I am ready to shoot Perfectionist in the rear end with a horse tranquilizer.
This morning I woke up feeling absolutely awful. My mind was swimming in negative thoughts like:
You’re a failure.
What are you doing? Life is not worth it.
Just end it.
The only thing you’re good for is being depressed and anxious.
Literally, NO ONE wants to deal with you.
Yeah. Welcome to my brain on a bad day. Harsh. I know. I sat on the edge of my bed listening to these thoughts intently. Giving them my attention and letting them sink in. Looking at the clock (9:15), I remembered I had a physical this morning (at 8:00am) which I obviously missed so that did a great job of affirming some of the above thoughts. After convincing myself to get up and reheat yesterday’s coffee, I pulled out my journal and tried to sort out what was causing this, to be frank, shit show.
Cue Perfectionist. She is frantically spewing out comments about how we are doing this hiatus all wrong. We aren’t being productive enough. We are too depressed. Anxiety won’t stop sending everyone into panic attacks. Depression is getting her depression all over everything. “If we are going to embrace our imperfections, we have to do it perfectly so we are perfectly imperfect because we still have to be perfect even when we are imperfect…”
I really don’t care what kind of tranquilizer. Just double the dose and hand it over.
My ‘depressed self’, let’s call her Dee, is cowering in the corner, sobbing. ‘Anxious self’, let’s call her Annie, is under a table rocking herself back and forth, chewing on the ends of her hair. I can feel myself looking around and thinking, “How in the hell did we get here?!”. I march up to Perfectionist, plant both hands square on her shoulders, and tell her to shut up and sit down. Enough is enough. I wave the loaded tranquilizer threateningly in her face.
Suggesting there is a ‘perfect’ way to be imperfect is so infuriating. Suggesting there is a wrong and a right way to figure this out cements that there are only two ways to do this. Can we just banish those words from our descriptive category? In so many aspects of life, we lock ourselves in to these two categories; when to get married, when to have kids, when to buy a house, when to grow up and get your act together already. Seriously. Right and wrong have GOT to go. Unless I’m taking a true/false exam, take a hike.
I am desperately trying to work through this complicated mess of a mess and I’m quickly discovering the task is on the same level as putting together a 2,000 piece puzzle and your little brother just stole seven of the pieces and flushed them down the toilette.
There should never be a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do this. There should be helpful and unhelpful, encouraging and discouraging, healthy and unhealthy ways. Just to name a few.
So I’m walking around to all the different parts of myself and confiscating there right and wrong buttons. Hand them over. We are done with this labeling system. Everyone get’s a pen and paper and you pick a different word that we can actually process and have a conversation about. Lawd hamercy- if someone even thinks about writing down right and wrong…
So. Todays challenge: Rather than label things as right and wrong in this process, we are going to assign descriptive words that have significantly more depth to them. Words we can have conversations about. Ones that do not solely condemn or sanctify. It’s going to be tough. And I feel like I am going to have to babysit Perfectionist 99% of the time. But. We’ll give it a go anyways.
“I am confident of this. The Lord has begun a good work in me and I believe He will bring it to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 [Paraphrased]