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I’ve recently found an app I love; STREAKS.

Well, in all honesty, I’ve had this app downloaded on my phone since…wait, let me look…June 20, 2020. Apparently I was looking for a way to get organized and be healthier then too.

I love a good game and a competition with myself is even better. I have a ton of apps that track progress, give me points and badges, send me little notifications of a job well done or a reminder to get my ass up…pretty much everything.

However, this also can set me up for a real bad day if I don’t acheive them all. Yesterday I forgot to take the 1 minute cold shower (I know, Dale thinks I’m crazy, but there’s science behind this) and I actually considered getting in a freezing cold shower while my hot bath was running. I didn’t, but I really thought about it.

All of these little tasks and subsequently acheiving, or not acheiveing, them brings up a concerning conversation I had with my therapist a few weeks ago regarding perfectionism.

I always thought perfectionism was actually being perfect at something so when she asked my point-blank if I identified as a perfectionist my immediate answer was a “Fuck No” through a throaty laugh. “I’m not perfect at anything,” I told her.

Which, as some, or maybe many, of you know, that’s not actually what a perfectionist means; getting it ALL right ALL the time.

a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection.
— Oxford Dictionary

I can get onboard with the above definition but she needed to explain it to me a little furtner in detail. And it didn’t take long. “Are you a black/white, all/nothing, balls to the wall/nothing at all kind of person?”


I’m not really in to labels, which is probably I don’t throw my fist in the air and scream I’M AN ALCOHOLIC. I don’t like to be called anything really because I think we’re all just so much more than a few labels. It’s true, I’m a mom, and a wife, and a business owner but I’m also a walker, reader, writer, napper, eater, breather, coffee drinker, driver, dreamer, bather, teeth brusher…you see where I’m going with this. So to be labeled a perfectionist, which let’s all agree this isn’t the most attractive way to be described these days, bothered me.

Progress just isn’t enough of a dopamine hit for me. Little steps are just so hard …I want to be good at everything immediately and if I’m not, I don’t mind throwing in the towel. And some of those things I don’t necessarily consider failures, just not in the cards for me.

Unfortunately, there are a few things that I return to over and over again; beating my head against a wall. The big three; weight loss, financial freedom, sobriety.

I have to be perfect in one of those things in order for the rest to fall in to place and for me, that’s sobriety. I’ve written these words before…more than once and twice and three times. If I had to guess on a number of Day 1s I’ve had, or wanted to have, I’m guessing it would be in the hundreds, probably thousands. There are 8395 days in 23 years and I’m pretty sure I started questioning my drinking habits before it was even legal for me to have one.

‘No’ is just so much easier than ‘maybe’ for me; none is better than some. Sobriety is probably the only thing us perfectionists (which by the way, most ACOA are) will truly ever succeed at if we abstain forever.

Wrapping my mind around forever is difficult, I won’t lie. However, I do feel a little more confident these days when it comes to romanticizing that one glass of champagne at one of my kids’ weddings. That’s easier when you literally have a physical reaction to thinking about it.

A couple of months ago, after a particularly soaked weekend, I laid in bed for two days with the most painful (what I thought was) heartburn of my life. I thought I might be having a heart attack. I Googled every single thing I thought it could be, including an ulcer, and low and behold that’s what this girl ended up with.

For years I have been starting my mornings with 3-4 ibuprofen every single day. If the hangover was particularly bad, I’d pop 3-4 more in the early afternoon. All this with wine still sloshing around in my belly I’m sure.

Alcohol + NSAID + decades =

Thank the fucking lord that was my only wake up call. Whenever I get sober I think how horrible a different rock bottom could have been. A few days of burning stomach is a far cry from killing someone in a drunk driving accident or something equally as horrible.

I literally can’t think of alcohol right now without my chest burning physically. While I am sure that reaction will fade, I’m sort of hoping it doesn’t, it has gotten me through these first 10 days quite easily.

Here’s the lucky thing about having so many attempts and subsequent failures where it comes to getting sober. I know what’s coming. I know I’ll be resilent until about Day 50ish when I’ll start to feel it’s unfair, or that I can just have one or two, or I’ll make rules. And more than anything I’d love to think this time is different, and maybe it is, but likely it’s not.

I’ll either dig deep and ask for help, or I’ll persevere. I have faith that the Universe knows what’s best for me and will give me anything I need when the time is right.

In the meantime, I’m going to earn all the points, all the badges, take the wins and plan the future of my dreams.

Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years that help me combat my perfectionistic tendencies:

1. Acknowledge Your Perfectionist Tendencies: The first step in overcoming perfectionism is recognizing when it rears its head in your life. Take a moment to reflect on situations where you might be striving for unattainable standards or feeling overwhelmed by the need to be perfect.

2. Challenge Your Inner Critic: That little voice in your head constantly whispering, “It’s not good enough”? Yeah, it’s time to show it who’s boss. Challenge your inner critic by questioning its unrealistic expectations and replacing negative thoughts with self-compassion and kindness.

3. Set Realistic Goals: Instead of aiming for perfection, focus on setting realistic and achievable goals. Break down big tasks into smaller, manageable steps, and celebrate your progress along the way. Remember, progress, not perfection, is the ultimate goal.

4. Practice Self-Compassion: Be gentle with yourself, darling. Perfectionism often stems from a fear of failure or rejection, so it’s essential to practice self-compassion and remind yourself that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer to a friend.

5. Embrace Imperfection: Repeat after me: Imperfection is beautiful. Embrace the messy, imperfect moments of life, and see them as opportunities for growth and learning. Allow yourself to make mistakes, take risks, and step outside your comfort zone – that’s where the magic happens.

6. Focus on Progress, Not Perfection: Shift your mindset from striving for perfection to valuing progress. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, and recognize that each step forward is a victory in itself. Remember, life is a journey, not a destination, so enjoy the ride and savor every imperfect moment.

So there you have it, friends – six simple steps to help you overcome perfectionism and embrace the beautifully imperfect messiness of life. It won’t happen overnight, but with patience, practice, and a whole lot of self-love, you’ll soon find yourself dancing to the beat of your perfectly imperfect rhythm. Cheers to embracing imperfection and living life authentically, one beautifully flawed step at a time. ✨

**Update 5/21/23: I am currently 629 days sober.

**Update 4/2/2024: Currently 946 days sober. Seems this is the one that stuck.

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i write therefore i am.

Hi, I'm Katy.
Your lifestyle designer and business mentor.

Writing is my way of unwinding and letting my thoughts roam free. Every so often, in the midst of this creative chaos, something clicks, and I'm like, "Hmm, maybe someone else will dig this too." So, I toss it out into the world, hoping it lands with someone who gets it.
I hope that's you.

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