I am most often very critical of myself. That is to say, most of the time I take the personality of being my own boss, looking down at the real me—the one doing the work trying to live this life—and having a poor opinion of my output in terms of quantity and even quality. I hate the term “perfectionist” because it is way overused—even when used properly. It is just that I am stuck in a duality: on one side I clearly see that I can be much more productive, and on the other, I see output I am quite proud of (just not enough of it.)
Even though I am quite prolific all around, I have a vision of myself as being lazy. I cannot shake it, though I know it is untrue. Part of the reason is that I have a difficult time seeing myself as part of society, and therefore comparing using relativity. There, I pretty much exceed. But before you think I’m being pompous, understand this is just something I know but cannot feel. I can only compare myself to my potential self. I live inside my mind for the most part, so that is where the relativity exists—the real and the potential. The potential, always being an output of work at a speedier, higher quantity, and higher quality level. It’s tough comparing yourself to an abstract!
The key thing with having all comparisons exist within myself is I see all the blockers1 to getting done what I think I should be getting done. “Should” is even difficult to define, because once it is defined, it immediately becomes more than what was just defined. Slippery, the self-expectations of one with OCD!
I hate relaxing, I hate not working. Because of this, and because I am human, I see the normal shying away from work for awhile as being lazy. I run three businesses, work pretty much 15 or so hours a day, and am able to come up with ways to speed up work that absolutely no one else can2. Yet it is not enough because I see my brain putting up walls.
Those walls are where my OCD comes into play. When I go to tackle a project of a large-ish size, I begin by thinking of every eventuality. I start (trying) to think of every possible thing that could happen, could go wrong, could spider out into more work, could, could, could!
The blank sheet of paper that is the beginning of a project is infinite in its figurative length and width to me. Obsession.
I cannot compartmentalize. My brain can only look at any project in its entirety, all the time. This is a massive burden to starting, and even continuing on work on said project. I am always in a constant state of being outside the zone of focused work—because I cannot see compartments to focus on. They exist! But I generally cannot see them, or at least—it takes a massive effort to focus on the little bits that will eventually make the whole.
Why? Because of my obsessions. I am obsessed with how every small piece will connect with the myriad other pieces now, in the far future, and even in edge case3 scenarios that probably will never happen.
Because of all of this, I see myself as lazy. Because I see what I am not getting done relative to what I could get done. I could be doing so much more.
Take this blog. I’m nearly up to 100,000 words over six months—all of which I am proud of. To a point. But it is not quite right because I know that it could be different. I see the sausage being made, and I know how ugly it is. I don’t even like the last sentence at all. But that is merely an example of a constant obsession. I don’t like most any of the sentences I write. So where does laziness come in with this? Well, I write about three thousand words a week worth of articles. However, each one comes with a major blocker—I need to include every detail relating to the subject matter. And thus I equate these blockers to laziness.
This is often the case with people with mental disorders. Their brains are blocking action for myriad reasons, and it comes off as lazy. Here’s the thing to know about people like us—we know. We know we seem lazy. Even those of us who are high-output, we think of ourselves as lazy anyway. Many of us are not high-output, many people with mental disorders can’t get over certain things blocking output.
1 Ugh, this is sort of a corporate word. I just learned it the other week dealing with other computer programmers. I hate methodologies and their phrases. And I just used one. I apologize to, well, myself. [BACK]
2 You can compare me to others on quality, and sometimes I will come out ahead, and many times not. But speed, no. I will be the fastest at any type of work I take on. I can guarantee that and I really don’t care if that comes off as holier-than-thou. [BACK]
3 Stop with the buzzwords, you! [BACK]