(Un)healthy perfectionism

[7:59 PM / Tuesday / June 11, 2019]

I’m struggling to convert my feelings into words right now and I really wish someone could get inside my brain for a bit and see what’s going on. There is so much stuff I’ve been thinking about lately. I’m confused, lost, sad, happy, excited; all at the same time. As I’ve written in my previous stories, I started going to therapy again. Therapy is a very eye-opening experience for me and even though I don’t notice it right away, I learn so much about myself with every session. Our main focus this year is me and my relationship with myself which has been damaged over the past few years. I’m someone who,  unfortunately, still struggles with anxiety and unhealthy habits. I try to be kind to myself, and it does wonders, however, my fear, my doubt, my disbelief in myself ruin my wellbeing on a daily basis. I’m a perfectionist and I’m extremely self-critical, which makes my life complicated. No matter what I do, I always feel like I could have done better and even when something turns out really, really good, better than I expected, I never give credit to myself for that. Here’s a perfect example: last year, I applied for a job which among other requirements, required being fluent in Albanian. I applied, got invited for an interview and got the job. I worked for 4 months only, but my results were, according to my manager, beyond than expected. I would always get told to be proud of myself and that I was really good at what I was doing. My 4-month contract ended and even though I know how hard I worked, I always thought I got the job only because I was fluent in Albanian. I never once thought about the fact that I got the job because of my positive spirit,  great communication skills, and speaking three other languages. I had more to offer than just my Albanian and people around me saw that, but I didn’t. I applied this year too and got the job once again. My therapist told me the other day ‘there are many Albanians in Croatia Albesa, but they wanted you, and you should feel free to clap for yourself, you deserve it.’ True, there are a lot of Albanians in Croatia, I know, but ever since I left college to recover from depression, it’s been hard for me to believe that I can actually succeed at something. The fear of failure is so strong and so discouraging it makes me feel helpless. But then again, when I think about things in a different way, in a way that is good for me, when I put my past experiences behind, it feels surreal but I’m really able to see my abilities. I really don’t suck at everything (wow did I just say that?) I’m learning to appreciate myself, what I do, be aware of my qualities and be proud of myself. I’m learning to see and believe that I’m actually good at a lot of things. Yes, there’s always room for improvement but that has nothing to do with feeling like you’re not good enough. Room for improvement means good but can also be better and that’s exactly how I want to see myself; good but constantly doing better. That’s the kind of perfectionist I’m striving to be, a healthy perfectionist. 

I’m taking it day by day, one step at a time. It’s not easy but I know I’ll be just fine. I’m already feeling better just by writing about all of this. Here’s to many more stories, happy ones, sad ones, whatever. I often don’t believe it but I’m strong enough to handle it all, and my dear people, so are you.



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