I listened to an episode on the bubble hour about perfectionism. I’ve never really seen myself as a typical perfectionist. I was really surprised to learn that many alcoholics have this trait in common.
I was also flabbergasted to learn that I fit the profile.
A couple of signs that you might be a perfectionist:
1) You’ve always been eager to please.
2) You know your drive to perfection is hurting you, but you consider it the price you pay for success.
3)You’re a big procrastinator. (fear of failure to thank for this one)
4)You’re highly critical of others.
5) You go big or go home.(black and white thinking)
6) You have a hard time opening up to other people.
7) Obsessing over every little mistake you make.
8)You take everything personally.
10)You’re never quite “there yet.”
Perfectionism is often accompanied by depression and eating disorders. I tick both those boxes.
I’ve always felt like everyone else in the world has their shit together and I don’t. I had to try and fake my way into looking like I had my shit together, so the way my life looked on the outside was of utmost importance.
Throughout my addiction my kids were always well turned out, house was for the most part tidy and organised and all was well. Toward the end of my addiction though the chaos started creeping in and I couldn’t maintain my ‘perfect image’ any longer. Things went downhill fast. I got sloppy. I hate sloppy. This caused more shame and continued the spiral downward so much faster than I was ready for.
Oprah did an interview with Dr Brene Brown about perfectionism and authenticity.
Oprah summarised one of her “a-ha” moments as “Perfectionists are ultimately afraid that the world is going to see them for who they really are and they won’t measure up.”
Dr. Brown agrees. “I call perfectionism ‘the 20-ton shield.’ We carry it around thinking it’s going to protect us from being hurt. But it protects us from being seen.”
I’m so glad listened to that episode because I’ve had my own a-ha moment. Now that I know that this is what is driving me, I can consciously recognise it and try to do something about it.
Hey world, this is me, I might be deeply flawed but for the first time in a really long time what I think, say and do is in alignment and that is such a massive relief!