“Everything I say and do, has to be perfect.”
Are you on the autistic spectrum and does this sound familiar to you?
There’s something about having autism that makes me need everything I say, every social interaction, every job I do at work, every bit of diy I undertake to be perfect.
There is no inbetween, no middle ground. It’s either perfect or completely useless, and underlines my horribly low self esteem.
The trouble is, that my concept of perfection is impossible to achieve. Like reaching the horizon, you can never get there. The consequences of this are that I live in a constant state of insecurity, feeling as though everything I do is worthless and not very good.
I am fortunate in that I do get a lot of praise for the work I do, but this has little effect on my low self esteem. I can only see flaws in anything I do.
In search of the perfect conversation
When I’m having a conversation with someone, each and every word I say, has to be performed to a level of perfection that is way beyond the impossible to achieve. I am often in a state of anxiety for days, even years, replaying conversations I’ve had, over and over again in my head.
In my work as a film maker, I spend hour upon hour adjustinyg the tiniest details of a video edit. Details that seem huge to me, would probably not be seen to be important, or even noticed by even my most fussy clients. If I spot an almost unnoticeable flaw in my work, I will feel as though I have failed completely, and will not think I deserve to get paid.
I have been trying to get into the habit of telling myself that my work is “good enough” and not to stress out so much over the detail. I have been trying to feel ok about not always saying exactly the correct thing at the correct time. It’s difficult to undue a mindset that has been with you for a
life time. It will probably take the rest of my life time to feel that it’s ok not to be perfect.
Thanks for reading-Steve