A Slightly Improved Me

25 02 2009


I haven’t posted for quite a while. It takes me a long time to gather the courage to write, let alone clarity of ideas. Sometimes I am upset and want to write but can’t put pen to paper. Since I am not in touch with ( or have an understanding of) most of my feelings, it’s hard for me to write. Reaching into and exploring my depths is an arduous path as I am very apprehensive of the dark, deep-rooted misconceptions I might find. Easier to drift off in familiar patterns of escape and drowning everything out with tv.

I spent the past couple of days reading intensely on OCPD and trying to better understand what I do, why the things that upset me do, and what exactly it is that I am afraid of. It’s been quite educational (painful, but educational). I’ve also been thinking about terms such as “positive attitude, staying motivated, self-talk, self-empowerment.” The concept that’s most caught my attention is that of perfection. I’ve really come to understand that it is a disease, the malady behind most of my falls and the reason for my perpetual state of anxiety and unhappiness. It really is not healthy at all.

Why do I get all tense and space out when I am in interviews? The fear and anticipation of things going awry. As soon as I step into a potential workplace, I see and picture all the flaws, existing and possible. It disheartens me and I immediately start to look for reasons to dismiss an offer, sometimes before I even get it.

While tossing and turning in bed last night, fussing over a task I have to do for a follow-up interview, I had these exhilarating images of what it would be like to actually work and maintain calmness, to work without being bitter, tense, angry or afraid about it, to apply myself to a task without endlessly agonizing over the tiniest detail to the point of losing my temper at the slightest things. While I am still reading on OCPD, I want to put down some things that I feel I would like to attain. I know that I probably won’t end up being a different person who’s completely cured of this personality disorder, but I’ll be satisfied if I can get more things done with less indecision, self-doubt, and fear and little more confidence and simplicity (the “it’s ok” or “so what” attitude).

I am still on the job hunt, and I am terrified by the prospect of getting a full-time job and fretting about my performance day and night, excluding all other necessary activities, such as cleaning, cooking, and having fun or relaxing.

So here’s what I would like:

1.      I would like to be working and not be obsessed about the quality of my work. Remember that it will never be perfect. I would like to be satisfied with “ok” and further down the road, maybe kick that up to “excellent.” The idea of “I must do this RIGHT/PERFECTLY/FLAWLESSLY/COMPLETE” freaks me out and paralyzes me. I go around myself (and the task at hand) in circles because I don’t really know what that “right” form is nor do I have a model guide for it.

2.      I would like to be working and able to maintain the regular day-to-day activities, such as cleaning up, going out, cooking a meal or even just watching a movie. When I have a task to complete, I put everything else on hold, including the above-mentioned, till it’s complete. This is the obsessive part: “I can’t waste any time. I have to finish this. It’s not right to do something else before this is complete.” Then I am completely burned out, bored, tired, and bitter. More often than not, lately, I haven’t been able to finish the tasks.

3.      When approached with a decision to make, I would like to do it in less time and with less fuss and frustration. Again, this ties back to the “getting it just right” concept that defines my thought patterns. Things like what I want or what I feel comfortable with don’t even play into the picture; my aim is to make “the right” decision. If I remember that no one knows the right answer, and my choice is as good as any other, that will help keep me calm. Most of the time, there isn’t even really a “right” one, it’s just a matter of what suits who. I guess the word to sum this point would be “non-chalant.”

4.      I would like to cultivate a sense of comfort with “ok” and uniqueness. This will reduce my anxiety during work because I won’t be so worried and afraid that I won’t get it right. I will be aiming for a product that’s “okay” and sometimes “excellent.”

5.      I would like to actually acknowledge how I feel instead of dealing with everything from the viewpoint of right and wrong.

6.      I would like to be far less tense and worried about all the possibilities of things going wrong all the time. I would like to get out of my head.

7.      I would like to cultivate a taste for the color gray and its many different shades.


One step I will try is that whenever I feel that something SHOULD be done in a certain way (the right way), I will try to stop there and either do it in a different way or not do it at all. This way I can actually see that things can be done in more than one way and they’re probably all equally good.

I am testing this one for now and hoping to make progress, however small.




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