As a person who’s always held herself at a perfectionist standard, achieving balance in most aspects of my life has been challenging, to say the least. I’ve held such absurd beliefs growing up, ones that I’ve stuck to until recently where I learnt how much damage they had done and the damage they could potentially do to my well-being.
The most important thing, that one thing I held in the highest regard was that I had to succeed no matter the personal cost, I had to do whatever I had to ensure I was performing at my very best, all the time. That to me now sounds exhausting, even typing it out exhausted me, I honestly wonder how I survived around 20 years of my life living like that. I also believed that all this stress and anxiety I was experiencing was normal, it was something so many people I knew had experienced or were experiencing, it was normalised. It didn’t occur to me until years later that I should perhaps seek therapy for this. And when I had the guts to go through this, which believe me it took a very long time and I’m glad I took the opportunity because it opened my eyes to so many things I hadn’t considered.
It wasn’t until these moments did I come to realise that I was at war with myself, I didn’t want to give up the success I had worked so hard to obtain to try and care of myself, I could wait, and sadly I was always waiting. I used to cringe at the thought of taking breaks, of taking time off, it would hurt me, keyword here being, used to. On and off for the past few years, after I removed myself from a toxic friendship I started to take care of myself until I felt like it was slowing me down and then I’d overwork myself until I was back to a constant state of anxiety.
It wasn’t until I made a proper effort this year to hold myself accountable to the way I treated myself, I no longer beat myself for not being absolutely perfect or having to take breaks because I’d had a bad day. My perspective switched, I stopped holding my work above me, the one thing I was pressured to succeed in by myself and others, the one thing that I believed represented my entire being, I gradually let go.
I am a person whose abilities can be reflected in the work that I do and something even as simple as these words that you are reading right now, but this work does not tell you everything, simply put, it never will.
With that being said, I haven’t achieved the perfect balance and I doubt I ever will, life is known to throw curveballs, to be unpredictable most of the time and most circumstances you cannot be prepared for. Yet I know the value of care, the value of stopping, breathing and reflecting before moving on and that despite my uneasy past I can change my future, all it takes is action in the right direction.
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