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© 2023 by inTune Pathways 

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Perfectionism is Debilitating

July 20, 2019

“None of this matters, you know”

My uni lecturer said.

On the phone to me

Asking why I hadn’t shown for my exam.

I gave her all the reasons.

And she was right.

I knew then

That none of it mattered.

The perfectionism.

It was stifling.

So much of my life

I didn’t show up for

Because I knew it wouldn’t 

Be perfect.

My brain wants everything

To be perfect.

It seeks out patterns,

Formations,

Numbers,

Rituals,

Routines,

And where there isn’t method

Structure

Familiarity

It goes to work

Attempting to create it.

Perfection.

But the body can’t be perfect.

Nor could my skin

My hair

My life.

So my brain set out

To control the elements it could

To work toward

Perfection.

Counting calories

Carbs

Kilos

Cutting my hair

Buying new clothes

And then when all else failed

I did nothing.

Because doing nothing

Is what perfectionists do

When they’re afraid 

Of imperfection.

We don’t try.

We don’t show up to exams.

We stop cleaning.

We bathe in self loathing.

We seek control in new areas.

As young autistic children 

We often avoid attempting anything

We can’t guarantee we won’t do

Perfectly.

Perfectionism is joked about

But the reality is

Perfectionism is painful.

Debilitating.

A form of anxiety.

And once I knew

About how my brain works

I was able to begin working WITH it

And not against it.

My autistic brain

Does not seek to harm me.

It only seeks to be fed.

Patterns, familiarity, control, safety.

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Kristy Forbes
inTune Pathways
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Artist: Mercura NYC.

 

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