So I thought… ‘I might write a blog?’ and then I thought ‘Then again…maybe I won’t’, but here I am…giving it a go. There’s a chance I’ll write this now & then never do it again, but hey…I’ll break the habit of a lifetime & be optimistic instead!
I’ve always been a bit of a nightmare! Or at least…that’s how I imagine I’ve been. That annoying patient that learns what’s helpful for them, but still…she doesn’t do it. And I promise it isn’t out of awkwardness. I tell myself ‘I can’t be bothered to write.’ It’s the easiest answer…it’s the one I always came up with when I was faced with coursework at school, but the one that I come up with for therapy is ‘but then it makes everything real’ and that isn’t a lie, that is how I feel about it…getting it down on paper & making it a physical, viewable thing…that’s scary shit! It’s like wow…I’m not a heartless cow after all…my feelings are right there. That’s deep shit! I can’t be ‘deep’…I’m the person who finds the humour in the definitely not funny places. How am I supposed to pretend I’m not emotional anymore when I’ve written my feelings down?
Seriously though…it runs deeper. It’s about perfectionsim. It’s about the fear of failure.
My nurse in the (feeding-farm) hospital was constantly trying to get me to write…she even provided me with a notebook & pen – perhaps because she got a lil’ fed up of me saying that I already had a pen & paper. Again…not a lie…I did in fact have several pens & paper…M gave me an extra pen & an extra notebook though so she could be sure I was definitely equipped! I got about as far as writing down what meals I’d been repeating whilst on the unit. She often said ‘it’s not good to hold it all in your head. You need to get what’s going on in there out!’ I knew she was right. I also knew how much I didn’t want to write.
The same as an outpatient…it’s taken a while, but I’ve gradually written a bit more. It was part of a large section of work I was committed to. It was a whole 200 page therapy folder. I did write…I probably also wrote the minimal amount. I found it helpful, but I’ve again continued to not write outside of that therapy.
Here I find myself. Typing a blog. Is that the same thing as writing? 21st century writing perhaps? There’s certainly less pressure of failing thanks to auto-correct picking up typos though. There’s none of that scribbling out & re-writing it all out all over again thank you very much! Perfectionism isn’t a bad quality to have – ‘nobody would have flown to the moon if we didn’t have perfectionists’ (that’s the line of another therapist I had a few years ago). Good point, but it would be much better if I actually believed anyone ever did go to the moon, but that’s another debate. I understood the meaning though. I know it isn’t a bad quality, but when it runs deep…it’s also a disabling quality. Some perfectionists do things over & over & over again. Some of us aren’t like those kind of perfectionists. I bury my head in the sand…a lot! I avoid doing things because I’m scared it won’t turn out the way I want it to. I leave things to the deadline, so that I can’t judge what I’ve done, but then you’re left feeling disappointed & dissatisfied. You’re left thinking about how much better you could have done had you given yourself that time, but you also place yourself in the position of not being as hard on yourself because you know that it wasn’t your best shot. It isn’t a useful strategy though to be honest. In the same way…even with the emotional healing process…it’s like there’s a ‘right’ way. I feel like what I write needs to be ‘perfect’…almost like there’s a rule for blogging or just personal list writing. (I often re-write my mum’s shopping list if it doesn’t look ‘right’). It’s ridiculous, but it’s also my reality.
Writing is now me taking back some control. Writing is me facing my fears (sounds ridiculous, I know). This doesn’t have to be perfect & I’m here to learn that. I’m not being assessed, it isn’t an exam. There’s no right or wrong way at ‘life-ing’. This is just me trying to fight my demons. Trying something different to give myself the chance to progress with my recovery. Allowing myself the chance to potentially learn more about myself, but for now…that’s the most I’ve written (typed) in a while & I’ve written myself out for now.
This is my journey to writing perfectly imperfectly & learning to be okay with it.
Ciao for now!