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  • Writer's pictureErin Fedeson

Reflections for Myself: Perfection Poisoned My Mental Health

In my mind, perfection is an addictive poison that seems harmless.

It started simple for me: do well in school. Work hard. Be the best.

I saw no harm. It had led to great results from elementary to high school. This mentality followed me to college where I stuck to my studies, chasing after perfection. When my grades were less than stellar in my second semester in my first year of college, it hurt. But I remained stubborn and buckled down even harder.

What I did not know was that I was heading for an overdose. I was addicted to the high of praise and recognition.

The shattering moment of realization came one fateful meeting in my undergrad year you can read about in my “Musings for Myself on "Unfollow Your Passion": Part 2: Got Ghost?”

The meeting dealt a crippling blow to my self-esteem and confidence. Yet I then desperately craved reassurance. That recognition. That praise. I wanted to be perfect again.

Yet my craving had an adverse effect. I was paralyzed. I could not move. I could not try new things. It had to go perfect. I was scared to be wrong. Scared to fail again.

Time healed most of the pain. Papers strewed about me in how I struggled to write about what I can call a trigger for me. That time period has been imprinted on my memory.

Now, my hope is to reach “good” and “pretty good” in all I do. It’s not if it’s prefect. It’s the thought that it counts. And if it resonates with others, that makes it all the better. For no one is perfect. And it is our imperfections that make us memorable.

Until my next reflection appears, have a wonderful life. <3

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