On Wednesday, I felt unwanted.
Today, it took me an hour to write the first sentence – that sentence, about Wednesday – of an emotional, super personal, and rather melodramatic blog post.
Here’s how Carolyn Costin recommends dealing with eating disorders: feel your feelings, challenge your thoughts. Understand that the reason why you garner satisfaction from maintaining a slim waist might be because you need to compensate for a lack of control in other areas of your life. Maybe the compliments you receive about your body heal an injured sense of self-esteem. Perhaps the constant binging and purging numb you to the more painful, organic emotions present within your heart.
Accepting imperfection isn’t just about embracing an A- or being okay with second place. It’s not even about welcoming a D or taking last place with grace. Letting go of perfectionism, for me, involves digging deep into the emotions behind my fear of failure and understanding that it is okay not to be okay.
Earlier this week I faced boy issues. I will not delve into detail, but it involved a lot of “ugh he likes me as more than a friend but I don’t think I like him as more than a friend but if I do like him as a more than a friend it’s because I’m shallow and I don’t want to be shallow and wow I want to cry.” And then I felt worse because “I’m Thomas, I want to help people with their problems, I’ve gotten through much worse than this, I don’t waste time with shallow emotions.” And now, I’m coming to terms with what I didn’t want to feel – I’m learning to be okay with every emotion I experience, even if it’s as adolescent as insecurity.
Everyone falls short sometimes. The best football player fumbles a pass, the mathematical mastermind messes up an integration, the passionate parent scolds with just a little bit too much fervor. Feel your feelings, and accept. Accept, accept, accept. It’s the first step to freedom.
Has anyone else fought back feelings they didn’t want to feel, or can anyone else relate to the problems of perfectionism in general? Despite some of the lows of this week, there have been highs, such as the wonderful quality of my new courses and my solidification of a research project. Also, you can find my thoughts on Reboot by Amy Tintera and Neighbors by Raymond Carver here and here, respectively. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!