So far so good, as far as my psych is concerned. I’ve been lucky enough to have appointments with someone who doesn’t beat around the bush, who gives it to me straight, who only asks me to be honest with myself.

Most importantly, my biggest problem thus far seems to be my impossibly high standards. Not for others, oddly enough. Just for myself.

When people around me make mistakes, or when they otherwise demonstrate their imperfection, I cut them some slack. They’re only human.

But when I commit any error, when I make any mistake, it is suddenly a reason to chastise myself, to ensure that I forever do better from here on out.

It’s unfair.

I hold others to a realistic, human standard, and myself to an unattainable one. I can’t always help it when I’m late. Sometimes (or, rather, most of the time) my mistakes do not mean the difference between life and death.

This is the source of a lot of my stress and anxiety. The pressure I place on myself passes any level of motivation and becomes debilitating.

In my latest appointment, the words of my psychologist can be summed up in these words: take it easy.

This is not to tell me to be lazy, to kick back and do nothing day after day. It is to recognise that most problems are not as bad as they seem, and that I don’t need to be a feel guilty whenever I’m not immediately being ‘productive’.

It’s not to say that I should sell myself short, or settle for less, it’s that I need to be realistic and understand that I can’t always be at my best, that I can’t always do everything on my to do list.

The constant latent stress wears me out and therefore reduces how productive I can be overall. I can’t write as well when I haven’t slept properly. I guess this pressure comes from having been well aware of my past laziness.

I used to lack real drive and motivation. It’s the fear of not achieving that drives me to self-pressure and push myself into a paralysed, exhausted stupor.

Some days, I just have to take it easy. There’s nothing wrong with getting it done the next day, provided that next day does come. It’s a lesson that I’m starting to learn. Slowly, little by little, day after day.

Hopefully one day I’ll find it easy to take it easy.

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay