Monday, June 28, 2010

Perfectionism attack

I often think of myself as a recovering perfectionist. However, I often stumble and lose the recovering part.

Approximately 70% of the time I'm quite kind to myself. I believe I eat well, am relatively fit, and run my life in a relatively conservative fashion with a good balance between work, friends and home (reading/cat time, house/garden time and husband time). I'm quite happy in spite of my worries and emotional roller coaster rides. And I feel secure in my world.

However! I also experience times of anxiety when my evil perfectionist twin attacks. Suddenly exceeding my monthly parking budget means I'm financially irresponsible and I feel ashamed to have to pay the extra 10-20$ parking costs for the month. The monthly slice of cheesecake and my lunches out are suddenly the leading cause of infertility and endometriosis. My inability to decide on my investments or to decide whether I'm going to d0 my PMP this year is a clear indicator of my inevitable failure to succeed and I'm sure I'll be miserable and destitute someday due to my lack of planning and having wasted all my opportunities when I had them. My cat having a muscle spasm means I'll have to put her down and I've been a horrible terrible owner to the poor creature.

This kind of thinking/anxiety/perfectionism gets me nowhere, except perhaps closer to the next slice of cheesecake. (Thank God for a forgiving metabolism!) It's a familiar pit and I know that it's a pit I can get out of eventually. But boy I wish I could avoid it altogether. I've fallen into it a few times this past week and I'm feeling pissy over it.

However, one good thing to come of it is that I've identified a trigger: change!

Changes I hope to make: more nuts, less meat in my diet, more heat, fewer painkillers to deal with PMS pains, more meditative time, less TV and books in the evenings.

You wouldn't think these few things would have me attacking myself but they do. They do because they may have some affect on something that means a great deal to me - fertility. So I'm hypersensitive about it and I revert to all or nothing thinking. Example: if I don't have the perfect diet, how can I expect to have children. Logically, I know this is insane, but emotionally those thoughts actually hit a very sensitive target.

What I want is to be able to initiate new things, make changes in my life and try different approaches without attacking myself.

Awareness is step 1. Acknowledgement is step 2.

I'm slowly making progress.

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