January 21, 2009

Perfectionism and Me

Perfectionism is a trait that is extremely common in people with eating disorders. The desire to have everything neatly in order in their lives begins to dictate who they are in both an emotional and physical way. For me, the quest to have a perfect body had more to do with the chaos swirling around me than with an actual desire to look like a supermodel. I grew up in a home that, like many other American families, looks better from the outside than the inside. My parents were 18 and 25 when they were married and had four kids in quick succession. I know in my heart that they did their absolute best to make it work and to raise a good family but unfortunately things don't always turn out the way we plan. After many financial struggles and the chaos of raising four kids, my parents ended it all with a nasty divorce. I remember so vividly the late night arguments, the tears, the custody arguments and the pull to pick sides. I also remember being on of four terrified kids who were doing their best to pretend that everything was okay. Do I blame my parents for my issues? Maybe, but more importantly I recognize how they have molded my personality and character. I am a woman who tries every single day to keep the people in my life happy. From my boss, to my husband, to the barista at Starbucks, I want them to look at me and know that I have this crazy thing called life under control. Its not quite that easy though. Life just isn't like that! Things go wrong, people get angry, dust settles on places that were once sparkling clean and believe it or not, every once in a while, you will spill that $4.00 cup of coffee. The freedom of knowing that it is not my responsibility to know exactly how fix everything and make it perfect is a freedom that I struggle for every single day. Hiding behind a false facade of perfection has never made me happy. True happiness has come from allowing myself to be me with all of the junk life brings. I will never be perfect but I will be the absolute best that a woman with a chaotic past, various scars and a strong will to succeed can possibly be.

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