Perfectionism….The Silent Killer

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“Healing myself took a thousand times more courage than fighting the world ever did. But I am living proof that a bent and broken life can turn around.”                          Teal Swan

This is written on Teal Swan’s blog (formerly Teal Scott) yesterday and today. You can read it here.  It was a powerful piece that as soon as I read this line, I knew this was the platform that would allow me to find words to where I am.

Perhaps it’s the ego saying, you are SO close to overcome this stuff, that we want to make sure that we are louder than you are, so you won’t have any say here. It’s very possible, because the contrast in my life is big and loud and making it impossible for me to move.

Some of it really is my reserves tapped out and I am running on empty.  I just need to rest, but life with a working husband and small children doesn’t cater rest. So the energy output to make the changes in and of itself, is effort and makes me tired.

So where am I? Well, I could say in quicksand, but that doesn’t fee true. I am in the center of the all the shit that I have refused to speak out loud. All the shame and all the fears and all the denials and all the resentments/angers and all the hiding have unleashed in me and are facing me head on. I have yet had anyone to talk it all out. So as it keeps coming out, I keep swimming in all of it. My relationship with my husband, my relationship with my son, my voice to set boundaries so I may have balance, are all being felt in every direction. Either I stifle and please, or I speak up and piss people off.

The fall out from being sick surprised me to see that things got worse in my closest relationships. (As opposed to bringing us closer) Setting boundaries for the sake of “taking care of my need to rest” pushed a lot and the push back brought up more stuff for me to chew on. My hope is I can find the courage for more transparency in the months to come. It will help so many people.  I just don’t know where the courage will come from. 

Asking for help was one of the lessons that has come out of this. So now spending half of January seeking help is throwing me up against that wall. The wall of worthiness, the wall of shame, the wall of embarrassment, and the wall of fear, not to mention the wall of courage. When I was really really sick with the cellulitis and didn’t know what I had, the “I don’t know what to do” was really strong and the lack of clarity was really strong and who do I reach out to wasn’t clear and not being understood and not being heard and not being appreciated for how much physical pain I had been in (with the children here and my husband out-of-town for the week) was all too much for me. Mostly because I wasn’t in my right mind. It created a lot of anxiety and emotional fall out (because it was very serious and I could have died). Still not wrapping my brain around that one because I was so out of it.

Some of the other lessons about Adrenal Exhaustion and  letting go of control have been a huge eye opener.  I had no idea that Adrenal Exhaustion is about feeling responsible for EVERYTHING.  Then I learned the solution to adrenal exhaustion is TEAMWORK.  NOT THAT!  Oh No!  Seriously walking into a big conundrum here.  Letting go of control.  Letting go of how I work with others.    How do I let go and surrender and allow myself to not be inconvenienced  or better yet, have other people inconvenienced by the choices of letting go and the dreaded Asking for help.   For me I have been questioning so much about this fine line between directing traffic and surrendering to Divine Will.  This Divine Will is what I aim for and what I pray for.  For Divine Intelligence to intervene and bring me what I need, so I can stop controlling all the outcomes everywhere because I am so afraid of what will happen if I don’t.  This is a life lesson for me that is painful!  It is causing me much distress.  I think part of the asking for help when I was sick had a lot to do with safety.  Trusting what came to me was going to be ok.  But because I wasn’t in my right mind, I wasn’t thinking clearly at all.  So I can not berate myself over this.  I just wish it had gone differently.  

I have been inspired so much by Rachel Stafford’s newest blog post “One Bold Move, Two Healing Words”.  I feel she is a guardian angel and has given me so much freedom to believe that I will overcome all of this.  I believe I will, I just need the therapist.  I suspect 2014 is going to be my “breakdown/breakthrough” year.  Can’t wait!  not…

She shares a universal language to all of us (especially moms) about “taken on too much and allowing the distractions to take over and not be present” and how to release yourself from that bondage. This quote from Teal Swan sums it all up for me. The courage it takes for me to heal my shame and my fears are far worse than fighting the world. I am grappling with the “How to” open up to all that is swimming around me that has come up. And all because I have so much fear of what “other people will think”. The whole perfectionism that Brene Brown is talking about. It’s slapping me over and over again. The being scared is out winning the being brave. Maybe that’s why all I want to do is paint. It’s the only way I can express myself right now in my truth and authenticity without being afraid of what other people will think, but painting does nourish my soul and fill me up, so I don’t think that’s the only reason I am painting.

Perfectionism was not something I felt I was (I just thought I always had high expectations), but now I realize it is everything that I am. The pleaser, the “oh it’s ok, don’t worry”, the “if I don’t do it, it won’t get done” believing. Finding the tools to overcome this will be such a relief! I look forward to the day that my practice of wholehearted living is living me and not perfectionism.

I am grateful to have found two things with great clarity this week. One was a beautiful exercise from Louise Hay. It was EXACTLY what I needed to do. Write down on paper, I love myself, therefore.….and finish the sentence. Keep writing it down and then say it out loud. Do this everyday. It’s powerful. It’s so powerful that I actual believe some of the things I am saying now.  I think the one that resonates the strongest is “I love myself, therefore I can be happy.”

The other exercise I started this week is a guided meditation in my head talking to all my parts saying (for example talking to my heart, kidneys, lungs, and then doing it with my family, etc…) “I love you and accept you as you are. You are perfect in your imperfection.” This has brought me great peace. I am fighting the perfectionism battle with in. Accepting that everything is perfect in its imperfection is something that I have never done and it is something I must now do. Starting with myself and everyone around me. If I don’t, the suffering that is embedded in my psyche will do me in. I can no longer live in silence and the silence is not silent in my heart and mind. It’s desperate and desperation is where the fight for courage will possibly get me through.

I still haven’t seen my therapist yet. I went to my appointment two weeks ago only to find out I went to the wrong place (he’s one of the only therapists with a different office/location from that group). I needed so much to start 8 weeks ago, but today I get to finally start.  I hope we are a good fit.  I won’t know until I get there.   The waiting has been difficult because more and more stuff keeps ripening with no outlet for me. I did finally call the mental crisis hotline one night just to talk and cry. She said something really helpful. She said I don’t need to know how to fix anything, I just need to feel better.

So I am doing what I can to feel better. Painting makes me feel better, resting makes me feel better and the writing exercises and meditation I posted are helping. Although, I did more than I should have the last 2 days and woke up with a terrible sore throat as the damp cold penetrated in me again. My immune system and my body are serious about the rest thing. I am in a conundrum as to how to get the rest and the help with young kids and a working husband. I don’t have family that can come and take over while I take a week or two to do nothing in a nice sunny place. This is where some of the internal fighting is. In December, I knew I needed to do less, but it wasn’t heard and now I have the fall out from that. So, now I need to step up to really take care of myself and I haven’t a clue as to how to make it real. I am taken back by this fear and lack of courage I have to speak out.  I pray the answers will reveal themselves soon, because I am very afraid of what will happen if I don’t.

 

3 thoughts on “Perfectionism….The Silent Killer

  1. Thank you for sharing your story! I am sure that there are many who will read this and find comfort in knowing that they are not alone. I pray that your appointment with your therapist went well and that you got some help! Sending healing thoughts and joy your way! May your spirit guides and angels lift you up! Much love to you!

  2. Well, I am not sure I found the right fit or not. I was pretty emotional getting there because I couldn’t find it (whereas last time, he forgot to give me the correct location). He was very professional/neutral and I have only the word from a friend of mine as to how he helped her. However, I mentioned that we have looked for a play therapist for our son for years and haven’t had any luck. He suggested an associate of his and I had my husband look her up. He sent an email back suggesting that we all see her together. I think I resonate with her better just from her picture and from what she wrote about play therapy. The Emotional Behavioral Understanding course I took with Patty Wipfler covered the same concept as what she does and since I have play issues of my own, I think it would benefit me to work with a play therapist! I will at least meet her and get a sense. My angels are definitely helping me, now if I can just pay attention and use my intuition better and let go of my fears. Thank you for your support, it means a lot.

  3. Be well, Shakti, both physically and mentally. I see you making progress all the time, and I’m proud of you and happy for you. I’m going through some things of my own, both physically and mentally, and I am a different person than when I started my process. I resonate with so many things you say on your blog, so you’re helping at least one person, even if that wasn’t your original goal. Muah, girlfriend.

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