perfection tree

I used to wish that I wasn’t bipolar or that I didn’t have anxiety disorder or that my OCD would leave me alone. I used to wish that the abuse of a boyfriend didn’t result in post traumatic stress disorder – the beginning to this end. I used to wish I was perfect. Not nearly. Not kind of. But perfect – without needs or noise. My mother always use to tell me that my best was good enough, but deep down, I knew it wasn’t. I wanted to be better, better, best. What fuels this kind of fire? What nags at the hem of your pants telling you that no, that’s not quite right, try again, and again, and again? Who ever told me I had to be perfect and how did I come up with such a philosophy?

I used to wish I wasn’t sick. I would cry out in unfairness. Why me? I was supposed to be perfect, not flawed, not human. I was supposed to do everything, be everything – to everyone, for everyone.

But that is not the way my particular cookie crumbled. It didn’t break off into tiny crumbs. It fell on the floor and got stuck to someone’s shoe. Not even eaten.

I don’t wish away my madness anymore. It is intrinsic to who I am. And like my bio says, I am better now, better than before. I like to view my mental illness as a gift. It allows me to have more compassion for others. And I really don’t think I ever truly believed that I was good enough. As is. But let me tell you, I’ve been down and I’ve been out and I’ve been a wreck and I’ve been weak and I’ve been unwell and there were people who still loved me just as much if not more.

Being mentally ill taught me that I didn’t have to be perfect, that my best was, indeed, good enough. It taught me that there will always be someone there to catch me, to love me, to remind me that I am good enough.

So what do I wish for today? I wish that tomorrow I am stable. It need not be remarkable or even memorable. I just want to wake up and go to bed in a stable frame of mind. It’s weird how things change like that…from needing to be perfect to wishing to be normal for just one more day.

Image courtesy of J Fry /


Elaina J. Martin

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APA Reference
Martin, E. (2014). Perfection. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 19, 2019, from


Last updated: 23 Feb 2014
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