Poetry Pot Luck: The Perfectionist


Yay! Another OCD poem!


Okay, I will try not to write more  ‘kill a buzz’ poetry next time, though y’all were awesome about the last one. It even got published on http://katemclaughlin.net, a successful author’s mental health blog. Coolest. Thing. Ever. Y’all won’t hold it against me if I break out into a stirring rendition of “Fame! I’m gonna live forever!” Shoot, I even feel as though I’ve got “Bette Davis Eyes” and that “I’m Walking on Sunshine, baby, yeah.”

I’m feeling so magnanimous today that I’m going to share one of the things that OCD does to virtually everyone who has it:  Rabid perfectionism. Cujo-trying-to-attack-style. Just when my mind thinks I’ve figured out a way to do something, that I’ve planned it out perfectly, Nervous Nelly will interject, “Nah girl, you ain’t doing that right. Try harder, loserrr.” If it ain’t Nervous Nelly in my head saying such, my mother is apt to say something that I will misconstrue as a criticism, which will turn me all ‘Sybilish’ and my mom and I end up having words. I want to be perfect and as good as everyone else, but my standards for myself are wayyyyyyyy too high. The really fun part is therapy and antidepressants just dampen it a tad. I can’t seem to stop. Irksome! But anyway, here I drop a rhyme about it for this week’s Poetry Pot Luck at http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com . Tell me the truth if you don’t like it , in a nice way, of course!


Some people ask me why do you do such a thing?

Can it really be a comfort, or are you just not listening?

Nah, it's you. Definitely you. Or maybe me.


Are you just being difficult?

Are you just trying to make us mad?


No, I’m not. Yes, I am.

No. Yes. Maybe.

I’m not sure? I hope not.

I don’t think so…


I am difficult  and I am crazy

in my own convoluted way.

Well, you should stop, they say.


I don’t think you understand.

All people are driven forward by their minds.

I move forward but I’m three steps behind.

You go your way, but I must stay and listen to my mind.


It started around the age of six.

Staring at a piece of paper,

I knew I was in a fix.

Your name. Write your name.

No, no, it has to feel just right.

Instead I just sat there,

and the teacher marveled at how

I could be so dumb.

I didn’t know how to explain,

not to anyone.


In religion, I made the decision

to be as perfect as Jesus.

No everlasting flames for me!

But if I prayed once,

soon I’d pray again.

Oh Jesus, too much is a sin!


But you know better now, right?

You know you can’t ever be

a freaking deity?


Do I?

Yes, but maybe no.

Maybe I always knew,

but I was just a kid.


Now I’m an adult.

I only want to be as good as everyone else,

Perfect that without  completely erasing me.

So to myself I say,

Today will be the day I do nothing wrong.

I’ll please everyone, even you.

I might see the forest,

but all those trees are blocking my view.


Then tears, screams, I must begin anew.

25 thoughts on “Poetry Pot Luck: The Perfectionist

    • ((((HUGS)))) Thanks! That’s really sweet of you to say.
      Uh oh The Smiths are in my head now, “There is a Light that Never Goes Out”
      Though the really sappy parts of that song I’d want to change .

      Instead of “If a double decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die” I’d want to emote my real feelings on the matter. Being run over doesn’t inspire romantic feelings in me.

      Changed to my liking, it would go something like:

      “If a double decker bus crashes into us, then i guess we’re totally f*cked.
      And if a ten ton truck kills the both of us, we’ll both know my driving sucked.”


  1. you did well.

    wondrous minds, everyone has one.

    write 2 poems a week, in the end, you did achieve…

    honest, poetic, and fun read.
    like it…



  2. First, congratulations on the publishing recognition! Second, today’s poem is one of your best ever–send it to the same person and I’m sure this one will get well deserved publication as well.

    Seriously, your poem, although highly personal, captures the feelings of many people with disabilities and I think it would resonate with a larger audience.


    • Well, I think it might be rude of me to ask to be published again. She has bigger fish to fry. Right now she’s focusing on the tragedy in the state of Arizona. You’ve probably heard about that. It was so terrible, it probably made international news. I can’t stop thinking about the little girl that was killed. I bet she would have had an amazing life, very promising. I always wonder why people like her get killed and yet I’ve been allowed to live. Too philosophical for this time of night. Mind you, all people have the same value as human beings.

      Thank you Thomas for the kind words!


  3. I think it’s very, very good, and more importantly it’s effective. My only criticism (quite minor) is the use of the word “freaking” which seems out of sync with the emotional vocabulary style of the rest of the poem. You can get the same rhythm by saying “another deity” for example. But again, this poem invites the reader into your character’s world ably, and we care for this person held hostage by brain chemistry.


  4. Wow, congratulations.
    This one is awesome, the last line was perfect in summing this all up.
    Perfectionism is something i fight against in my work.
    I do believe the finished product should always retain some grit


  5. Lisa, First, thank you for your kind comment on my poem, Celebrating My Little Cottage.

    As to this poem, to use an old worn out cliche, honesty is always the best policy. Your poem is a courageous example of one who is willing to invite the reader into her head. I know it was difficult to write, but I hope it was also healing. I do agree with Invisible Mikey about the word “freaking.” I think it weakens the text.

    Congratulations on your recent publication!



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