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perfectionism

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by blackdog, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. blackdog

    blackdog Peer Supporter

    Hi guys,

    I wanted to ask if anyone here has had a similar response or perspective to their perfectionist tendencies in their lives. My counselor told me recently that for me pain=death. Pain of a physical, emotional or spiritual nature is unacceptable to me, because it runs counter to my desire or need for safety and peace. It runs counter to a perfect world. I react by focusing in on the pain with laser-like intensity, because I fear it so much. Therefore, my pain threshold is minuscule and I barely come to terms with it at all. What you resist persists. I am not saying that I can not learn a new way to behave, think and live only that this has been my way of relating to pain thus far in my life. Can anyone relate to this? Namaste,

    Andrew
     
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm 84 so it's easy for me to think anything is fatal.
    I just tell myself that thinking is just another part of TMS, from my Inner Bully.

    I've been a lifelong perfectionist, too.

    I try to follow the advice Ricky Nelson gave in his song, "Garden Party."

     
  3. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    I can totally relate..I believe much of my TMS/pain revolves around existential angst and the belief that pain in my body signifies imperfection. Most external demands for perfection and control can at least be acted upon to some degree which we believe soothes us but if the imperfection is internal and out of our agency then this causes much anxiety and angst.

    I recall reading about how people react to something like a splinter as as good indication of their body anxiety and imperfection. Some folks will get a wood splinter and just accept it and chill knowing it will work its way out...they won't give it a second though. Other folk, myself included, will worry on it and not be able to relax as a foreign body has 'attacked us' and we are imperfect at the moment in time. In all likelihood we will get to the point when we spend an hour digging at it with a needle to dislodge it as we are just totally unable to relax whilst the splinter remain.
     
  4. blackdog

    blackdog Peer Supporter

    Thanks guys, as Steve says connecting is a huge part of the issue for TMS sufferers and I appreciate the opportunity to connect to you. I had never heard that song Walt, it is a good one :) Maybe part of the fear is not knowing what people (or even myself) will think of me if I change. Becoming a Pollyanna has always scared me, because I want my truth to be real. And I think that part of me is so invested in believing that the world is scary and dark that it thinks that is reality, so any switching over would be a fakery. My deeper self now knows this is not the case, so I hope that can expand, but it's been a slog for me and I have a ways to go.

    I relate to your splinter example too Huck. I will definitely not leave one in for fear of it becoming stuck and raising a painful bump. This happened once, so forever after I must react to them it seems. This is so often the case for me that one bad experience leads to a lifetime of maladaptive behaviors. It's ironic that internal behaviors and perceptions are the ones that I have possibly the greatest ability to modify or come to terms with (or even "control" i.e. change), but I give that up out of learned helplessness and fear. I don't think that it really is out of our agency, we just believe that somehow. I want to take this ability back (or learn it if I never had it - I can't remember when I ever would have).
     
  5. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Splinters can hurt. I find the best way to remove a splinter, of wood or metal or glass,
    is to clean the area of the splinter, dry it, then make a paste of baking soda and water.
    Apply the paste to the affected area, then cover with a bandage.
    Remove the bandage after 24 hours. The paste should have caused the skin to swell
    and push out the splinter. If a little remains, remove it with a tweezer.
    If the splinter is still there, repeat in 24 hours.

    Of course, I'm not a doctor so just take this as advice on how I treat a splinter.
     
  6. blackdog

    blackdog Peer Supporter

    Thanks Walt,

    That is certainly a more practical way of going about it than I generally employ - digging around in there right away with a needle. I will try this in the future.
     
  7. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    The baking soda method is one that grandmothers and greatg's used. It really works.
     
  8. Shirley

    Shirley Peer Supporter

    "Becoming a Pollyanna" reminds me of a tv movie called Pollyanna that came out about 10 or so years ago which gives a person good respect for this person who tries to find the good in everything. The glass that's half empty is the same glass that's half full. You can probably watch it on youtube and then you won't have to be scared of Pollyanna to know that her truth is real too. :)
     

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