Appearance of Perfection
Before getting sick with MS I wanted everything of mine to appear perfect including my looks, words, actions, family, work, and home. Everything in my world needed to seem better than average. Some of my things truly were above average but most were regular. The reality of most of my things were known privately – away from judgment.
Costs of Perfection
There were downsides to my belief and behavior. First, most people put me on a pedestal – I was up here and they were down there. (Their thought I can’t do what she does and will never be where she is.) I wanted us to be the same, and I needed them in my world, but many times I felt lonely.
Second, I had very little trust. My belief was “If I want it done right I’ll do it myself.” Several times I took responsibility that wasn’t mine. I felt exhausted, burdened, and wondered why they wouldn’t help me.
Real is Better
Then I got sick and simply couldn’t do most things that, to me, made me above average. I had a hard time believing nice acts as genuine. I wondered why my friends still liked me when my skills had gone away.
At that point, I stopped doing unnecessary things (to conserve energy) and started letting the real me show. I said my honest thoughts, didn’t hide, in technical terms became WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), and lowered my expectations.
Instead of my house always being perfectly clean when people came over, and my clothes, shoes, hair, and looks always being in fashion I left them as they were and told myself, “It is what it is.”
It might seem unfortunate that I can’t do some things, but it’s a blessing because I have no skeletons in my closet, and never think Oh no! Hide me! This isn’t said to toot my own horn but to use myself as an example of putting it all out there. I say, “If I can do it, so can you.”
We want to be brave but don’t want to expose ourselves. So we hide, wish things were different, and cry by ourselves. But if we want things to change we have to change. Changes don’t have to be terrible. Instead of thinking change brings me to the unknown and is scary I like to think it’ll work out and be great. One small change can have a huge affect. I hope people will have the courage to be brave and dare.