Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person.
Dr. David M. Burns
Fear (or the fear of failure.) Could that be a big part of why I am so resistant to really paying attention to diabetes? The concept that I am a bit of a perfectionist is foreign to me. If I were in fact a perfectionist than I would do better at so many of the things I am not that good at, is the reasoning in my jumbled head. To an objective person this may not make sense but in my mind it makes perfect sense. If I were such a perfectionist I would actually be trying to be perfect all the time, right? I wouldn’t let my diabetes management fall to the wayside. But then it clicks: if you don’t even try you can’t have failed. Ah HA!
But now that I have discovered a small to piece to the method of my madness, how do I figure out why I am so damn afraid of failing? I am no stranger to screwing things up royally, alienating my family, pissing people off, giving up, or failing in general, so why this? Why now?
Some of the images of ourselves or identities we labeled with from when we were children just seem to stick with us. I was the baby of the family, the spoiled one, generally agreeable, not much of an athlete, a dork at school, creative, polite and good at diabetes. I was eager to learn all I could to take care of myself, thought the shots were cool not gross, liked being different, loved all the diabetes camps & trips I got to go on and was a favorite among my health care team for being a fairly compliant patient despite my ‘brittle’ diabetes. I was on the front page of the newspaper and in a local commercial, all because of diabetes. There are many things I am not much good at but this; this was something I was good at.
Except that I wasn’t always and the older I got, the worse I was but ingrained in me was my identity as a good diabetic. And not it seems I am afraid of not being such a good diabetic after all. I am afraid of failing. Rightly so, I suppose, since the stakes are pretty high – retinopathy, neuropathy, kidney failure and many other big, scary words. I’ve got to deal with that fear.