(in case you're interested, part 1- written 2011- is here and part 2- written 2013- is here)
Perfection paralysis is what I call it when you can't do anything for fear that whatever you do won't be perfect. Speak to any amateur eating disorder expert and they'll tell you that those of us who are/have been ill are perfection seekers in being ill and perfection seekers in being well. And I'll tell you, chasing a perfect death or recovery is like being stuck in a kind of purgatory, somewhere flitting between constant strides into the sunset and never moving from your blanket den. It's a bit like- and I'm loathe to use this example, for reasons that will be obvious- when a person goes on a diet but then eats something 'bad' and so decides that they may as well eat 16 doughnuts and write the day off as a bad job. It's taking the 'diet starts tomorrow' mentality and applying it to every area of your life.
I'm rocking the bejaysus out of perfection paralysis right now, if that can even be a thing (maybe I've found my perfection, in living paralysed). In the past, my perfection paralysis has been negative and, don't get me wrong, it still sort of is, but it's also got a sort of purity about it this time around. It's not just that I daren't increase how much I'm eating for fear that I won't then be either the perfect anorexic or be the model recovered anorexic, although I still am so desperate to be perfect in my recovery. There's something more this time, something innocent about it; the sense that I'm at a point in my life where I could actually end up brilliant. To use such an obvious cliche: my life is a brand new notebook and I don't want to commit anything to the first page because I really, really need it to be great. I've been mediocre for too long and I'm terrified of staying this way.
So I'm not doing much. I'm going through the motions. Parts of my life are great, parts are horrible, altogether it averages out flat. I know that everything levels off and we all have good and bad aspects in our lives, and that in this respect (as in too many respects), I'm nothing special. Somehow it's becoming a beast though. I'm not writing very much, because I want only to write perfect things. The fact that I have mentally committed to pushing 'publish' on this is horrible. I want to be insightful and inspired and unique, but I fear I never have been any of those things and never will be. I'm not expecting people to disagree with me here, I just want to try and explain.
I've started hearing voices again. I'm doing everything right though- I've seen my psychiatrist and had my anti-psychotic increased, my therapist is aware and I'm doing all that I can. I think it's because other parts of my life are coming together and I'm so, so afraid of not being ill. I'm great at being ill. Perhaps close to perfect. Far closer to perfect, anyway, than I am at being well because I've had far less practise at this. My calorific intake has dropped a bit, but I'm doing ok. It's not as low as it has been in the past and my weight is still healthy. I'm doing... average.
I just want to be perfect. I want to be at least working towards perfection, instead of treading water.