Perfection or Inadequacy

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Deleted SKU, Aug 4, 2010.

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  1. Deleted SKU

    Deleted SKU Well-Known Member

    It is normal to try and improve, to become better than you are. It is in human nature to do so, i'm sure most will agree. Whether its learn something new, new language, new skill, maybe get a promotion at work, maybe get a better hair cut, or lose or gain a couple of pounds, its form doesn't really matter.

    This is something i struggle with, because firstly, logically, this would say that no individual is perfect. This would also mean that with the perpetual desire for self improvement, not neccessarily a pursuit thereof, but more an understanding of that nature, that its never possible to be perfect. Given that my self depreciation, and by extention self harm comes partly from feelings of inadequacy, as punishment for my failings in life, does this mean i will always self harm? Obviously not in itself, because it is as much to do with my nature as an individual, that self harm is a coping mechanism... i guess more what i am asking is how can someone cope with living their entire life inadequately, feeling always worse than they could or should be. How do you stop wanting to move forward, without giving up altogether.
     
  2. Things

    Things Well-Known Member

    The desire to improve will always be there (hopefully, otherwise there's nothing to really do). The trick is to learn to "fail with pride". Realize that though you may not be perfect, you're doing your best and that's the greatest thing a person can do.

    Hopefully I understood your question correctly.
     
  3. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    Maybe those people aren't striving for perfection, but feeling incredibily inadequate themselves, and pressured by competition, terribly insecure, and might have loads of self destructive ways of coping like yourself but hide it very well.

    I can relate to self harming because you feel like you're inadequate. All that nearly killed me. The way I stopped self harming was to not look at everybody else and concentrate on myself, and the things I did, weren't the things you described....but a lot simple/difficult/painful and necessary.
     
  4. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    I agree it's important to strive, to improve, but not to be 'perfect', 'normal' or like others. You need to become the person you're capable of being. It's about knowing your strengths and weaknesses, knowing what's important to you and what's simply expected of you.

    I think it matters a lot, depending on your motives. For example getting a good job could be because I want the money, because I want to please my family, improve my skills or contribute more to society. So maybe my motive's more important than that promotion, but my motive can't be to be 'perfect'. The person I'd like to be would be someone who could simply accept my own foolishness, my own weaknesses, but is that a quality a 'perfect' person could have?
     
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  5. Deleted SKU

    Deleted SKU Well-Known Member

    Ah, but here's the rub. While other people can certainly cause feelings of inadequacy, the drive for competition and achievement, ultimately the other part of self harm, at least in my own experience, is about making the feelings about yourself, not anyone else. If someone harms me, i harm myself more, to control that pain, to make my limits ones which i set myself, not those which other people set for me. That way only my actions can affect me, in the same way i approach this quandry, because my own search for "perfection", is not about being the best, just the best i can be.

    I don't look at salvador dali, or listen to bach and feel inadequate (though in fact, i don't look at salvador dali, or listen to bach at all, but thats besides the point). But i do wish, to go with this example, to be able to draw, and to be able to play a musical instrument adequately. I can see and hear in my mind these things, if i could just project my thoughts into existance (after the obvious experiences with a harem of agreeable ladies), then it would be no problem, but if i have the ability to create it in my mind, and it has the ability to exist (which rules out the above example), any inability to go from one to the other is entirely down to my own inadequacy.

    Time for an awful metaphor, to try and explain better what i mean. Its like a guitarist who goes and cuts of their own arms. They are still just as good a guitarist as they were before, but through their own actions, completely unable to actually express that. I know, its late, and my mind took its own random tangent, but thats kind of how i feel, like through my own inadequacies, my own actions, my own life, i am unable to be what i should be. It doesn't matter how good a guitarist that person is, they wont be able to play the guitar anywhere near as well with their mouth, or feet or something. I feel like even if i achieve my current "perfection", that its not as good as i could have been, if i had got to this point better. And i don't know whether or not i can continue to live, knowing that the best i can be for myself isn't the best i could or should have been, so will never be adequate.
     
  6. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    I'm currently struggling to learn a musical instrument at the moment, and I thought wouldn't it be good if I could just stick a computer chip in my head and be a great player. And then I thought not really.

    I guess what was important to me was not being good, but having a routine, a goal, to exercise self-discipline etc. but one unexpected benefit is that I really appreciate listening to music more because I know how difficult it is to play - just one of the joys of being crap I guess. There have been many great artists who have looked down on others and found it difficult to relate to others. It seems that a gain in one area causes losses in another.
     
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  7. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    I used to do the same thing Rathis, when someone harmed me, or lets say my past and present situations would be why I self harmed, had anorexia and nearly killed myself.

    Are you saying your self harm is stopping you from playing guitar- using your metaphor, because you don't have any arms? Thing is if you're a musician, and your art is your passion-the guitar wouldn't be the only limit, nor would the lack of arms. You might find yourself in a position where you make better work than someone who had arms, and was proficient at playing guitar while your arms heal and grow back in the process. It happened to me.



    Good artists/musicians are practicing all the time- they get their ideas down, sketch, and they have little bits of things floating all over the place- if you have an idea, try and get it down somehow- and this goes on through-out the creative process, rather than the finished work appearing out of nowhere. Lets say you have thoughts and can hear a song, in your head. You could draw, or write about it, or describe it, while working on how to flesh it out through practicing/learning style and technique of whatever you're interested in. It takes a long long while to see the finished thing, if lets say you can't play an instrument, and your song requires an instrument. It's got little to do with adequacy but more to do patience and perseverance. Depending on what you're making. If you like work that isn't polished then it's more to do with energy/expression than technique.
     
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  8. Deleted SKU

    Deleted SKU Well-Known Member

    Well my metaphor sucked, so thats not quite what i meant, though plates, you have it pretty much spot on with the last bit. Its about expression, what i meant about the guitarist cutting off their own arms, is that they've removed their means of expression, their way of getting whats in their mind, and bringing it out into the world. Thats what i feel like i have destroyed, my ability to express myself. All my thoughts, feelings, ideas, everything, i've had to spend my life repressing for one reason or another, where i now struggle to express anything. Even typing is difficult, attempting songwriting or poetry ends up as some tawdry piece of irrelevency, which doesn't even begin to express what is going on in my mind. Self harm is probably my only meaningful form of expressing myself, the pleasure of that pain, of seeing the wounds, the blood, the bruises, as an expression of the pain inside my head. And as tempting as carving words into my flesh is, i doubt that is where my thoughts should be going.
     
  9. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I had to make the most effort to direct all that violence elsewhere-and what can come out can be very very powerful. You sound like you're dealing with so much, and self harm is helpful for you, but you're frustrated because it's silent, and you're feeling numb and can't talk but would like to. When you put your pain into a language that isn't cutting but another type of expression- it can be very frightening to listen to.

    Are you afraid of what you might say?
     
  10. Deleted SKU

    Deleted SKU Well-Known Member

    It just feels like trying to push an elephant through the eye of the needle, its like there is so much there that i want to try to get out all at once. And i know some of that is stuff which can't be expressed, the sort of stuff that those better adjusted are able to just keep inside their head, which doesn't help. Being closed is who i am now, its what life has made me, but in the end, who i am is my own responsibility. I guess i am fearful, maybe not of what i would say, but what i might do. Self-destruction without the walls in my head holding it back is likely to be... dangerous.
     
  11. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    It can be dangerous, but once you have a framework where everything is done safely, like a paper- you have 4 sides of paper if you're not cutting it up (or any type of structure, or routine, or some basic rules)- you have some containment, and it can be dangerous in a good way..
     
  12. Deleted SKU

    Deleted SKU Well-Known Member

    I doubt anything short of being handcuffed to the wall of a rubber room would be containment enough. Whenever i try concertedly to break in, or out, however you look at it, it leads to... well... blood and pain. And there's no safety net, no-one who will find out if things go wrong, until its too late, so as much as i'd like to try, i just can't risk it.
     
  13. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean. Maybe it's just not the right time. For me, I had to feel safe somehow- to express things, and not self destruct.

    Do you have a therapist who knows what you struggle with every day? Because it sounds very frightening to cope with such intense feelings, the way you're doing, all by yourself.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2010
  14. Deleted SKU

    Deleted SKU Well-Known Member

    I'm not a huge fan of therapists, to tell you the truth, but at the moment my situation here financially means i couldn't see one even if i wanted to (i have looked into it).

    To be honest, it gets to a point where the pain is just normal, self harm helps me cope with everything in my head, and allows me to seem like to everyone else that i'm functioning pretty normally. Its hard sometimes, but i guess its easy just to get desensitised to it. If i self harm, it hurts, it damages me, but it helps me stay in control. Maybe if i do it too bad, i'll end up in hospital, and maybe be able to get some help, and if i do it even worse, i wont be alive to care, so whatever the outcome, its always pretty good.
     
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