It is rare that someone who suffers from chronic pain is not a perfectionist.  It was not until I realized my pain was not going away that I became a perfectionist.  I think it has to do with being able to control with something when you are totally unable to control your pain.  What is odd, is that I have learned how to control my pain naturally and yet still practice perfectionism.  I want to be the best mom and am very hard on myself when I feel I have not met my unrealistic expectations.  As a social worker, I wanted to be perfect at my job (absolutely impossible for any social worker to do!)  The thing about perfectionism is that it is impossible to be perfect and literally increases pain levels for those with chronic pain.  How could it not?  Why give fuel to the chronic pain fire and try and be perfect.  The phrase: “practice makes perfect” is beyond ridiculous and an awful thing that most of us hear at a very young age.   Let us change that phrase into: “practice makes permanence.”  For example, when I first left the Mayo Clinic and was managing chronic pain naturally I did not want to practice meditation.  The phrase “practive makes permanence” is what encouraged me to practice meditation daily and overtime it became routine and I learned to actually look forward to practicing meditation and finding new CD’s etc that I were filled with different ways and avenues to use meditation.  It is impossible to be perfect at meditating.  You lay there for twenty minutes or more using deep belly breaths and focus on what the person you are listening to is saying.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to be perfect.  It truly is self-abuse as we are striving for something that does not exist and we are angry with ourselves for not being “perfect.”  Why do we do this?  We need to be our biggest fans.  We need to be strong and wise enough to know we are doing the best we can.  Let go of perfectionism: it will aide in your management of chronic pain and allow you to lead a much happier, fulfilling life.  People may abuse you in your life: do NOT abuse yourself.


Perfectionism and Chronic Pain


4 thoughts on “Perfectionism and Chronic Pain

    • I am so right there with you re: punching the CD player but I have (my dtr making it difficult to practice since she turned 2 lol) many many CDs that were kind of cool. You must be open minded with no expectations.
      Some of my favorites:
      yoga nidra: any of them I get them off of Amazon for cheap
      Louise Hay has tons
      I have tons of relaxation CDs that are oddly comforting. Google or Amazon: relaxation CDs there are some that take you to the moon (don’t lose your imagination) beach etc. I cannot just listen to a CD with nothing but a man talking and telling me how to breathe etc. I need it to be cool.

  1. “now breath in… and breath out….”

    I always just want to shout “I’m doing that part! You do the other parts!”

    I tried a yoga nidra class but I was a bit restless for it. I should try again

  2. Pingback: “On Pain and Perfection” by Dr. Jonathen K. | Eslkevin's Blog

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