Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Recovering Perfectionist?

"Oh would some power the gift give us, to see ourselves as others see us." 

Robert Burns.

At a period in my life I underwent counseling for one problem and came up with a host of others my counselor thought I should work on. Actually it came down to really only one problem which all my other problems seemed to hang on. It was just a shock it was the one I was most in denial about. Perfectionism.

My father was the perfectionist. Not me. My problem was I was not good enough. Never good enough. Not tall enough, not thin enough, not smart enough . . . the list could go on forever. In fact it did. I had to make a list. It is somewhere in one of my many journals I kept religiously before the days of blogs. I was pretty good at that. But perhaps not good enough because I never filled one up to the very last page. And I skipped whole blocks of time.

Making the list of my not good enough's was just one exercise. Another was to do something I was horrid at and rate it as to my skill vs. enjoyment. I don't enjoy doing things I am not good enough at. So I don't do them. My assignment was to be on the office bowling team. My highest score ever in bowling was 120. I roomed with the star of the team who routinely bowled 300. She was a perfectionist in my opinion because bowling is doing the same thing over and over again. I never saw the point.

But I bought the bowling shoes (ugly) the bowling bag and the bowling ball which was suppose to improve my score. And weekly I went bowling with my coworkers in what I have come to call my redneck period. I found that my enjoyment of the activity had nothing to do with how good I was. But there might have been some relationship with how much I drunk. We all drunk. Drinking always improved my pool game but never my bowling game. Cathy bowled 300's drunk or sober.

The lesson I learned somewhere in this whole process is that I was a perfectionist. And that perfectionism can be linked with depression, bulimia, alcohol and drug abuse, and other compulsive behaviors. Even my messy desk and house can be linked because if I am not good enough at something I don't do it. Perfectionism can work for me with somethings but against me with others. I am constantly on the watch for signs of OCD - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. So far I have not laid out all my pencils by size or sorted by brushes by type. But sometimes I wonder if the hamster wheel thinking would stop if I did.

Been thinking about writing this blog for a week. Spent five minutes getting opening quote formatted in the right font. After dropping off tax info at the CPA I am going into my studio and make a huge mess.


  1. I cannot believe I have lost two comments on this blog. I am really, really pissed!


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