I want to talk about the voices in my head.
One is kind, loving, soothing.
One is optimistic, eager, confident.
One is understanding, empathetic, wise.
One is bitter and angry, always finding fault— with me and with anyone who crosses my path.
One is mean spirited and full of envy.
One is full of woe and self-pity.
One is anxious, scared, frozen by fear and self-doubt.
And one, the one I’ve recently become aware of, is a Perfectionist in Disguise. A PID, if you like.
She wears a trench coat and a false moustache so I won’t notice her lurking in the back alleys of my mind.
But lately her disguise has been failing.
How does my PID work?
Well, she reads all the things, listens to all the things, knows all the things.
She accepts wholeheartedly that it’s BAD to be a perfectionist.
And it’s BAD to work too hard.
She accepts that she must get all the work done BUT she must be chill about it.
She must do ten hours work in two and if she can’t do that, she has failed. Not only herself, but the sisterhood as well.
She must have HOURS of free time so that she can use that free time JOYFULLY and with GRATITUDE.
Here are some other quiet demands she makes of me:
I must have self-care nailed.
I must not spend time on social media (unless it’s focussed and purposeful).
I must monitor every perfect, healthy, sustainably sourced crumb that goes into my mouth.
I must have a spiritual practice. An art practice. A writing practice.
I must exercise regularly and with JOY.
I must be kind.
I must be calm.
I must meditate every time I feel fearful, wounded, angry.
I must journal— and I must do it properly. (Perhaps I should do a course???)
My PID is constantly berating me, in the kindest, most gentle, most passively aggressive way.
She sees when I ‘waste’ time on social media.
She sees when I’m muddled and slapdash.
She sees when I lack focus, miss deadlines, eat Mint Patties and binge on the Umbrella Academy.
She sees it all, and with great stealth and elegant subterfuge, she plasters a galaxy of GUILTY stars to my forehead (with pretty, ethically sourced, washi tape).
Do you have a PID? Is she quietly colonising your mind?
Keep an eye out for her.
Let her know that you are a mixed up, unreliable, scattered, lazy, angry, frustrated human being and that’s why you love yourself.
That’s what makes you human.
Just keep loving yourself. Keep hugging yourself. Warts, mistakes, fuck-ups and all.
And keep an eye out for your PID. The poor love. She’s doing her best.
She’s just one more messy, unpredictable, contradictory voice in your head.
And no one can love her better than YOU.