Inside: sensitive content- the thing that has made the biggest positive impact on my mental health – on my capacity to live with joy – is choosing to embrace imperfection and “good enough.” I choose to live imperfectly – On purpose.
Why I (joyfully) eat frozen pizza on Friday nights…
Because last spring as the apple trees began to bloom, I wanted to die. I had been living with heightened anxiety again for months and asked for help, unheard. And then the anxiety left suddenly and I plummeted into despair. I wept and reasoned my way through my options for leaving, quite certain it would be best for everyone involved.
Fortunately, in my hard-fought wisdom, I don’t keep any sort of pill at home. I walked for hours and was able, the next day I think, to make a doctor appointment and get some blood work to adjust my meds for Hashimoto’s. Sometimes micro-adjustments matter.
My doctor, at our consult, after I told her the hard truth, after she apologized and promised to listen next time I told her I needed help, suggested that I lower my standards somewhere. With your food, perhaps, she suggested. Of course, I balked. She obviously didn’t realize just how important nutrition is to my mental health, I thought. But a few days later, maybe a week, I surrendered. I needed help.
Sometimes help has come in the form of counselling or medication. Sometimes in the arms of a friend or the compassionate touch of my husband. It comes in sleep, and walking, and dark chocolate. But sometimes, help comes in lowering my standards and eating frozen pizza on a Friday night.
NOW WHAT? Your mental health matters. It matters more than trying to do life perfectly, pretending that all is well, or trying to manage others’ perceptions of you. What serves us in this season may look different in the next. But one thing that has consistently made a huge, positive impact on my mental health – on my capacity to live with joy – is lowering the bar and embracing imperfection. I choose to live imperfectly. On purpose.