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BY Tiarra Abu Bakr

For the first time in a long time, I found myself stuck in the bed for several days, unable to take care of my parental responsibilities. In the past, this has happened due to a virus or some type of physical ailment. But this time was different. I was mentally paralyzed and felt myself at the edge of experiencing depression. I stayed in that bed, eating chips and feeling horrible all weekend and I just allowed all those ugly feelings to come to the surface.

On Monday morning, I knew it was time to process what was happening. It didn’t take long to figure it out…I was TIRED. Truth be told my life is exhausting. Full-time employee, wife, mom/stepmom of four, cooking, cleaning, disciplining, encouraging, co-parenting, it all gets hectic. But none of that contributed to my feelings of depression. I am tired of wearing a mask. I am tired of my self-loathing behavior. I am tired of living on the surface in my relationships and feeling as if no one knows me. Most of all, I am tired of telling myself that I have to present as if I have it all together. I am TIRED of myself.

If I am being honest, owning those truths about myself made me nauseous. I literally wanted to crawl back into bed and hide. The worst part was that I started to connect my son’s struggles with his self-esteem to my need to “look” perfect. I realized that some of our challenges as a blended family were due to my desire to speed up the process and look like we love each other. Basically, I’ve been tripping for like my entire life.

So, I’ve owned my truths, and I’ve even acknowledged my past experiences that contributed to the use of perfectionism as a defense mechanism. At the core, I’ve been rejected, disappointed, betrayed, and deceived. As a result, I put up some major walls and barriers because I just don’t trust people with my vulnerability. Presenting as well put together has done an amazing job of keeping people at a distance. But truthfully that lifestyle no longer serves me. And it is the most exhausting thing about my life.

At this point, I literally cry out to God every day to help me. My prayer is that he rids me of anything that does not glorify him. Being perfect leaves absolutely no room for God to do his thing in my life. I feel the shift happening. I understand that it will not happen as fast as I want it to happen. But I am relieved. I feel as if the shackles have been released and I am on a journey of becoming the real version of myself. While growing pangs suck, I look forward to being made over. I look forward to being a better mother but simply being more authentic and vulnerable with my children.

We want to know how are you dealing with NOT being perfect? Drop us a note.

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