My perfectionism is trying to kill me…

…okay, from my title, we all know I tend to exaggerate.

But seriously. what-do-you-4d6bpu

School started again a little less than two weeks ago. I am entering my final year of my teacher prep program, and this semester means that I am required to be in class 4 nights a week until 9 pm. It is a full load of classes with a cohort group, and each class is compressed into a week to two weeks. So, it is a lot of deadlines, full days, and stress.

Combine that with the “other” stuff–two kids who cry when I walk out the door and want me to read them bed time stories, a marriage that is rocky and full of poor communication and resentments, money struggles, and everything else that creeps up–and I am feeling beyond stressed and nervous.

I am fighting feelings of guilt about leaving my kids each night and missing out on evening events, feelings of disappointment in myself for not be able to do things at MY expected rate of 100%

And my nerves are frazzled. I feel shaky, I’m losing my appetite again, and then eating junk food when I do have it back because I feel like I deserve it and it makes me feel better…until I do it, and then it doesn’t. My IBS is out of control and making me miserable and fueling my anxiety, which in turns makes my tummy worse. In short, I am really not taking care of myself right now.

Yes, I am still running and, obviously, I am finding some time to write. But, in reality I’m a frickin’ mess.

My counselor–the wonderful challenger that she is–asked me yesterday WHY I do this to myself. She told me that it is okay if I do not get 100% on everything, that no one looks at a 4.0 after we graduate, and that the things people like about me have little to do with my grades. She reminded me that I have already been offered a teaching position–before I am even a certified teacher–and that they never even saw my grades.

I heard her. Yes…I really did. But my head was shaking “no” the whole time because, for some damn reason, I just absolutely don’t believe that it is okay to not spend my time doing my 100% best.

I DON’T KNOW HOW.

and…I don’t know why.

Why does it matter? Why is my self worth so connected to my achievement? I like being smart. I like the attention, or prestige, or whatever else comes with doing really well. I desire making a name for myself.

Does that stem from coming from a family that was unknown or, worse–known for all the wrong things?

I truly do not know.

Why can’t I challenge teachers, or bosses, or anyone else in a position of power out of fear that they will put me in my place and show me how insignificant I truly am?

I don’t know.

What I do know is that, today, I spent an hour and a half simply trying to format a paper correctly, before even beginning to write it. The teacher wanted it a specific way, but did not provide quality details…so to the land of the internet I went. The minutes passed, I got frustrated, cussed at the computer, whined, and wanted to cry. And, I still hadn’t even started the assignment. Of course, this made me mad, and freaked me out because I hadn’t started and still had so much more to do…yet, the clock was still ticking.

An hour ago, I sucked up my disappointment in needing a pill to help me and swallowed an Ativan because, in a few hours’ time, I will be expected to sit in front of a class and projected on a TV screen to give a 20 minute presentation on a topic I just heard about 4 days ago. Me, the nationally ranked speech and debate kid…too scared and nervous and worried about how I will look on a TV and speak coherently or not panic, to be able to do it un-medicated.

My counselor told me yesterday that I can’t give 100% to all aspects of my life and I should prioritize which ones to focus on. Of course, this made me feel immensely guilty. How can I ever admit that I don’t prioritize my family or marriage? I want to be able to change how school affects me. I do. Desperately. I just don’t know how to change that piece of me that has been ingrained within for so long.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest bitches I know. Somebody please help me ditch her…please?

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