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NOT Striving for Perfection

If I were going to give myself a grade for my commitment to the ‘things I’m letting go of’ from last weeks post, I’d give myself a C.


For the most part, my week went as I anticipated - a mid-week glass of wine to celebrate a friends birthday, another with supper on Friday and two more on Saturday while watching a movie. I did hit the snooze button more than I’d like to admit, but I also manage to squeeze in some flips and flops on my mat, and a few brief moments of pause in contemplation albeit later in the morning than at the crack of dawn.


And as far as the TV goes, I forgot how nice it is NOT to turn it in.


Now I certainly didn’t nail my goals for the week, but I will share that more days than not I felt calmer, more content and plain ‘ole happier these last seven days when I stuck to my intentions.


‘magine! I felt better when not behind on sleep, dehydrated or overstimulated… who’d have thunk!?


The most interesting thing about these adjustments I’m making, is how the intensity with which I typically berate myself for ‘failing’ is softening. See, I have an incy-wincy little issue with getting things right. And by right I mean getting things perfect.


For as long as I can remember, when I make a plan to do something, or try something new, if I don’t nail it the first time, I’m pissed! Pissed at myself for screwing it up, hateful that I’d made a mistake and/or afraid that I’d let someone down. Then all of this stuff wraps neatly into a little package of depression.


I can’t say this is a learned behaviour because my parents, family and friends have always been encouraging and supportive in everything I’ve ever done. And yet the hate messages I find myself reciting over and over and over again can be crippling.


And the more I put myself down, the more depressed I get. It’s no wonder that in the earlier ‘90s I was diagnosed with depressed and put on medication.


I’ll never forget the day in high school when a classmate got wind of my treatment and came up to, looked me straight in the eye and boldly stated through his smirk, “Heard you’re on Prozac - that’s for crazy people who are out of control.”


Turning, he walked away, and left me feeling like I’d been punched in the gut and paralyzed by worry and fear.


What if everyone knows I’m on medication for depression? What are they going to say? What are they going to do? Am I crazy? Out of control?


To this day I still remember that moment, how my mind raced and how my body felt - heavy yet shaky, cold yet flushed, and afraid, SO afraid, that I’d never be looked at or liked the same.


Thankfully the therapist I was working with at the time went above and beyond to help me through it. I’d told him about the interaction after missing my next appointment with him. I also told him that I didn’t want people seeing me going in and out of the office out of fear of being judged and criticized. He agreed to meet me at a local coffee shop instead of the office for our session. That simple adjustment proved profound in my healing. Our sessions went from feeling medical and sterile to beneficial and heartfelt - like spending time with a friend and not seeing a “Shrink”.


I share this simply to say that I’m not perfect (as much as I want and try to be), and I’m learning to be okay with that. By way of my Yogic and Ayurvedic studies, I’ve continued to learn and adopt strategies to help me live a healthy and happy life. Yes, I have setbacks, but those setbacks have become less and less overwhelming as I navigate and overcome each one.


And this little experiment in limiting my wine, and TV consumption, while getting my ass into bed before 10pm, has been rather humbling yet equally rewarding. And honestly, I’m glad I’m doing it.


Thanks for listening,

M.



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