle into the open, it can be conquered. It will take time, but by staring it in the face and saying, “Perfect does not exist,” you give yourself freedom to move past it.
    I’m rambling, but basically thank you for writing this. It’s amazing to hear another young woman struggling with something I find myself struggling with too.

    Thank you 🙂
    Emily Kay

    • I’m so happy to hear that you were able to find common ground in my writing. You are correct, it has helped bring a lot o my problems to th forefront, and now I just have to beat the crap out of them. I hope you will do the same.

      I completely understand the subtle demands of your mind. I suffer from the same passive-aggressive inner voices!

      Thank you for your compassion, taking the time to write to me, and providing support that was never asked of you.

      You rock!

      And thank you again!

  4. My name is Lisha, and I’m a recovering perfectionist, too. As a mother of two young children, the ability to maintain my standards of perfection became impossible. My therapy became complete when I gave birth to my third child. I realized my illusion was sucking the joy from my life, and from my childrens’ lives as a result. I was able to throw it off, and learned to live by the “good enough” mantra. Two of them are now grown, and the third just turned 13, so order and harmony are returning to the universe. But I’m making a conscious effort not to let perfectionism slip back in and replace joy and contentment.

    For the past 12 or so years, this quote has served as my reminder:
    “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” — Voltaire

    Good luck on your journey.

    • I absolutely adore that quote. I have not heard that one before. Very insightful, thank you for sharing. And thank you for sharing your triumphs and tribulations. That is something I have thought about quite often- how this will effect my future family. That is why I am working on it now, in hopes of working out my ‘kinks’ before it is passed on to my children.

      Thank you for your kind words. And I wish you luck on the continuation of your journey. 🙂

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