The Celebrity Therapist

The Celebrity Therapist


Are You a Perfectionist?

posted by sherrygaba

 

Often as alcoholics and addicts, we have what is known as black and white thinking which I shared in my last blog.  This is a cognitive or (thinking) distortion.  Part of that distortion comes from our perfectionist thinking.  For example, as I also mentioned, I have been beating myself up over my appearance on CNN’s Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell.  If you haven’t read about it already, I truly believed I could have done such a better job.  I believe I looked too serious and didn’t smile enough; therefore, my cognitive distortion is “I must have done a bad job.”  This also comes from black and white thinking and my perfectionist personality.  Being perfectionist usually comes from a feeling of not ever feeling “good enough.”

 

 Perfectionism is a painful drive toward a never-ending journey for flawlessness; it does not allow for mistakes, personal limitations, or imperfections.  It causes you to feel anxious, fearful, and full of second guessing yourself.  It can keep you frozen, discourage creativity, reduce confidence, and cause you to never take the leap or to ever take chances. In recovery, you could have perfectionist thinking such as, “If I don’t go to a 12 step meeting every day, I might relapse,” or “If I relapse, then why even bother getting sober again,” or “My sponsor doesn’t want  to work with me, so I won’t bother getting a new one.” 

 

All of these types of thoughts will only sabotage your recovery.  It keeps you in a never ending cycle of always feeling that if you don’t do something just right, then why bother.   

 

Ask yourself if you are a perfectionist by answering the following questions:

 

I never do anything halfway; it is all or nothing for me?

 

I believe there is a certain way to do things and they should always be done that way?

 

I hate to make mistakes.  I get angry or defensive when I make them?

 

I feel humiliated when things are not perfect?

 

If I can’t do something perfectly, I won’t do it?

 

People say I am too hard on myself or them? (That’s how I was this week when I did my appearance on CNN).

 

Even when I do something great or accomplish a goal, I feel empty inside and feel it “should “have been better?

 

After you have answered these questions, let me know how you are a perfectionist?  How is it sabotaging your recovery?  Is it sabotaging other areas of your life such as your career, relationships, or well-being?  I look forward to hearing some of your responses.  I did get over my beating myself up over the television appearance by some  positive self-talk, and reminded myself that although I might have done a better job, I showed up, did the best I could under  last minute circumstances, and that I can always improve next time. In addition, I reminded myself that at this point I was powerless, the newscast was over, and I needed to let the obsession go.  Not always easy for people in recovery to do…..but when you finally surrender, you usually feel a whole lot better.

 

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Psychotherapist and Life Coach and author of “The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery.”  She is the go-to expert on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab and has developed a seven step action program of recovery for living a purposeful life.    



  • Marcia

    I answered evey question YES.
    I am retired from 26 years of nursing in the critical care areas and then cardiac rehab. Patients would tell me what a great nurse I was. as well as my peers, and to this day I don’t see it that way. In my mind I know that I am not a medeiocker nurse,but not as good as everyone else.
    This black and white thinking bred low self esteem. I lacked confidence in approaching physcians, to give information that was pertant to their patients.
    I have been retired from nursing for 14 yrs, and carry the guilt of my lack of confidence.
    I am such a perfectionist that all my towels must be folded the same way and put on the shelf in the same direction. All socks that I hang on the line must be hung toe first and all in the same direction.
    I feel trapped a cage with this type of thinking and know that I am missing out on my last journey through life.

  • Your NameQuiring

    I THINK I AM A BIT OF A PERFECTIONIST. I OBSESSED FOR YEARS ABOUT ME YELLING AT MY MOTHER WHEN SHE WAS DRINKING AGAIN. I TOOK EVERYTHING I HAD GIVEN HER OVER THE YEARS TORE MY PICTURE UP AND WALKED OUT. AFTER SHE DIED A SUFFERED TRAMENDOUS GUILT OVER THIS TO THE POINT I GOT VERY DEPRESSED AND TRIED TO TAKE MY LIFE. THANKFULLY I ASKED FOR HELP, HAD MY STOMACH PUMPED AND FINALLY GOT TO A GOOD PSYCOTHERAPIST. SHE CONVINCED ME I WAS NOT MY MOM’S PROBLEM AS FAR AS HER DRINKING. SHE STARTED LONG BEFORE I WAS BORN.
    TODAY I AM GRATEFUL TO BE ALIVE, LIVING WITH MY HUSBAND WHO LOVES ME,
    AND WE HAVE CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. HOPEFULLY THIS HELPS SOMEONE ELSE GET THE HELP THEY NEED. WE ARE ALL IN THIS WORLD TOGETHER AND SOMETIMES WE JUST FLAT NEED HELP.

  • April

    This article touched home for me. I am definitely a perfectionist, I answered yes to every question. I am struggling right now with drug addiction, to the point where I am now facing jail time. The addicts distorted thinking is the most negative aspect of addiction. I try constantly to change my thinking, I know this is key for my recovery. Thanks for the article it was great!

Previous Posts

Why I Created Wake Up Recovery
Four years ago when my book, "The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery" came out I knew there had to be ways to get my message out besides the book so I did speaking engagements, tele-conferences, workshops, television and radio interviews; but something was still miss

posted 3:42:28pm Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

When One Addiction Replaces Another: The Rob Kardashian Story
While Rob Kardashian is certainly not the household name of his two sisters Kim and Khloe, he is also not an unknown to those that watch the family reality show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”. It wasn’t too long ago that Rob Kardashian was dealing with a very public announcement of an ea

posted 1:13:29pm Jul. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Signs Of Danger: When Love Turns To Addiction
Love addiction can be equated to the need to be in a relationship regardless of how potentially damaging, abusive or even potentially self-destructive it may be. Often, when people are in a relationship, maintaining the relationship becomes all important, even if the other person no longer wishes to

posted 2:55:49pm Jun. 04, 2014 | read full post »

Celebrities And Adderall Abuse
There are a range of different reasons and different prescription medications that are abused or used off-label by average people as well as those with celebrity status. One of these medications is Adderall, a drug commonly prescribed for children and adults with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive

posted 8:45:19am Apr. 03, 2014 | read full post »

The 5 Most Surprising Celebrity News Stories Of 2013
Sometimes when you hear a celebrity’s name in the news you just know what is going to follow. You may also have been one of the millions that knew of the addiction or hidden secret of the celebrity that suddenly the star feels necessary to reveal. However, despite the rather open nature of celebri

posted 2:58:25pm Jan. 06, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.