Monday, December 1, 2014

My kind of perfectionism

The next new chapter I need to tackle in the sugar book is the one on abstinence and perfectionism. I didn't really grasp that perfectionism is a part of the disease until the last few days. At least it's a part of my disease.

It's taken me a long time to see some of my behaviors as perfectionist. I'm not a neatnik. I'm the one with stains on my clothes and pastel chalks under my fingernails. Many of my hairs are out of place. My house is tidy but not perfect. You can't have three cats and have a perfect house. I'm usually on time but not always. I keep my word most of the time but not 100%. I'm forgiving when other people are late, when they forget things, when they are human.

But I have a thing about rules and commitments that is so deeply engrained as a survival mechanism that it runs my life without me even knowing half the time. In AA we talk about "progress, not perfection" but that doesn't really pertain to abstinence from alcohol, because for most of us, to drink is to die. So there is a kind of all or nothing stance around alcohol recovery. And my need for a stable structure, a simple rule gets met in AA. But with food, that kind of stance doesn't work so well. How do we do food recovery and let go of doing it one simple way?

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