I’ve always considered myself to be a perfectionist, have been known to stay up all night finishing projects (with no deadline), just because I felt like I couldn’t take a break. So hyper focused on trying to achieve perfect results that I don’t- that I can’t– allow myself to rest until it’s done. Not an example of me being ‘in the zone’, but an example of me experiencing time blindness, a common symptom of ADHD, whereby, excessive time is spent chasing the unattainable- ‘perfection.’
‘Unattainable’ because, perfection is actually nothing more than an illusion. Existing as a concept in ‘the eye of the beholder’, I will never achieve ‘perfection’, so high are the standards I set for myself that I’ll never not think ‘it could be better’/I’ll never look at something I’ve written/made etc. and think, ‘that’s perfect.’ You’d think that I’d stop chasing it (perfection) given this then, wouldn’t you? Never. I’m too much of a perfectionist to give up
(oh, the irony).
It is for this very reason why I ended up sectioned at 16, because I couldn’t give up, chasing perfection, slowly killing myself along the way…
I started running at 15 and, in my determination to be the best, to win races and to break records, I very quickly became obsessed. ‘Healthy’ eating and running became my hyperfixations- preservative behaviours that I felt like I had to do otherwise the world would end… My whole life taken over by food and exercise, no one could understand why I was so ‘obsessed’, which was frustrating when, to me, food and exercise were the only things that I felt like I could understand… Something to give me a focus, a sense of control, in a world which otherwise felt unpredictable- so very much out of my control…
Now, at the age of 22, although I’m ‘over’ that part of my life in terms of Anorexia, something which I’m not over, never will be over, is perfectionism. Albeit taking a different form- food and exercise are no longer my hyperfocuses- perfectionism continues to manifest itself in most, if not all, areas of my life. From getting dressed in the morning, to writing blog posts like this one, I go over and over things in my head, driven by an almost frenzied need for everything I think/say/do to be ‘just right’- ‘perfect.’ Again though, perfection is unattainable, and so, ultimately, I’m fighting a losing battle.
And so, knowing this, I’m trying to be kinder to myself, gentler, as I accept that; whatever I do is enough, and that, I don’t need to be ‘perfect’, I just need to be