[P]erfectionism…often the path to depression[i]

natures-craftwork-lighting-ajaytao-1A few things happened for me a long time ago which have been psychological anchors to reiterate the opening quote in this writing. What those events were is not important, what’s important is that I would constantly refer back to them, unconsciously of course, and measure my life by those events.  I never measured up to those standards set by those “objective” criteria! Not continuous sobriety, not going to college, law school, becoming an attorney, a father, living in a place where many people of the world would like to live. Not doing all the work on houses, apartment buildings, any of it. Again, not any of it.  I failed is what the mind says.  It says no matter what I did, if I am not there now, I have failed and all of the time before this was a failure too.
 That is not me talking. That is a voice that I have carried since I can remember when.  It is not true.  Many people dont even try to do what I did.
 cotton-clouds-ajaytaoDepression is the inability to construct a future”[ii]  But I am here now.  I am toying with the ideas of what I am going to do in the future.  I am not sure, but I have a pretty good idea.  I could not have said that even 2 months ago.  Its not time to put it out here only because when I usually put something in writing, I then feel like I have to do it. Where I am now is better than I was a month ago with this.  Blessed I am.
 divine-hues-ajaytaoA wonderful friend sent me an email card this morning.  It said ” The World Is A Better Place With You In It.”  Had I been sent that card 2 years ago, I would have instantaneously shuddered in fear and shame inside.  Because I didnt feel that way. Even if I had received that e-card five years ago or 10 years ago I would not have believed it.  This is not to say that I completely accepted and agreed with the statement when I read it this morning. But working through depression allows me to entertain the possibility that the statement is true!
The only way that I am able to have the perspective that I have about that e-card today is the point of reference of my history of depression. mystical-clouds-ajaytaoBetween five and 10 years ago I was, “on top,” I had all of the things that many people strive for. However I still felt like I was a failure when the depression became overt.
 “Writing is the best anti-depressant.”[iii] Since I have started writing about depression I have been given more and more relief from it. I was talking with a friend last night and I was talking about how when I am doing better the nuances of the world don’t seem like earth shattering events. When the 936679_10152386596421130_1957513437814949369_ndepression is strong, not winning a hand in a friendly poker game can seem like the end of the world. Today when things don’t go my way, I am getting better at letting them roll off me and remembering how lucky I am to have been diagnosed with depression.
This is a re-post from the first few weeks of this blog.  I will comment on it tomorrow.
[i] Dr. Brene Brown[ii]Rollo May[iii]Fierce Dolan

10 thoughts on “[P]erfectionism…often the path to depression[i]

    • I invite you to read our “About who Writes here” page!! The opening quote is from my favorite radical/philosopher/psychologist James Hillman! James has been the biggest influence in my life in the last 5 years! Looking forward to our interchanges in the future. Oh yes I found your blog through my friend Ptero9!!

      • Cool. Ptero9 is awesome and I will definitely be looking at that page as well as the rest of your blog. Hillman a major influence on my life too. Began to see the world in whole new ways once I began reading him, 🙂

      • Read it. Wow. I’m sober too (a little more than 2 years now). Now I invite you to a couple posts I wrote. 1 is called “Re-Visioning Mental Illness). Hover over Engaging Essays along the menu bar at the top and you’ll find a link to a page called “Cultural Considerations.” Another is called “Who is Hades” anyway on the Mythic Musings Page.

        You have a beautiful blog there shoe1000 🙂

  1. Writing and the support here in the blog community helps me on the darkest days when I struggle to help myself. Grateful for the knowledge and understanding from other bloggers, but also how writing helps me stay honest with myself

  2. Suffered with D most of my life. Perfectionism destructive but in my own case I do everything to the best of ability and if need be , over and over again. I don’t call it perfectionism but craftsmanship and pride in effort. Of course I know my limits and leave it at that. Of course we must never expect others to meet our standards or we will certainly be let down. I learned not to expect it but at least I expect everyone in daily routines to at least do their job esp in service sector.

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