Confessions of a Perfect Mom

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Who am I?

yourpastisyourstoryMy name is Charlene and I’m a recovering perfectionist.

I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder last October, when I had decided to step into counseling. At that point in time in my life, I was on the brink of having a nervous breakdown and suffering from anxiety, depression, and an eating disorder. OCPD is characterized by a preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency [1]. It was needless to say how much I enjoyed routine, hated surprises, could never ask for help, make decisions, communicate feelings or emotions effectively, and socializing outside of my personal comfort zone was not an option.

Meanwhile, on the outside, I was polished and superficially content. I had been given several accolades in my career as a special education teacher, I was married to a warm and caring husband, I was embarking on starting a small business for allergen friendly desserts, and my children were my brightest jewels around my neck that out-shined any other accomplishment I ever could have dreamed. Everything must be so perfect for me. I mean, I didn’t look depressed, exhausted, or emotionally unavailable. But I was. The upkeep of the façade had taken its toll. I could no longer wear that mask. I needed to breathe. I needed relief. I needed a safe place to finally let go of the inadequacies that engulfed my mind.

So there I was, sitting in an office full of broken ones just like myself. I kept thinking, why is there something wrong with me? What did I do? Why me? I was angry that I was there. I was angry with God because I felt betrayed. I felt alone. Unworthy. Invisible. I first came into that small room beaten up, broken, emotionally crippled, and plagued with doubt, but as time went on, I began to see light again. I began to see that there wasn’t something wrong with me or that I was a defect. I began to see myself as human. I for so long was hung up on my own pride and belief system of how things should be, and slowly I began to realize that there was no such thing as perfect. And then, I began to see me for me and started to accept myself for who I am.

Where I am currently

growwhereyouareplantedIt’s been six months since I started counseling and I have seen a difference in how I deal with my emotions and my ability to recover from unexpected set backs. Along with counseling, I have changed my diet and added natural supplements to address my anxiety, depression, and impulse control. I still struggle. It is something that I try to manage day by day, and sometimes, moment by moment. I simply try to remind myself that I am doing the best I can, with where I am, and with what I have.

 

 


 

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Lessons I am learning in therapy:

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  • My issues, behaviors, addictions or deficits do not define me.
  • I have value and worth.
  • I am a good mother, wife, and friend.
  • I am beautiful just the way I am.
  • I can always start over.
  • I cannot control my surroundings at all times.
  • Asking for help does not make me weak.
  • I have the right to say no.
  • I can take what I want from my experiences and either keep or discard what I feel is in the best interest for me and my family.
  • I deserve all the good things I have earned.
  • I am allowed to make mistakes.
  • I do not have to prove myself to anyone.
  • I will love and accept myself for who I am, right here and now.

Even though this process hasn’t been easy and continues to be painful at times, I am looking forward to the emancipation that awaits. There I will stand, free.

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Gratitude: I would like to thank God for giving me the right people I needed to keep me going, especially my husband, Ben. I know Ben was just an extension of You to pull me through when I thought I couldn’t go any further. Ben, you held my heart and carefully and lovingly helped piece it back together. I will forever be thankful for the love and grace that sits beside me.

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety or an eating disorder, please talk with someone you trust. Contact your doctor to discuss possible treatments that will best suit your needs.

Depression  Eating disorders

Sources: [1] Psych Central

charleecrawford
Charlee is a Tampa native and currently resides in Valrico with her two boys (ages 5 & 2), and husband, Ben. Charlee is a teacher by day, and recipe developer by mealtime. She loves being in the kitchen and propping her boys on the counter to assist as her sous chefs. She believes that involving her whole family in the process will foster healthy habits and an appreciation of where food comes from. Charlee has a food blog called Little Red Bird Kitchen where she posts recipes and the reactions of her little guys and big guy, too. Charlee enjoys reading, pinning, crafting, and finding tasty local eats. She loves glam vintage, wears Chuck Taylor Converse everyday, and rocks the bow tie. Visit her blog @ www.littleredbirdkitchen.com and follow her Instagram @CharleeChomps.

1 COMMENT

  1. As well as a great wife, mother and friend, Charlee is a wonderful daughter in love of whom I am very proud. I appreciate the courage it took to open yourself up in order to benefit others. Thereby, you expand your own horizons. I love you!

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