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A case of perfectionism. - November 13th 2014, 02:15 AM

I've been in therapy for almost a year now. Recently, we've reduced from every four weeks to every six weeks. My psychologist and I believed that I was doing well.

Fast-forward two weeks from my last appointment, and I'm going bonkers: I'm not getting the right amount of words done every day (not to mention that those words aren't half as good as I'd like them to be), I'm not expending/taking in the correct amount of calories, and I'm going crazy. I'm snapping at my little brother, moping around the house... My mom told me that I'm regressing. Really, I don't believe I am. I'm just really, really disappointed in myself.

So, I got out the worksheets my psychologist sent home with me. I sat down, I worked through them. There were two chapters, and the last one happened to be on perfectionism. The more I read the chapter, the more I realized that my perfectionism is a lot, lot worse than either myself or my therapist gauged. The more I read through it, the angrier I became. I realized that I've based my entire existence on becoming as undeniably perfect a person as I can become.

And, working through those worksheets, I realized that I hate the idea of giving up being a perfectionist. Perfectionism is the number one source of pain in my life, and I don't want to give it up. I also realize that I have to change my way of thinking, somehow.

My psychologist is going on an extended vacation either this week or the next, and she won't be back until the day of my appointment (early in December). I'm going to try to see if I can get in to see her earlier because of the emotions that the worksheets triggered, but in the meantime... Has anyone else been through this? Could someone tell me some good books or webpages to read, so that I can begin to work on this before she returns? I don't want to ruin my family's holidays again this year. I ruined all of them last year, moping around like this, and I don't want to end up crying on Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as Halloween.

Help, please?
   
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Re: A case of perfectionism. - November 13th 2014, 04:03 AM

I don't know if you have an eating disorder, ocd, body dysmorphic disorder, or just generalized perfectionism and that's what you need help with or not, so I don't know how much these links will help you but I'll post them anyways. I say eating disorders and ocd because these disorders have a lot to do with perfectionism (as well as other symptoms), but there are lots of other disorders though that deal with this issue as well but these are what come to mind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect...8psychology%29

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/weight...sm-what-to-do/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when...=9781572245594

http://ocd.about.com/od/causes/a/Ocd...fectionism.htmhttp:

//www.amazon.com/Letting-Go-Perfect-Overcoming-Perfectionism/dp/1593633629/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

I want to start off by saying that I'm really proud of you for being able to realize when you start to feel yourself slipping and decided to pull out some worksheets. That's a really good sign showing that your trying to recover and are willing to put the effort into trying to recover. The one thing I know about recovery is that you will come upon things that you didn't even know was there. Meaning that when you think your doing good and just about recovered you still might have something else to work on. For you that was dealing with perfectionism. Have you tried to identify what makes you feel like you have to be perfect and what draws you to want to be perfect. When you start find out what those triggers are, you will be able to move forward with recovery. I'm also glad that you noticed that you need to get an appointment with your therapist. It is a good idea to try and see her before she starts her vacation, if she can't squeeze you in for an appointment before she leaves you should ask her when is the quickest time she can. You also can ask her what can you do to deal with these thoughts, feelings, and emotions while she is away.

You don't have to be disappointed with how you feel, it is normal to discover things about yourself you didn't know while you're recovering. I really hope that you get the help you need while your trying to get better. I'm rooting for you to get better. If you ever need someone extra to talk to or just chat about random things with please feel comfortable to come to me with anything.


   
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Re: A case of perfectionism. - November 13th 2014, 04:30 AM

I don't know if symptomatic of OCD, but I like arranging things in groups of threes, sevens, nines, thirteens, and ones, because those are lucky numbers. I always set the volume on my MP3 player to a number ending with one of those numbers, the volume on the car stereo... I'll tell myself little things like: "If the volume isn't on three, seven, nine, thirteen, or one, the car will wreck." I don't think I've even discussed that with my psychologist. I assumed that it was just superstitious, and went on like it was normal.

My psychologist mentioned that I may have body dysmorphic disorder when I first began therapy. I first went to her because I believed that I had a binge eating disorder, when really, the whole matter was that I couldn't adhere to my own strict dietary/exercise standards. Somehow we skipped past that to the emotional problems I was having with my family. We fixed all of those, and I forgot the reason that I began to go in the first place. I don't really have binge eating disorder... I just hate it when I can't control absolutely every little thing I eat, what times I eat, every movement I make, and every word I write. When I physically can't, I get angry with myself, and angry at everyone around me.

Thank you for the links. I can't afford the book, but I'll see if I can find it at the library.
   
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Re: A case of perfectionism. - November 13th 2014, 04:38 AM

Your welcome, I can't afford it either so I also check out from my library.:P

I can't say if you have OCD or not but if it is really bothering you just bring it up with your therapist. They will be able to help you figure things out. I'm sorry that you are struggling right now. I have OCD and other things so I now how it can feel to have no control, especially when your trying to strive for perfection.

P.S. Did the links work, I never know if they do or not?


   
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