Perfectionists Anonymous


We're all guilty of this at one point or another.

Hello, my name is Lulu. And I am a perfectionist.

I have at least six half-written posts ready to roll out. Each contains explanations of what has been going on in my life lately. Yes, I’m aware that nearly a week has elapsed since I posted anything.

Why don’t I release any of them? Because, they aren’t quite right. None of them are actually completed. And every time I read them, I deem that there are entirely too many non sequitur tangents, and start editing. Before you know it, I pulled the wrong thread and the whole thing unraveled! Well, sh*t!

At least I know that I’m getting closer to returning to my original condition. You see, I was born into this world as a perfectionist. It is one of those . . . (dropped the word. Thanks Lamictal!), neurotic tics in my very DNA, bred into one generation after another since the beginning of time.

During the big bang, a collection of cosmic dust got together and became determined on being perfect. In evolution, this was found as a specific enzyme that became a tiny molecule in long DNA sequences. From an amoeba, all the way through vertebrates, into the homo genus, it settled into my first line of ape ancestors 9 million years ago. This was the same ape you saw engaging in curious behavior of sorting leaves for no specific reason. Later, it was the caveman who etched, and then went back to attempt to re-etch cave drawings. Today, it’s a genetic line, mostly comprised of dark blonde Scottish women, that are consumed with the urge to perfect everything.

I hope you could find that as amusing as I did. That was exactly one of those sidebars I was describing. But, since I have deemed this a stream of consciousness post, I can write whatever pops out. Now, I want you to do something for me. Locate the little red X at the top right of your screen. If this gets to be a little too Woody Allen-esque or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you have your option. Otherwise, note the comment section below.

Back on track, or thereabouts. This started earlier than I have memory. When I was four, I recall the need to conquer everything I hadn’t yet mastered, but I was aware of. My handwriting was always meticulous. That was until I learned that handwriting is not meant to be uniform and is unique to each person. Of course, this happened during the “I am Unique, Hear Me Roar!” phase all teenagers eventually go through. For me, it was more like the discovery of self-loathing in depression that causes complete defeat and perpetuates the cycle of self-loathing.

Here’s where I’m going.

I do not have OCD. Okay, maybe I have some tendencies, but it doesn’t cause me significant dysfunction. I do have a threshold for this. Eventually, I’ll get too frustrated, throw my hands up in the air, and scream, “F**k it!”, as I’m seen setting the proverbial (or actual) fire to the whole thing. (Note: I am not an arsonist. I think. Define arsonist.)

Joking!

That’s pretty much what happened to me. Bipolar disorder probably put the stop to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Before, I was obsessed with perfecting skills and creations. I actually remember my life before Bipolar Disorder! Granted, I was only eleven and younger, but it did exist!

Then, I became distracted with myself. My feelings, my consciousness, my cognition, and my world. It was all about me. I went around with the blow torch and sledgehammer and demolished everything. Because, if it came from me, then it was flawed in design from its origins. It was as flawed as I was.

And for a very long time, I went through a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies through self-sabotage. I carry an inherent flaw. Time to get to the incinerator!

But, as years of treatment have ticked by and the medicine has coursed through my veins, I began a process of ecdysis (look it up, I’m not linking it, I’m busy). I don’t consider this a process of reversion. But, it is not synonymous with metamorphosis, because I am not coming out of the cocoon as a different being. It is something different entirely.

I am moving in a corkscrew fashion down a time line that is supposed to be linear. It is only linear in the sense that one can draw lines down the outside of the corkscrew to find a correlation between that snap shot and the next at the point of intersection in the corkscrew.

So, here I am. A whole month of bipolar of stability. The longest point in my treatment that I have experienced this. And if I were idly questioned, I’d remark that I hardly feel stable. My life is a hectic mess right now. But hey, when is anything hectic organized? Pristine chaos – HA! But, my emotions are solid, though they rattle. Is this what non-Dx people feel like?

Now, I’m busy, so I’m going to stop writing now. Have a lovely day.

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10 thoughts on “Perfectionists Anonymous

  1. I’ve had five days of stable semi happy mind frame. I am honestly enjoying it but also, it scares me. Feeling good is easy. Maintaining stability is the wild card.
    Guess we take it one day at a time, eh?

    • I’m still waiting for that wild card to tip the scales. I may have found it. We’ll see if I wake up tomorrow and still feel the same way. That will probably be the clincher for me.

  2. I like your DNA sequencing and your tangents. You’re very funny! To me it’s also just interesting to compare processes in writing. With me, I either sit down, open up my laptop, hyper-focus and pound out a blog entry and post it then and there, or else it doesn’t get written. Simple as that. I’m going to have to figure this one out if I ever want to write something longer than 2000 words again.

    My OCD (diagnosed but not debilitating) kind of plays tug-of-war with my manic-depression. Sometimes they can be pretty harmonious, the soothing, repetitive OCD activities dialing down my manias. Other times, it all just goes to hell!

    • LOL, thanks. It was meant to be a kind of humorous post. I need to write a few more of those. I have a lot of thoughts on life that I’d love to share. And they all have a humorous twist. I don’t want people to think I’m all doom and gloom, because truthfully, that’s not me at all. I write about it, because no one really wants to hear all about puppies and rainbows all of the time.

      I’m one of those erratic people that has a million things going on at once. It’s nice, because it keeps my brain busy. If I don’t, then it finds ways to get into trouble. But, when I’m having emotional and / or physical problems, it slows me down. And then things start coming apart. Everything I do requires some kind of daily maintenance. So, if I am neglectful because I’m distracted, then I have a problem.

  3. Pingback: Backdated « As the Pendulum Swings

  4. I new that you put a lot into your posts, so I figured that is why it had been a few days. I’m not a perfectionist, I have always been surrounded by perfectionist who wanted me to be perfect. I tried my best but, I am me and thats all I can be lol 😉
    Missing you!

    • I do. Sometimes it can happen in a day, sometimes it takes months. I have over twenty drafts banked, just because I came up with ideas while I didn’t have time to write. It’s nice in a way, because if I’m looking for inspiration, I have it right there. But, in another way, it’s a little overwhelming. Which one do I finish first?

      I’ll get back on the writing soon. This week is PSSA’s at work, and we’re having March madness. So, that means games, games, and more games. Huge musical chairs game today in the gym. Sigh.

      • well no sense in you having to feel the pressure from both places. I know a lot of us have nominated you for things last week too, don’t worry about all this. Like you said, you have a lot of inspiration sitting there waiting until it is time for that. Just focus on what you have to make your priority now. I will be here reading anything else I can get my hands on from you waiting lol.

        • It will come.

          I know, when I say this, I’m going to sound like one of those fickle, tortured artist types. But, I’m just not inspired right now. I’m not in a bad place. I do want to do something about my recent anxiety. I don’t know if I’ve ever written anything exclusively on anxiety yet. It’s interesting, even while I’m terrified of everything. And that’s the behavioral scientist in me talking! Lol!

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