We Are Not Perfect

Perfection (Sandra Bernhard song)

Perfection (Sandra Bernhard song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More so in the last ten years than any other year there seems to be this strive for perfection.  People want the perfect family, the perfect job, the perfect mate, the perfect nose, boobs, butt… I could go on forever.  And don’t sit there like you don’t know what I’m talking about, because you see it, too.

Wake up people!  There is no such thing as perfection… none.  So strive away and kill yourself if you must trying to make it, do it, write it, sing it, draw it or look perfect. 

IT. WILL. NEVER. HAPPEN.

But what we can do is strive for perfection.  We can always do better, be better, act better, write better, think better, talk better, love better, work better….. we can always be better.

As an alcoholic (which translates to a sick mo-fo) one defect that plagues me to this day is the defect of “having to be perfect.”   So in a sense, this blog post is written to me along with the rest of my awesome readers because I have been feeling insecure for the past week or so.

Insecurity is my warped devil.  It tells me I will fail at everything.  It tells me I am never good enough or anything else enough.  I have to smash that devil with the hammer of hope.  I have to tell myself that, “yes, I do have flaws, but my flaws are what make me the beautiful human being I am.”

Some days I believe it, others not so much.  This is where my program of recovery comes in to play.

When I compare myself to others, I fall short every damn time.  “She’s this, she’s that. He has this, he has that. Theirs is better.  When am I going to get my just desserts?!”

When I compare myself to myself, I excel every time.  This time last year I was living somewhere else, in a different (loveless) relationship and depressed.  I was overweight (one of my ‘I never’s’) and feeling like total crap.

I made a conscious effort after a mild epiphany to “Strive For Perfection.” And must keep in my mind I will never attain it, but striving for it will and has helped me continue my progress.  Some days I have a mild setback, other days I kick butt!  In the words of Dori in “Finding Nemo” – JUST KEEP SWIMMING.

We are as perfect as our imperfections…

Do you strive for perfection?  Are you a perfectionist?  How do you deal with the demand for perfection in today’s society?

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Those Damn Emotions!

English: emotionsSo I’m sitting there on my couch, I make a comment, someone comments on the comment I make and… BOOM! Commence being up in my head fo the next 36 hours.
“Why did they say that?” “Am I not good enough?” “How can I be better?” “Dammit, my ex’s were right.” “If only I had better(insert trait or quality here).”

Why do I have to take everything so personally?  The truth is, I don’t have to take everything so personally.  I kind of choose to when it comes down to it; we all do. Maybe it is the way I am wired, maybe it is the way I was raised… who freaking knows.  All I know is it ticks me off and while through my twelve step program I have learned tools to combat my inner demons, sometimes they blind side me as I sit there with my soul bleeding through my fingers.

Now, back in the day (like three years ago) I had to let my offender know exactly what wrong they had done me and you can believe, that poor soul wished they never saw me after I was through with them: definitely a form of hostage taking at the highest level.

As I’ve walked this journey of sobriety and self-discovery I noticed something.  I am either really up or really down and when I am in between (very rare) I feel like something is wrong. I do try to be somewhere in the middle and get nervous if I am there for too long.  My boyfriend pointed this out to me.  He said something like, “Babe, blah blah blah.”  The truth is I don’t remember.  But it had something to do with me being up and down.  Had his statement hit me on an emotional level, I would have remembered what he said verbatim.  But it didn’t, so I just shrugged it off.

These days, I have a tendency to still hold resentments (bad ju ju in recovery!) but I handle them in a different manner… sometimes.  I am an emotional creature.  I find that most artists, writers, etc. are more emotional than others.  Maybe that is why we draw and write… I don’t know the answer to that either.

What I do know is that I have a sickening knot in my stomach now and my program flew out the window.  No, I did not drink or drug, but this anger/resentment/rage thing is nauseating.  If I get the laundry done in time, I’ll head to the 7 pm meeting tonight that is right up the street.  And yeah, I say “get the laundry done” because no one else is going to frigging get it done.

So, what should I do when I feel like this?

Call my sponsor.

Call someone else in the program.

Get to a meeting.

What should I not do?

ISOLATE AND THINK…. I am very good at this. I need to unlearn this behavior… stat.

Telling on Ourselves (Step Five)

Steps and shadows

Steps and shadows (Photo credit: abrinsky)

Step Five:  Admitted to God, to ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

A couple of days ago, I posted “That Terrifying Fourth Step” and discussed how there is a palpable fear associated with Step Four.  I never understood that because Step Four is just writing it all down.  Writing down my searching a fearless moral inventory was somewhat unsettling since there are things that come up I never thought were in my head.  But I was okay with writing!  I mean, I am a writer and writing about myself (an egomaniac with an inferiority complex) was right up my alley.

Step Five is when I shared what I wrote with my Higher Power and another human being.  Think about that for a second.  I shared with God and another human being (my sponsor) the exact nature of my wrongs.  All the people I had harmed, all my character defects, all my fears; all of the anger and sadness inside of me had to come out. 

The most rewarding aspect of Step Five was the honesty with myself. I had been lying to myself and justifying behaviors for decades.  I never thought that being honest with me would be a stepping stone to freedom.

Sharing my wrongs with God was easy because my perception of my God changed after I entered AA and began work with my sponsor.  My God had always been a punishing God and I always felt so dirty after any wrong act or thought I ever did or had because I felt that my God would hate me.  Any ill will that came to me was because I was a bad person, did bad things and deserved to be punished.

I talked to my sponsor about my concept of God and she told me I could change my concept of God to what worked for me.  My God did not have to be an all-watching eye in the sky bent on punishing me, but could be a loving God capable of forgiveness.

When I had to share my inventory with my sponsor, I was a little apprehensive.  I mean, I was a people pleaser!  I was who I had to be at any given time; would go to painstaking lengths to achieve the role, no matter how it made me feel.  So sharing all the awful things, terrible thoughts and ideals I had been a little unnerving.

Step Five is no walk in the park. But the sense of accomplishment and self-confidence I felt after completing Step Five was amazing.  I felt lighter and, believe it or not, loved by my God for my honesty with Him, my sponsor and myself.

Have you ever had to tell on yourself?  How did you feel afterwards?

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