I am Not Perfect (but I am perfectly flawed)

Hello there.  My name is JaLynn.  And I am not perfect.  

I mean, like really not perfect.  Nobody is perfect, but I have obvious flaws, some things I've been picked on my whole life for, others are issues that started in middle school, and still others began in adulthood.

I will never be perfect.

And I am okay with that.  I don't strive for perfection.  I don't even want to be perfect.  I like my imperfect self. 

Because to be human, is to have issues.  But what makes them issues?  Well, we do, of course.  We think everyone should be the same.  And when we (obviously) aren't, we separate ourselves from one another based upon our imperfections.  She's fat.  He's skinny.  They are strange.  We all do this or have done it at one time or another.  This is what bigotry is based upon: the pushing of separation based upon differences (which deep down, we view as imperfections--because if we didn't, we'd not separate ourselves from each other, we'd welcome people into our lives no matter who they are).

Bigotry sucks.  But what happens when we turn that anger inside, towards ourselves?

That's when eating disorders happen.  That's when self-hatred happens.  That's when we hurt ourselves and hate ourselves because of what we view on and in our own bodies and brains as imperfect.  But there really is no such thing as perfection.  People like putting on shows for us.  Like we are watching their movies where they are the lead roles and we are the supporting roles.  We need to remember one important thing: they are portraying themselves as a character, not reality.  Because nobody "has it all".  Just because one person's flaws aren't as obvious as others', doesn't mean they have none.  The kind you can't see usually are the most difficult for someone to deal with.  And because of this, we need to remember to have empathy for every single human being because we have no idea what they are going through at any given moment.

When you look at my face, what do you see?

First of all, I have a lot of gray hair (I feel ashamed to say I did use a filter to take some of it out, but I did this before I realized I'd be writing this post! LOL).  My 40th birthday is next month and this part feels very premature, but I know it's not.  Granted, I know others with worse, so I should have nothing to complain about, but I look in the mirror every single day and think of all the ways to conceal my gray (which is mostly hidden when my hair is down like this).  One way I've learned is that I have to wear my hair certain ways because if my temples show, then my gray looks like it's taken over my entire head.

Secondly, I have crows feet.  Like, bad.  Both of which are adulthood issues for me.  In my head, I am still young, but when I look at myself, I sometimes feel so old.

Another flaw on my face that you can't see (because of my hair is covering it is my large patch of melasma on my forehead.  That's from my lovely Mirena IUD (the hormones cause this, usually pregnant women get it).  It looks like a cute brown liver spot.  Nice!  I use my hair to cover it so the sun doesn't make it worse.

I have acne, something I've dealt with since puberty.  It's better than it used to be (and it used to be pretty bad a couple years ago), but I still have breakouts.  Right now, I have a few pimples on my neck (why do pimples show up in weird places?).  It's so much better than in middle school when Angie DeWitt used to ask me "Do you go to the school for the blind and let them read your forehead?"  That was my favorite insult btw, it was pretty creative for a 13 year old girl 😁 I do have a picture somewhere, of that horrible, horrible year (haha!).  If I find it I will come back and post it so you can giggle at my awkwardness.   

I also have chin hair.  Yup.  This is probably my biggest issue right now that really, really bugs me.  I have to pluck my chin.  Like every other freaking day.  I am also getting a mustache.  Yay me!  If those two things aren't huge flaws for a women, then I don't know what is. But, I carry tweezers with me everywhere and do what I need to do when I need to do it 😎

But can you spot the very blatant issue I've had for my entire life?  Usually it's the first thing someone notices when I take pictures because they make my face look so lopsided. I have one hooded eyelid and one non-hooded eyelid.  So it always looks like I have one eye partially closed.  In school my pictures always looked so strange, and I never knew why.  When I got older, I found that by taking pictures of myself from the top down my eyes had no choice but to be completely open.  So every pic I took was of that strange angle.  But a few years ago, I found out what was actually going on (and saw that a famous person has the same problem: Macklemore), and stopped being ashamed of it.  Yes, it can still bug me sometimes and most pictures of me turn out silly looking, but I've learned to live with it.  And I can stop taking pictures of myself at unnatural angles 😏 (it also helps having a better camera and learning some photography skills).

Now, for the parts you can't see.  I am a size 22.  Growing up, I was pretty small...then I hit puberty and hovered around a size 14.  I became anorexic at age 15 and got down to size 5 because I hated my body so badly and had body dysmorphia (I literally saw fat where there were skin and bones).  I see old pictures of myself and I shudder to think I felt so HUGE when my arms and legs looked so boney.  I am not short, so a size 5 was way too small for my frame.  I only hated my body because everyone at school called me fat.  Even girls who weighed more than me.  It was torture and I let it seep into my brain and stay there and grow, like an invasive weed.  And my abusive boyfriend of 2 years also constantly told me how fat I was, as well.  Just a quick piece of advice: Never trust the opinion of a man (or any other human) who beats you.  They aren't really a reliable source of the truth.

But now?  I am actually fat.  And nobody says shit to me about it.  And if they did?  I have a comeback.  I even told this to my uncle once who called me fat when I was pregnant:
I may be fat, but I can lose weight, but you'll always be an asshole. 

That shut him up real quick.  And I walked away.  He went around later asking my aunt "Does she really think I am an asshole?"  He had a habit calling all women he knows fat (to their faces), so he deserved getting his own feelings hurt 😊  I am not an advocate of insulting someone's looks or something else they can't help, but being an asshole?  They can help that. 

So while some may see my size as a flaw, I see it as something to work on, but not obsess over because for me, it's really no big deal anymore.  I remember what it was like to hate my body every second of the day and how that almost destroyed me.  I never ever want to feel like that again.  Now, why I am size 22 is what is the real issue, which is a hidden flaw of mine:

I have severe anxiety and depression.  

And that is why I blog about these things.  They always say "write what you know", and I know these two inside and out, and have for my entire life.  Most days, I can't drive without a licensed driver with me.  I can't go places alone (not even for walks).  Even showering alone is hard for because of these.  I go through cycles, and when it's bad, it's really bad, but when it's good?  It can be really, really good.  I feel almost normal.  This past winter I've packed on a lot of weight because of my depression and anxiety, because I was either too tired to exercise or I was panicking so much each day that I just couldn't move.  I don't sit around like a zombie, but I also don't do things that normal people take for granted every single day.  Or if I do, I don't do them alone.

I can't help having mental illness, but it still feels like a HUGE flaw because it controls so many aspects of my life at times. 

Another thing is that I am sometimes argumentative.  I don't mean to be, I just get highly irritated due to my mental issues and nitpick everyone at times.  I am so much better than I used to be, but it's still an issue on a regular basis.  Though I am surrounded by loving people (my husband and two teenage boys) that understand and help me to be a better person every single day (and I try to help do the same for them).  So I strive to be better, but some days....I just can't help but be an irritated ball of assholery 😏

Another problem is I almost never feel good.  I have days where I feel bad all day (and some days where I feel pretty good).  I know it's mental.  I know it's most likely my anxiety acting up.  I do have meds, but at times I am too scared to take them (another huge flaw).  Some of my bad days have to do with fibromyalgia pain (or another health issue I have--which is many), but mostly it's mental.  Sometimes I hate myself.  Sometimes I hate being me.  But then I sit with that, and let it pass, until I feel better, and then remember I also love being me, too.  I have some wonderful attributes and can create some really cool stuff when I want to.

But I am so far away from perfection that I have had to change my idea of what perfection is.  

Being perfect isn't not having any flaws or differences.  Being perfect is simply just being human.  It's being me.  It's being you.  It's just being.  Flaws and all.  We are going to have bad days, we're going to have good days, we're going to have great days and terrible days.  Sometimes those days will stretch to weeks, months, or even years.  But even if someone else looks like they are having it better than we are?  They aren't.  Their ebbs and flows may be different than ours and on different timelines, but there still will be ebbs and flows.  Nobody's life will be all flows.  There's no such thing.  So, stop striving for perfection.  Because it doesn't exist.

Only you exist.  Right here.  Right now.  Me and you.  We are beautiful human beings, my friend.  Our crows feet.  Our graying hairs.  Our hairy chins.  Our big butts.  Our every flaw and every difference. 

Perfection is acceptance of who we are right now.  Because if we don't, we won't be able to do so when we do get rid of some of our perceived flaws.  Like, if you don't love your body when you're overweight, you sure as heck won't love it when you've lost any weight.  Because loving yourself is about acceptance, not about being perfect.

In order to learn how to do this, download the exercise I've prepared for you below!

Click here to download the "I am Perfectly Flawed" Exercise

When you complete the exercise, come back here and tell me some of the things you wrote on the second worksheet, I'd love to hear them! 

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