Perfectionist Isolation

storm-1169895_640Will I ever learn to extend the same grace to myself that I so readily extend to others? Will I ever learn to let things go and forgive myself for all the ways I haven’t measured up? I tend to be really hard on myself. I have really high standards, and I don’t know what to do with myself when I don’t measure up to them. This is something I’m working on, very slowly, but it’s still a flaw. (See the perfectionism there? haha)

I like to think I’m a positive person, but this isn’t always the case. I have my days and my struggles just like anyone. And sometimes, I even like to point it out. I guess I figure that if someone else can extend grace and understanding to me, then they validate my worth and maybe I can extend a little of that to myself.

I know this is unhealthy. It’s completely unhealthy, yet I do it anyway.

Sometimes it’s hard to know the line between being honest and vulnerably sharing the face behind the mask, and when we’re just complaining or looking for attention.

I have a love hate relationship with that… I HATE being the center of attention, like absolutely despise it, it makes me super uncomfortable and I do anything I can to divert it from myself. This can be especially bad if I’m having a rough time and am talking with a friend who’s in a good place. I don’t want to bring them down, so I shut down and say that I’m okay and then throw the conversation back to them. I don’t want to answer questions about myself. I don’t want people to know that I’m struggling, and I don’t want to be “that person” who brings everyone down, always having some sort of sob story.

clouds-1031416_640Yet I know that the isolation only makes it worse. I do it to myself. I recognize this. It doesn’t have to be this way. I have a whole group of people who are ready and willing to support me and love me through any storm I face. So why do I continue to hide? I don’t have to hide.

There’s a crack in the sky. Through the clouds there comes a light. I’ve hidden in the darkness, and I’ve stood firm in the light of the truth. Depression thrives in isolation. Sometimes it’s a heavy burden and for many, many complicated reasons, it tends to want to keep us there. Sometimes we even take on its identity as our own. That’s when the true damage comes. We’re not ourselves and we know it. Then the guilt of being a fake, of not being who I say I am, the imposter syndrome, not feeling like I have a place or that I belong.

seaside-1149834_640It’s so easy to be caught up in low self-worth. But God doesn’t intend for us to live that way. We need to reach out. We need to stand above the clouds. We do not need to stay trapped by this thing forever. It has no hold on us, it just feels that way sometimes. We don’t need to hide anymore. We are free. We are not our mental issues. We are our hearts, we are our souls. And our souls are washed clean.

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10 thoughts on “Perfectionist Isolation

  1. This is so well written and very true. Particularly the following part:

    ‘Sometimes it’s hard to know the line between being honest and vulnerably sharing the face behind the mask, and when we’re just complaining or looking for attention’

    This. A million times over! I couldn’t really put how I felt into words before I read this sentence. It’s this kind of thought process that really intensifies my sense of paranoia and lowers my self esteem.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad that this spoke to you, you’re definitely not alone in feeling that way. Our thoughts and feelings can be so complex sometimes that it’s hard to even know what we think and feel and what reality is. Thank you for sharing your perspective. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I relate so much to this and it’s something that I have been struggling with immensely lately. I have a hard time allowing others in to help me for fear of being attention seeking but right now I cannot do it on my own. I have no choice but to allow others to help me and it is terrifying. I struggle with it for fear of being a burden to them, seeming like I am attention seeking and fear that they won’t understand and will leave. I am trying to trust that it will be okay even if letting them in doesn’t work out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry you’ve been struggling with it too. I’m praying for you.

      It’s so scary to let people in sometimes. Being worried about how they see us (or how much they see), or those fears of being a burden on them. I’ve found that opening up to the right people has been incredibly healing and I’ve felt more love through that than anything that felt “safe.” Choosing who we share our struggles with can be important too, but when you find the right ones, it can make all the difference.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your situation. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I go through times like what you describe. The only antidote I know is to remember that God has accepted me (and sanctified me) and I have no business telling God that he’s wrong about me. I can accept what he has accepted in spite of my self-doubts. J.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s easy enough to “know” something, but it’s a different thing to truly “feel” those same truths at times. Some scriptures that help me in times similar to these: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, Exodus 4:10-12, 1 Peter 2:9, Jeremiah 1:6-8, Psalm 139:14, Zephaniah 3:17. I hope they offer some help to you, too.

    Also, don’t hesitate to talk to others. 1 Thessalonians 5:11, 14. Sometimes you are the encourager- at other times, you will be the one needing encouragement. I often verbally dismiss others’ kind words, but that treats them as a liar which is hardly kind and loving.

    A few weeks ago, we returned out foster son of 16 months to his family (praise God!) but I went through quite a bit of sadness and grief- during that time, I made “dates” with friends to make sure I was accountable to others and therefor more likely to get out of bed and functioning early in the day. It helped tremendously to stave off some of the depressive cyclone. I’ve had the kind of depression where that doesn’t work, too, but sometimes it does help. I hope you will feel encouraged to meet with others, know they care about you enough to handle your darker days, too, and can help you refocus on the light. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are amazing. You’re such an encouragement and you always have the right thing to say. Thank you. ❀

      That must stir up so many complicated and conflicting feelings to return your foster son to his family. I'm praying for you and your family. I'm glad that you have that community and have experienced their love. God truly uses other people to bless us.

      Thank you again! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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