A blogger once said that if we spent less time building a ruse of "perfection" and more time sharing our imperfections with the idea of helping others with similar buried struggles, everyone will see that there is no perfect person and the real perfection is likely accepting ourselves for what we are, and eliminating that guilt we feel from our constant failures, whether in our heads or not. He did not mean to say that we shouldn't try to get help, but stop trying to paint your life as perfect to the people around you. It takes too much energy and it's not helping anyone, least of all yourself.
In the spirit of divulging the truth about what may look like "perfection" to the casual observer (see this blog post), here's what my life is really like: (It's REALLY going to help and make more sense if you read that other blog post first.)
- I sit in bottom of my shower and sob about once a week.
- I work out to clear my head and sometimes work out so hard that the pain I feel in my legs and body is strong enough to distract me from the pain in my heart. I suppose it's better than how I used to self-medicate with food.
- I take on too much, but I have trust issues and that's why I don't delegate much.
- I may seem outspoken in public, but at home I eat my words and swallow them into a pit of bitterness and resentment. It's a coping mechanism that I'm aware of now and am trying to work on.
- I lack faith and hope when I need it the most.
- I curse.
- I alienate my friends and husband and blame them for what was probably more my fault than theirs. But I never have the guts to actually bring up my problems in a conversation.
- I doubt myself ALL THE TIME.
- I may be a size 10 right now, which is the smallest I've ever been since 8th grade, and people tell me all the time that I look great, thin, awesome, cute, whatever. It makes no difference, b/c I feel fat and I don't know if I have a complex or what, but I want the exact body of Kristen Bell. Yet, I'm scared that if I had that body, I still wouldn't be satisfied. And I think I am fat and ugly and completely unattractive about 90% of the time. The compliments feed me for a moment or two, but then I see a glimpse of myself in the mirror. The wrinkles. My wide, dough-y thighs. The dark circles under my stressed eyes. It's not pretty.
- I often wonder if this is it for me.
- I never fully understood "A Dream Deferred" by Langston Hughes until this year.
- I don't take enough responsibility for the problems in my life.
- I don't love teaching sunbeams.
- I don't apologize enough.
- I sacrifice a lot for my kids, but I don't think it's enough. I think they'll end up damaged somehow b/c of me.
- I feel strangely satisfied when I learn that other "perfect" people have problems worse than mine, and then feel resentful when they figure out how to fix those problems, when meanwhile I'm still treading water. I hate that I do that, and I'm so so so sorry.
- I'm a terrible person.
- I'm extremely hard on myself. (Ask Shan. She has a firm testimony of this.)
- Most days, I'm barely hanging on.
- I can't afford a lot of things, but mostly, I can't afford to get the help I need.
And I'm freaked that someone will use it to attack me, silently and passive-aggressively judge me, or do that self-satisfied thing that I'm guilty of. Or worse...pity me.
In any case, this is hands down the scariest blog post I've ever written.
I hope it can help someone.
Anonymous (or not) comments are welcome.