As we begin to recover from panic disorder, any mind variance for that matter, we spend so much time monitoring the frequency and intensity of our symptoms. As humans, pain isn’t out thing; so we’re always looking for signs that our suffering is coming to an end. And, naturally, we’re hopeful, and our expectations are high.

That’s understandable, and the quest for wellness is a healthy sign of recovery. However, if we’re not careful we can easily fall into an obsession with the very unrealistic and destructive goal of achieving perfection.

To this day I have symptoms of anxiety. Now, I don’t have panic attacks or other life-interrupting demons; however, little annoyances occur from time to time. And probably always will. Don’t forget we may well have a genetic predisposition for panic, anxiety, depression, etc.; on top of which lies all sorts of additional goofy neural routings driven by our life experience.

Okay, sure, we might like for this not to be the case, but that just isn’t realistic. I mean, ask an alcoholic if a cold beer wouldn’t taste good once in a while, or if sharing a glass of wine with someone special wouldn’t be nice. As a recovery alcoholic of 25 years I can personally tell you the answer is yes, but it’s a non-issue. I’m not going to drink, and that’s all there is to it. So why get hung-up over a few very human thoughts?

Sometimes we breeze through our day with very few, if any, symptoms of anxiety, only to have one or two sneak up later. Yes, it can make us angry and disappointed; however, we have to come to realize just how very unreasonable and unfair we’re being toward myself.

We can’t expect perfection because, frankly, we won’t find it. Chances are we’ll have symptoms and little annoyances for the rest of our lives. So what! Over time we learn to manage and accept them for what they are. And that’s because we’ve gained insight as to the context within which they occur, and know precisely what to do about them. In time they become very minor inconveniences, even ongoing reminders of our humanity and the character building value of adversity.

Think about those who suffer from chronic back pain, asthma, diabetes, and on and on. Anxiety can be inserted right in there. What, just because we suffer from a mind variance, that’s different? No way. Pain is pain.

Take some time to think about your pet self-perfection peeves and how you’ve learned to accept and manage them. And if your pondering reveals you’re a bit low on the insight scale, think about what you can to purchase a piece of reality. Why not write these things down?

Let’s go easy on ourselves. Perfection is totally unreasonable and not at all necessary in securing a happy and peaceful existence. Indeed, the quest for perfection only brings disappointment and distress.

Author's Bio: 

After a winning bout with panic disorder, a career in the business world, and a part-time job working with socially challenged adolescents, Bill found his life's passion and work. So he earned his master's degree and counseling credentials, and is doing all he can to lend a hand to those having a tough time.

Bill has some powerful mentoring and service packages available on his website, which include his panic attack education and recovery eWorkbook, "Panic! ...and Poetic Justice." The eWorkbook is ready for immediate download. You'll also find a link on the website to Bill's "Panic Attack Freedom!" blog. Lots of good stuff going on and much more to come.

In addition to doing psychiatric emergency work, Bill continues to do a lot of writing and speaking. He's conducted numerous mental health workshops for non-profit organizations and remains available to present more. Bill is a national and local member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (N.A.M.I.).

Subscribe to the Hope and Healing Dynamics newsletter