I’ve discussed several times before how the pursuit of perfection makes me think In absolutes, that is that I am either perfectly happy or not. And if I am not perfectly happy, then clearly I must be depressed. When I write this down, I can see the flaw in the thought process but when I am beating myself up for not being ‘perfectly happy’ it seems entirely logical. I would say that this is the thought process that I am finding most challenging to modify.
In part, there is a level of fear that unless I am happy, I will go back to being depressed. When I think of depression, I think not of depression in isolation but in association with obesity, issues with alcohol and lack of physical fitness. I am not sure whether the fear is directly of going back to being depressed or whether it is a fear of a part or the whole spectrum that I associate together.
I never really saw myself as over-weight. Clearly at nearly 100 kg, I was. Clearly when I now put on my ‘fat’ clothes, I was. The physical side effects – lack of balance, joint pain and lack of any sort of stamina make overweight a condition to be avoided at all costs; I am not going back there! I still feel a significant amount of joint stiffness when I first start to move and was discussing this with my brother, A, on Saturday and he said that he experiences the same. He has never been over-weight (by comparison) so maybe that is just a rod to bear with our genetics.
This discussion with A highlighted to me again that I consider that anything less than perfection is failure. The fact that I no longer need either anti-depressant or blood pressure medication, that my glucose has returned to normal and that I have acquired a level of fitness that for the most part means that I am a participant rather than a spectator in life should be reason to be celebrating. I think that, to some extent, the reason why I focus on joint stiffness rather than celebrating all of the other health benefits of my journey is that I am so conditioned to imperfection being associated with sadness.
Perfection is an illusion perpetuated by those who would have us believe that they are or have it. Happiness does not require perfection. It requires a genuine celebration of achievement, an acceptance of current limitations and a decision to never ever give up!