THE IMPOSTER AND THE PERFECTIONIST
I have called myself a perfectionist for the last 20 years. I’ve always prided myself on keeping an ultra-tidy and organized home. When I do something, I put a lot of energy into it and I make sure it’s done right. I make sure it’s perfect. Anyone who falls into this perfect category understands that when you are taking it to the edge, it can also come with a lot of anxiety.
I’ve recently come across the term imposter and I realize that this is how I have felt my entire life, like I’m hiding who I really am in order to be accepted. The perfectionist has been covering up and creating a Martha Stewart type world so that I can hide out behind it all. My fear has always been that if people knew who I really was, what my past really was, then I would be shunned.
...that is how I have felt my entire life, like I’m hiding who I really am in order to be accepted. The perfectionist has been covering up and creating a Martha Stewart type world so that I can hide out behind it all
When you come from a background of abuse and drug addiction, there is a heavy feeling of not being good enough. All of those years wasted partying instead of going to school. Along with highly abusive relationships that left me feeling worthless, it’s no surprise that I didn’t have a sense of belonging. I still carry this with me today and it’s the current unfolding of it that is really putting my recovery into full speed ahead. Writing and posting it publicly has been terrifying to me, but I’m really working on not needing to be perfect anymore. The old me would never take the chance at writing so intimately for fear of being found out that I’m an imposter in this perfect little world that I have created. I now write for myself and this is where the change is. Now, I care about how I feel about things, not how everyone else does.
How backward I was doing life before! I had myself locked in a prison, undeserving of forgiveness and empathy.
I’m currently working on a book, and sometimes I get a little negative thinking going on and it’s the perfectionist telling me “who do you think you are? No education, ex-addict, criminal activity… you cannot be an Author! Everyone will know that you are an imposter!” These are heavy thoughts to have and it can really kill your self-confidence.
I’m so very grateful that I have found the courage to seek out professional help and really dump this load off my shoulders. I now understand that I adopted these characteristics a long time ago to help me disguise who I was while I was in constant crisis. I’m not that girl anymore, I can finally stop trying to be perfect at everything. It put me into a serious depression and I’ve learned that nobody really gives a shit that I bake cookies and gourmet meals. They care that I’m well and authentic. My relationships are all changing and I’ve really nurtured a few new ones where I feel I can truly be myself. The old me is ok because I’m the new me now.
Now that I’m slowly sharing my story, I can stop worrying about being found out. I read a great quote “Once you accept your flaws no one can use them against you” ~ @jokerquotes on Instagram. This has been so true to me. Sharing my mental health struggles, drug abuse, and previous toxic lifestyle has made me feel so free. It’s the best feeling in the world, being comfortable in your own skin.
“Once you accept your flaws no one can use them against you” -@jokerquotes
I wonder how many more are out there hiding? Have you ever felt like an imposter? I would love to hear about it in the comments.
Be Well Friends.