Thursday, December 29, 2005

Twelve Step Program for Recovering Perfectionists

I just deleted a bunch of emails that have been sitting in my inbox for a while. They are all "welcome" emails for a yahoo group I belong to, or random group discussions. I like to add my voice to the welcoming group whenever new people join so I was saving up the emails so I could do it. But you know, I just couldn't do it. So I deleted them. All those perfectly nice women, new members to my group, have now all been "slighted" by me. I've neglected them, I've let them down. I've failed them!!!!
And they don't even know me!
This is where I want to grab myself by the hair, look myself in the eye and yell at myself, "Get over yourself girl! They don't even know you exist!! How could you have let them down!!??"
Still, while feeling mostly relieved at having my inbox now clean and manageable, I feel vaguely guilty.
So I'm thinking there needs to be a 12-step program for perfectionists. Especially perfectionists like me; for whom perfection isn't working. I AM a perfectionist (although it took my till only within the last year to really acknowlege that), however, I am an imperfect one, lol. I used to think being a perfectionist meant you always did everything ... well, perfectly, and so everyone else wanted to be you because you were ... well, so perfect. But now I realize that's probably more like obsessive compulsive or something. Being a perfectionist really (probably) means, desiring to do things perfect. Desiring everyone in your life to behave a certain way. Feeling let down when things don't go "right" (by your own definition, of course). And such things like that.
But what might our twelve steps be? Oprah talks about this one a lot - JUST SAY NO!!! So, okay, I did that tonight, basically, when I deleted all those emails saying "NO, I do not have the time or energy to happily welcome every single one of these strangers to the group". You might say NO to "shining your sink" tonight only because it feels good to rebel from something that's "expected" of you. (oh that's a whole different topic and I'm not sure but it might be connected to being a perfectionist or maybe it's what I am instead of a perfectionist? Whatever IT is. But IT is forever being concerned about what I'm supposed to do. What is expected of me. Though my DH would say no one expects anything except for me to be happy... yadda yadda yadda. Yeah right).
1) Just say No.
Steps 2-12 will take some thought though. I can't think what might be next. I'm being overcome by an overwhelming urge to make sure my dishes are put away and my sink is shined. Gotta go.