The pendulum continues to swing this way and that, always swinging, always has...
For 13 years now I have been in some form of therapy, periods of it more intense than others. I've worked through it, read about it, studied it, truly immersed myself in it. I've shared my knowledge, I've cried over and through it, raged at it and finally accepted it. Accepted that it has brought me to the place that I am today. I'm not just exactly where I truly want to be and know I will be but it's a journey and my time to truly shine I believe, will come. This sharing is a part of my journey.
It takes a long time to have the courage to ask what is my life missing? When will I stop blaming others? When will I actually heal? How will I forgive? It takes a long time to realize that it is only you, your ego and your high expectations of self that hinder you from seeing to the other side or maybe, just maybe it truly is surrender - this is yet to be answered for me.
The path is tortuous, most of you know this path as well as I. The difference between us though, is that you have may have already taken those first brave steps and are now on that path, where I am just truly beginning. The path that you finally decide you have no choice but to take for the betterment of your true, authentic, inner self; for the betterment of your future, one that can be fulfilling, one that you look forward to living in with a sense of joy and peace.
It’s a shifty shoreline path to traverse, there are wonderful moments basking in the light of the sun, where a sense of peace and calm prevails; times spent running in the surf with beautiful children in joy and freedom. There are also times however, that you sink in the sand, lose footing or are suddenly facing the wild force of waves which come crashing in overhead at a moment’s notice. Anxiety that is ever present, fears that stop you dead in your tracks, control issues, trust issues.
You hold fast to old coping mechanisms, the ones that you didn't realize you even had until you finally, one day did. Coping mechanisms - ones you know full well should not and can no longer serve you.
Ah but there is no room in this life for what your perception of failure is, perfection is expected, almost glorified. So many people look to you to stay soft but determined to fix, to be always loving and giving of self, you yourself even hold to stay this way and make this your life's mission; you know you do this though to avoid having to look too closely at yourself.
When does this stop? You see it, can understand the insanity of it, the unhealthy nature of it. 13 years of therapy weren't for nothing right? How do you stop the train surely aimed for a crash in the abyss of emptiness? One that gains more speed with every day, with every stressor, with every heartache, loss and misstep? You know deep down that if you don't get off that train, you will crash into the abyss right along with it.
When will you stop being so willing to stay in your own private personal hell than to truly let others in to help you heal? Those who are willing to accept and love you for all you that you are.
How does one release the glamour of perfection, learn to accept true unconditional love and learn to truly (not pretend) love oneself? In a world where you are everything to everyone, anywhere and anytime (you see the insanity in this right?) but not for the one most important - you.
The work is difficult, there are good days and there are bad, failures and successes. Although in my arsenal today I have more resources and have met courageous beautiful souls that support my journey, I continue to hold onto the control - the perfection. The two coping mechanisms that an emotionally, physically, sexually abused little girl and traumatized teenager has always had, always had to have in order to keep some form and grip of sanity in her life. The mechanisms she naturally built in order to protect herself and all those "loved" ones that surrounded her, who didn't protect her, who were never worthy of the pure, complete love and trust that she gave them.
Perfection masks all, it hides all, allows you to smile and to keep everyone happy when all you want to do is cry and yes, this mask is often easier because crying and acknowledging that little girl just hurts too damn much.
I believe we are all as humans on a journey and recovering from something, it's really about an awareness of soul, introspection and knowledge, experience - wisdom even that allows the room for growth and healing. Some chose to work through it and some continue to want to stay blind to the everlasting unease and distance that it brings to themselves or others and will do so the rest of their lives.
It began for me at an early age with unhealthy emotional bonds, eating disorders, compulsions (healthy and not so healthy) becoming a workaholic and later in life binge drinking. Oh yes, I can stop for a week or maybe and I say this lightly, even two here and there. I can limit myself to a two or three drink rule. I can talk myself into the fact that I am ok continuing to live in this facade of perfection but, to be true when the pain gets unmanageable as it does sometimes for us all, I go hard and I don't care about coming home. My pain and the world with all of its pain can truly go f**k itself.
For now, I will continue to work through my traumas and all that I need to "recover" from but for now I still need control. I cannot yet let that piece go, unless of course I "allow" myself to get 3 shades to the wind and then well, what a wonderful feeling to finally have that tight grip of control released and set free, until as we know, the light of the morning of course!
For now, I remain here in "my place", my perfect, controlled little world, a bubble even, in a battle that I chose to fight still, somewhat on my own. For now, and with full awareness, I am already well into and on my own personal journey to love of self and recovery with faith, hope and God by my side. It's not a recommended course of action for many nor should it be for mine per se but for now, I will take pride in the small steps and be grateful to have you a part of my life, a witness and fellow traveler in my truth, my release of perfection for I am far from perfect.
This post was sent to me anonymously out of fear of exposure and "what would people think" as telling our stories look like small steps from the outside, but are actually feel like huge leaps of faith on the inside. I hope you'll applaud the author's courage to share Letting Go of Perfection in The Search for Surrender by sharing your own thoughts and struggles, so that she might know she is not alone. I also hope her example will encourage more women to submit their thoughts, anonymously or not.
All my Relations - Frances Stone, Ms. Recovery Writes
Frances Stone is the Author of A Reflection of Love ~ A Different Kind of Love Story, a Recovery Counsellor and a Radio Co-Host of Talk Recovery Vancouver, a show about addiction and recovery issues, located in the DTES of Vancouver, BC. In her spare time, she does laundry and mothers three clever, curious and challenging little humans.