Sunday, July 22, 2012

The burden of trying to be perfect

I am continually amazed how Recovery has improved my life. Although I still suffer with fearful temper, I now have the tools to handle and muddle through situations that at one time would have been paralyzing. For example, I have a history of being a “checker.” Checking the locks, checking to make sure the stove is off, rereading documents multiple times, opening envelopes to make sure I really did put the letter inside—I would repeat these and many other activities ad nauseam every day.

In Recovery, however, I learned to let go of insecure thoughts and behaviors such as repetitive checking. Dr. Low taught me to be self-led instead of symptom-led. Perhaps most important of all, I have developed the courage to make mistakes. When I learned about this Recovery tool, I had an epiphany. I have long been a perfectionist. The idea that I could actually accept the fact that I will make errors and mistakes was so foreign to me. Yet doing so lifted a heavy burden from my shoulders, as it is not easy trying to be perfect! It indeed takes courage to stop listening to all of the warnings in your brain that something is wrong. I had to give up my passion for self-distrust and actively challenge thoughts that previously kept me in an endless cycle of doubt and worry.

I had to accept that I should not strive to be a perfectionist. I should strive to be average. Our society does not have a high view of “average” people. But I’d rather be mentally healthy and average than perfect and miserable.

Of course, every now and then I find myself wanting to check something. That’s average. Usually my Recovery tools help me fight the urge and move onto something else. Even if I have a moment of weakness I know that I should excuse, rather than accuse, myself. All of these Recovery tools have made daily living so much more enjoyable, an outcome I thought for a long time I could only achieve by being perfect.

8 comments: said...

Hi Abraham,

Healthline editors recently published the final list of their favorite Anxiety blogs and your blog made the list. You can find the complete list at: (in no particular order). We encourage you to share your status as one of the best blogs on the web with your friends, family, & followers.

We also created a set of badges you can easily embed on your site & anywhere else you see fit:

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Congrats & continue the great work!

Warm Regards,

Charlie said...


Thanks for reminding me to excuse rather than accuse.
I need to be gentle with myself.


sweet anxiety meet 4twenty said...

Thank you for sharing. I'm just joining the blog community to share some of my story with my struggle to overcome Anxiety.

anxiety relief techniques said...

Living with anxiety started to be normal thing in this days... A lot of things are happening. We should work on our self constantly. said...

Hi Abraham,

Healthline recently finished researching the best Apps for anxiety patients and we were wondering if you would consider sharing the link with your network of followers. You can find the complete list at:

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Warm Regards,

Aaron said...

"excuse rather than accuse" is a great way to think!
I love it!

Check my anxiety blog as well! Would love some feedback!

Jasmine Broadhead said...

This is so helpful! Thank you.

I suffer from social anxiety, I'm trying to improve and help others. This is my story:

Jodie said...

I often use Lemon Balm to help me easy my anxiety and recently included it in my How To Use Lemon Balm To Ease Anxiety And Much More post.

If you are interested to check it out, please take a look at:

Are there any other natural solutions to ease anxiety that you would recommend?