At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The perfect illusions...of perfectionism...

In my post from yesterday, I talked a little about how last week I temporarily lost both the motivation and desire to blog, due to the vice-like grip of perfectionism which has, just like Ed, been overshadowing my life and world for years, taking away joy and pride and enjoyment and satisfaction; replacing them with self-doubt, frustration, and self-loathing. It crushed every little segment of pleasure, crushing them into minuscule little fragments, scattering them upon the wind. To quote a close friend of mine: perfectionism is a b****. I couldn't agree more. Ed and perfectionism : the two are almost like malign sisters, hand in hand with one another, spoiling, taking and destroying wherever they go.

I thought alot today, about how I am going to tackle this problem of self-imposed perfectionism. To  bbriefly explain to anyone who might not be quite so familiar with this concept, this is how I would define perfectionism itself. It's like a sense within yourself, that everything you do, everything about yourself, ever single little thing in your life, your world, the person that is you...should be perfect, flawless, impeccable. And for me, it extended to thoughts about my body and personality too.

And so I formulated a little PLAN of sorts, and of course I just had to put it in LIST format (sorryyyyy!!! :o ): and I hope through sharing my advice and thoughts on this, I might help anyone else out there who is struggling with perfectionism - for I know all too well just how intrusive, how harmful it really can be; and how it can essentially infiltrate and contaminate all areas and branches of one's life - and I hope that together, we can all kick this thing's ass. Remember: NOBODY is perfect: no one single person on this earth is without fault or flaw, if you want to call them that. We are not inanimate robots: this is what makes us human. And what of the greatest accomplishments you could ever possibly make would be to recognise your own flaws and imperfections, and learn accept them, and love yourself for who you truly are, as well as recognising the flaws and imperfections of others, too. One of my favourite songs for recovery has to be Natasha Beddingfield's Freckles. It's a moving, heartwarming and beautiful song with a very true and important message.

'Cause a face without freckles is like the sky without the stars...
Why waste a second not loving who you are?
Those little imperfections
Make you beautiful, valuable, lovable,
Reflecting who you are
 Inside your heart.

  • Acknowledge the existence, the presence of perfectionism in your life...but then end it there. Just because it is there, doesn't mean it has to affect you in such a harmful and damaging way. Oh here I just have to quote a line from Morokia that I wrote the other week!! Writing this it just fits in so perfectly to what I am trying to talk about...
He held his mind in a oneness; he was one with his mind, his mind was part of him. His thoughts, his feelings and emotions, were not in control of him: rather, he was the one in control of his thoughts. He saw the regret, the sorrow, the loss and the grief of the past. He saw them clearly, not attempting to push them away, felt their touch upon his skin. But then, he…released them, let them pass by, as if he were a rocky outcrop upon which a gentle wave breaks itself over, cleansing, touching, but not leaving him broken. Leaving him stronger, and ready. With renewed vigour he approached the final stair.

Remember that...YOU are in charge of your thoughts. INCLUDING those implanted in your mind by perfectionism!!!
  • So yes, it is there...but the other important thing to remember is, you have to be patient and compassionate with yourself. You do not have to complete the mammoth and nigh on impossible task, of erasing our perfectionism from your life, entirely and wholly, in a matter of days, weeks or even months. These things take time. Be kind and patient with yourself. baby steps is the best way to go here.
  • Learn to embrace yourself, for the person that you are. And I know that this is so so hard, but. It is possible!! get a recovery or self-motivation journal. Here is my own one!! ;) (I have many journals... ;) And in it, try writing a few simple little things on a very regular basis, once a day if you can. Such as 2.) three positive things a day. 2.) three good things that you did/achieved today. 3.) three things you are looking forward to, and they can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. 
  • And in the journal write down the things that you like about yourself, your gifts, your talents, the things you like about personality. And as you write them, it is very likely that you will hear a voice screaming furiously in your head, telling you that everything you write is false and that there is nothing good or positive about yourself...but you just have to tell that voice to F*** off, basically, and continue writing them anyway. Remember: that voice might be there, you can hear it, but that does not mean that you should let it hurt you, control you. influence you. Continue to resist that voice, and it WILL get weaker, and you, stronger. 
  • And then focus on the things which you enjoy doing or did once enjoy doing, bit now the pleasure you once derived from them has evaporated, because of perfectionism's heartless lies. ut what you just need to do here, is to start doing them, anyway, regardless. Again, start slowly. For me, getting back into Morokia / blogging again was all about taking things slowly and carefully. I told myself: ok, I am NOT going to rush ack into it, and expect myself to get pages upon pages of Morokia written in a day, or a whole long and 100 % perfectly written log post. does NOT work like that. I am going to focus on getting a paragraph written, I am going to sit and blog for half an hour. And to write from my heart, and to enjoy it, and to recognise this, that this is my writing, my blog, and that I do not need to dedicate all my time and energy into making it flawless. It is unique and it is important to me.
  • And something which I know might be of some help, is to purposely leave things uncompleted or imperfect. You might find (as I do) that you might spend hours doing something which most people might complete in less then half that time. I did this with Morokia the other week...instead of deliberating for ages about how best to write a sentence, I just let it flow out of me and let the words transcribe themselves in the page, telling myself that I would have time to edit later if I so desired, but for now, perfection did NOT matter. 
And now I am going to stick two fingers up at perfectionism and NOT spend ages editing my blog post!!!! Okay not something I would recommend doing for your thesis or essay etc but I think this action is very befitting on this occasion... ;)

My hair is all over the place, my shoes do NOT match my dress, I am wearing absolutely no make up and my glasses are Penney's finest, of course. :p But do I care? No! Because I realise now that perfection does NOT equal to perfect happiness!!


  1. Thanks so much for this excellent post, you express all my feelings and your advice is great. Even if most things seem to be impossible for me to achieve, each baby step is a weapon in the fight against the voice. Together we will prevail over anorexia.
    Love Mary

    1. oh hun, I am so glad this was of some help to you! <3 and that is exactly it, hun, every little thing we do is important and should not be overlooked. None of us can climb this huge mountain in a day, but every little step we take brings us nearer to that beautiful peak, every small action we take against ED makes us stronger and ED weaker!! And so it is for perfetionism. It CAN and WILL be beaten hun ! <3 xxx