My Inner Child and Perfectionism
Growing up I was a perfectionist. And while I’m now able to regulate my impulses to go well past my emotional and mental limits, as a child my self-worth depended on overachieving to feel seen and heard. Whether it was a school assignment, cleaning my room, or comparing myself to everyone else, I found that my high expectations built an inner bully that still rests in the inner child inside me.
When situations happen or certain phrases are spoken to me that affect my inner child, a wave or impulse of pain passes through my chest and my heart drops to my feet. I could instantly remember a similar situation or feeling from one in my past. Examples of these are being ignored, feeling as though my voice isn’t being heard, being pushed to the side, feeling alone, not knowing who to talk to, or feeling less-than and not good enough.
Depression, Connection, and Growing in Self-Awareness
The more I grow in self-awareness, the more I’m able to connect and identify the situations, experiences, self-talk, and thoughts that hurt my inner child. Much of my depression, I now realize, rest on the pain and experiences of that hurt little girl. I’ve learned that the more in-tune I am with soothing my inner child, the closer I get to understand the best ways to take care of myself through depressive episodes.
Connecting with my inner child is a bit painful, but it allows me to begin to let go and progress to a more workable and healthy relationship with myself. I want to love myself more in my recovery with depression. As I feel the pain resurface, I’m learning to let it go. I imagine speaking with my inner child while building trust and honesty with myself.
Soothing as a Process of Moving Forward
Workable self-talk and writing are two soothing tools I use when experiencing mental turmoil. Detaching my thoughts from my mind onto my phone or paper helps me to see what I’m going through using words. I’m able to soothe myself and create something positive as I switch negative thoughts into more positive ones.
The more I write, the more I can show my inner child that it’s okay to feel hurt. My worth is no longer connected to what I do but to who I am. In my journey of healing and recovery, I’m accepting all parts of myself without judgment. An increase in self-awareness is also an increase in self-love. Self-love means I will do what I can to be better and feel better.
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