Perfectionism

I am terrified of failure. Absolutely terrified. I know that out of failure you can, for example, learn how to write a better or how design a better classroom instruction. But it’s still terrifying, because I want do so well on those activities. I want people to know I’m an expert in what I’m talking about or presenting. It can be so terrifying that anxiety begins to settle in me that I don’t want to do activity anymore…until the last minute, making easy for others to think I’m a procrastinator, but I’m not. I’m really a perfectionist.

Perfection is defined as the need to be or appear to be perfect or even believe that it’s possible to achieve perfection. The thing is…true perfectionists think nothing they do is good enough, regardless of how much they have achieved. What they do has to be absolutely perfect. Instead of giving themselves a pat on the back or kudos, they may withdraw from the activity. Having such personality traits may lead to and/or coincide with anxiety. Though perhaps if we conquer such unreasonable expectations, we can achieve more practical, achievable goals.

To begin with there are different types of perfectionism…3 kinds to be precise: personal standards perfectionism, self-critical perfectionism, and socially prescribed perfectionism (Good Therapy, n.d):

    • Personal Standards Perfectionism-This person may have a set of standards they live by. These standards may look high to others, but it’s what drives the individual to achieve their goal. This form of perfection (as long as it doesn’t leave the person fatigued, stressed or paralyzed) can lead the person to success.
    • Self-Critical Perfection-This person is more likely to be intimidated by goals they set upon themselves (haha! Me!) thus making themselves less driven, because they feel the goal is hopeless or it may never come true. This form of perfectionism can lead to stress, anxiety, avoidance and self-condemnation.
    • Socially Prescribed Perfection: This kind of perfectionism can affect a person in one of two ways:

A) when a person is in a job in which precision is heavily required. People who work as, for example, lawyers, medical professionals, and architects can be affected by perfectionism. Such jobs can cause professionals to experience hopeless thoughts, stress, and a higher risk for self-harm and suicide.

B) The other form of socially prescribed perfectionism is when individuals aspire to meet unrealistic goals that can be set by high cultural or societal standards. this can include when kids try to meet the goals set by parents or individuals trying to obtain a particular body type high regarded by society.

So which one, do I think I identify with? I would have to say self-critical perfectionist. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have procrastinated on projects just because I fear how I won’t execute them well. I expect nothing the less from myself, but possessing such a mindset can be crippling because I think can’t perform the task well. Such mindsets can also induce major anxiety for me. Speaking of which…

How can anxiety trigger perfectionism…or visa versa? Well that relationship is …complicated (Kvarnstrom, 2016). All that is known is that one, perfectionism is the onset of the individuals’s inability to cope with the stressors they ave set upon themselves and then on top of that, perfectionism itself worsens anxiety that in turn prevents the person from achieving their goal. Huh…go figure. Makes sense why I procrastinate.

So how can you help yourself overcome perfectionism. According to Healthy Place article, “How to Stop Being a Perfectionist” try to:

+ Recognize perfectionism as a problem

+  Set realistic goals for you

+ Look for positives in yourself and your life

+ Love yourself in your entirely, including your imperfections

+ Embracing your uniqueness

+ Stop procrastinating (This includes when something is just not right)

+Think of mistakes as lessons

Speaking for myself, failure should not be looked as a stain that would forever blotch out any opportunity for success. That’s not what failure is. This is what it means to F.A.I.L: First Attempt in Learning. It’s only in failing it’s pushes us to reach deep within ourselves and pull out sleeping and dormant skills and resolve we thought we’d never had or we thought we exhausted. However, this cannot be achieved if we strive for perfection instead. Perfection only leads to a shallow, unreasonable and perhaps unattainable goal(s). As the old saying goes: To err is human. So it’s not just much we should accept our errors, but our humanity as well. We need to start accepting our humanity.  

References

Agathanelou, F. (2015) How to Stop Being  Perfectionist. Retrieved from: https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2015/09/how-to-stop-being-a-perfectionist

Good Therapy. (n.d). Perfectionism. Retrieved from: https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/perfectionism

Kvarnstrom, E. (2016). Why Perfectionism and Anxiety Disorders Go Hand-in-Hand. Retrieved from: https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/blog/why-perfectionism-and-anxiety-disorders-go-hand-in-hand/

Other Readings:

You Aren’t Lazy–You’re Just Terrified: On Paralysis and Perfectionism

Anti-Vaxxers

Honestly I don’t get anti-vaxxers, they’re either afraid of one thing or another, but one thing is for sure…they believe autism is due to being vaccinated. The funny thing is most of them HAVE been vaccinated and two it shows how ignorant they are about autism. Autism does not have a cause to WHY it happens, it just does. Instead of practically hating on autistic individuals, why not they learn how to love them??? Is it so hard to love someone who is different than themselves? But apparently, they think that autism is “far worse” than polio or the measles. This shows how ignorant not to spoiled to have such amenities compared to other countries.

Lessons to Learn on Being an Empath

You know now that I think about it…I don’t know how empathic characters like Counselor Deanna Troi are able to handle being an empaths. While shows can mention empaths, they never really go over the character’s struggles with being an empath. Whether it’s because I’m trying to help others or I’m overwhelmed by the emotions of the environment I’m in, it takes a toll on me. The thing is one it takes awhile to realize you are an Empath and two when you discover that there’s no one really to teach you how to be an Empath and how to, for example, recognize when you’re experiencing an “Empathic Overwhelm” (doesn’t help either when you do live with a mental illness like depression and anxiety) and how to put yourself first sometimes.

The images below help you recognize if you are an Empath, recognize if you are experiencing an empathic burnout, and tips to keep in mind as you live your life as an Empath.

This checklist tells you if you are an Empath

This pic displays the different types of Empaths

Mothers Day….with Jessica Jones and Mom

Source: OldNerd

I’ve been wanting to write about this since the last season with Jessica Jones ended and since I wrote two other posts (Jessica Jones Season 2: Part 1-Workplace Harassment, Jessica Jones: Child Sexual Abuse/Sexual Assault ) but I didn’t get a chance with school last year, plus I thought Mother’s Day would be good, but then again I didn’t get the chance with my crazy schedule.

Anyway, I wanted to write about Jessica Jones not only because the final season is airing on Netflix sometime this year, but Mother’s Day is tomorrow and I thought the relationship between Jessica and her estranged mom, Alisa Jones was kind of represents the relationships that people can go through with their own mothers…minus the supernatural strength.

I thought the second season of Jessica Jones had a lot of good liners and deep dialogue on the show:

Jessica trying to protect her friend Patsy from being taking advantage of by the club owner

Clubowner: Bitch.

Jessica Jones: Call me a bitch again. Compare me to a dog. An animal that you can kick and collar. Say it.

Clubowner: Bitch?

Jessica Jones [shoves head in mirror then sink]: Redefine, dickhead.

 

Jessica and her mother in the taxi cab

Taxi driver: Don’t get your panties in a bunch

Alissa Jones: Grown women don’t wear panties, they wear underwear!

 

We now know where Jessica gets her temperament from (and honestly I loved what she said). But after discovering that Alisa has been endowed with superhuman strength, it has been getting harder to control strength and her emotions, even towards Jessica:

JJ: You could’ve crushed my skull

AJ: But I didn’t. I held back

J.J. [scoffs]: Is that supposed to reassure me?

A.J: Yes! I controlled it.

J.J. Because you love me?

A.J. Or because I carried you inside me, or because we’ve both powered, or because we’ve both lost too much. We don’t have to lose each other.

J.J. You’re insane

A.J. And you’re my cure.

J.J. Do not put that on me.

A.J. And I’m yours.

J.J. I’m not the one who’s sick. I help people. I have a life.

A.J. You’re dunk 24/7. You’re numbing yourself. Is that a life? you make it better. We can be better. Together.

 

I like how in spite of how much they are worried about one another (especially since they are the only ones still alive in their family), they love each other very much. Sometimes no matter how much our loved ones, particularly our moms drive us crazy, we need them and they need us….especially when our relationship with them is a strong bond. It’s like once you make a bond with them whether it’s physical, emotional, or both you can tell when your loved one is on top of the world or when they are down and out.

Exchanging hugs after fearing they have lost one another to an explosion

Sometimes I think my mom can sense my feelings even as far as she is away from me…even when I’m catching a cold it’s crazy. It’s crazy how that whole mom and child bonding works. Maybe it’s due to all the cuddling we had to our mom since birth? The late nights being rushed to urgent care? The bonding during breastfeeding and/or bottle feeding? Regardless how much our moms drives us crazy, it doesn’t make their love any less real. They are simply loving us the best way they can to help us be and see the best version of ourselves.

So this post in a sense is dedicated for my mom, in spite of all of the things she has been through and all the times she has driven me crazy, but has always made sure I had food in my belly, clothes on my back and a roof over my head, while all the while helping me my best self.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Doom Patrol: Jane Patrol

 

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Kay Challis is one of the known members in team and DC Universe series “Doom Patrol” . But within her she is made up 64 personalities, one of the dominate personalities is Jane. In the most recent episode, “Jane Patrol”, Jane kinda went through a burnout out where she just basically shut down from a situation from the previous episode and retreated to the Underground.

The Underground

Real quickly, The Underground is where Jane and her 64 personalities reside, each with their own living quarters. This was where she went to retreat from all the…mess…that was happening in the “surface”. The personalities were dealing with one of the most (as all the personalities) annoying characters, “Karen” for nearly getting Jane/Kay married.

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The personalities catch her sneaking off (in hopes of avoiding them), but they catch her. One of the personalities, The Secretary, reminded her that since she is the primary personality, she is responsible for keeping the balance in The Underground. A balance that must be maintained. The Secretary also reminded her this:

The more things remain out of balance, the  more all of us are vulnerable. Each of us has a purpose. A reason for being. You must respect that.

Myself, (although I don’t put myself in a near comatose state), I can retreat in myself, if I don’t want deal with all the crap in the world. It’s safer in my head and I can be in there until I either found a solution or I’m ready to “come out”. Though usually I’m either day dreaming or staring into the TV or space, when I do that. And also unlike Jane who lives with a dissociative identity disorder (DID). You gotta deal with people and bills and responsibilities on top of living in a crazy world. I have deal with keeping my anxiety and depression in check. I try to make sure that not one disorder is overtaking one another or in this case…me. And in a sense depression and anxiety are their own personalities.  I got one disorder telling me everything is hopeless and then the other one telling me everyone is a suspect. It’s well…hopeless.

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 Jane ends up stalling her trip to the “surface” to find and face her past. We eventually see her at meet Penny Farthing at this beautiful lakeside view by a white octagon belle roof gazebo.

Jane doesn’t recognize the place unfortunately. Penny asks her why she isn’t on the surface. Jane responds:

It sucks to be up there. You don’t know who to believe or what to believe or when to believe it.

Speaking for myself, I too want to hide myself from this world. There’s too much to process and then when you meet people it can get even more complicated. Situations can sometimes makes no sense and/or become more complicated themselves. Penny Farthing then tells her to then take a break. As so simple as it is, this is an activity than can be easy to forget or disregard. It’s easy to think because inactivity is not productive, because it doesn’t produce concrete, tangible things. For example, taking a 20 minute nap gives your brain the ability to restore depleted activity. So yes, resting is productive too.

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 Meantime, Cliff has entered Jane’s mind to get her back, but only this time he has return to his former human self. He bumps into Penny Farthing who is trying to stop her from entering a well that might only lead to her destruction.

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 So Penny leads him through a shortcut through some of Jane’s painful memories:

The quickest way to the underground is through memories like this one. The deeper you go, the darker they get. Sometimes, the darker memories are stuck to the nicer ones. You never know. The mind is a crazy thing.

This was a deep statement. It makes me think if the writer was a psychology major at one time. Yeah, I guess with the good memories come the bad. Without the bad you couldn’t appreciate the good. Without the bad, you couldn’t develop personal growth. Heck…you wouldn’t be you as much as I hate to admit it. I don’t always like the past I came from, but it has made me a resilient, open minded, and insightful person.

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 The last scenes of the episode were important because Cliff and Jane had to shed the perceptions of themselves. Cliff still see himself as a man—the shameless, self-centered man that he was, but he is now more man than when he was a man. Then Jane has always seen herself as young defenseless, Baby Kay. When really she has developed into a strong bada$$ woman.

Jane meeting a memory of her younger self before her dad assaulted her

Sometimes what can cause us to lose (or bring) balance can begin within ourselves. Though to achieve this, we must face our past or our hardships, our responsibilities or our false perceptions of ourselves and give ourselves the chance to see what we’re truly capable of and how far we’ve come. Once we’ve done these things, we’ll come back stronger and clearer than ever before.

 

Today Sucks (Update) Aka A Little Help From My Friends

Well today I’m recovered from my depression and boy am I glad. It was tough. It felt like my heart was being pulled into this dark chasm and that pulling feeling made my muscles hurt. It was bad. I took Wednesday off from work. I just couldn’t work. I hate that I couldn’t work but I had to.

Fortunately I also had friends from Celebrate Recovery that was praying for me. What’s great too is that they understood what it was like to depressed and they prayed over me too. Whether it was over text or in person they prayed over me. And I think knowing I had people to count on and they were praying over me, helped me get passed it.

Honestly in my opinion, I think depression is a spiritual thing, because it certainly isn’t of the mind. I can have all the will power in the world & it STILL will find a way to take over me. Heck I remember a psychic telling me that while I will be having good things going for me in the future, that there was this dark cloud over me. Damned depression. I feel like depression is like some sort of weighted blanket that I didn’t ask for nor wanted and it just covers itself over me. It’s horrible.

  • But yeah, it felt great to have people who cared enough about me to think about me. Sometimes when living with depression and anxiety, it’s easy to forget you have people who care about you so it’s easy to just seclude yourself from them and the rest of the world. But please, don’t forget about the people who love and care about you. But let me say this, depression is not yours to fight alone. You need help from others…people who care for you. So who ever those people are, be in contact with them and together you guys can fight that horrible disorder.
  • Today Sucks

  • I’m here at work and depression just hit me hard this morning. It feels as if my heart is sinking deeper and deeper into some dark chasm inside me and it feels like my muscles are hurting. The worst part is it hit me while I’m at work of all times. I hope I can hang in there. The first thing I did though was to text my friends and they gave me such warm wishes and prayers and for that I’m very grateful. One of them even asked me to hang out with them later. I just my depression won’t hold me back, because I could use the company right now. Depression has its hooks into me today.