It’s been two years since I wrote The Disease Called “Perfection,” the first post I ever wrote that went truly viral. If you haven’t read it yet, I would really encourage you to go read it today. Over the past year I have definitely struggled with it. I look back to the post I wrote…
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Hi Dan i love your writting style! your pics with your son are just beautiful. Your books are only in English??
Hey Dan, I've been following you for a while now and I hadn't read that life-changing post since yesterday... I wished I had read it back then, two years ago.
See, I've been in group therapy because of my social anxiety. I cannot stand not looking flawless, not appearing to be perfect. As I couldn't keep this pose 24/7, I isolated. I realized I needed help that time when I spent a whole week at bed, not talking to anyone, barely not moving; so I went to the doctor and he sent me to the group therapy.
The first time I got in there I was shocked: there were many young, beautiful people, and I just couldn't understand what made them be there, in therapy. They seemed happy, successful,... I certainly didn't have anything in common with them. 24 year old, obese, no job, no college degree,... But then I just stopped thinking and started listening: most of them didn't feel at all what I saw in them, what anybody could see in them. They were fearful, as was I. Then I realized I might seem to them happy, successful and beautiful, even though I might not feel that way. Everybody has their own flaws, so you don't have to feel guilty because of yours. This was just the first day. The next 20 sessions only were directed towards reinforcing this notion.
Two weeks ago I met a friend's date and told me I had beatiful eyes. I said 'Thank you, dear, you're adorable'', hugged her and smiled. If this had happened only a year ago, I would have blushed and thought (or probably said) something like ''you must be blind or kidding me''.
Now I am trying to reconnect to my family and friends, I'm getting back to college and trying to exercise every day in order to get healthier (I don't need beauty, I already am beautiful). I am not cured from this damned disease, and it is a daily battle: sometimes I win, sometimes ''Perfection'' does. But, you know, every day I'm closer to the final victory. And you've helped me win today.
Dear Dan, you are not perfect (neither am I, or anyone who might be reading), but bear this in mind: you are a fantastic writer, a loving and caring parent and a wonderful person, I can feel it. Keep up writing these empowering things and making thousands of people smile every day.
I must say this post was one of my all time favorites that I discovered when I started reading your blog this year. It is comforting and I'm so glad you wrote a book about it. As someone who has struggled with thinking I had to be "perfect" for everyone around me to love me, it is just another wonderful reminder that I can just be who I am. Good luck with your struggle and always always love who you are today.
If being your authentic self means you'll lose someone's love, you don't actually have that love in the first place. Understanding that will free you. Releasing and forgiving those who only have love for someone you're not, will free them too.
The original article is always in the back of my mind as a reminder that people portray lives more perfect than they are. It's also a reminder that there are tons of people out there with deep, dark sadness & dramatic issues far worse that I could once fathom. :(
It's still hard not to want to emanate a picture of perfection. Off to get dolled up before I even go to the bus stop. :I
Powerful! Thank you, Dan. I wasn't around back then, but I am now. So, now I am on a mission for change as well. Real and authentic are two words I want written on my epitaph. And, I want to raise my girls to be the same. :)
Dan - Just had to let you know I got ANOTHER e-mail from an account claiming to be you ([email protected]) with a random link just entitled "For Lisa." I know this isn't you, so obviously I'm not clicking creepy virus-y links, but just giving a heads up... especially if anyone else gets these weird e-mails. Ugh. I have no idea.
Dan, I'm normally a huge fan. Love what you do here, and I hope I'm not just being a horrible buzzkill on what might be a fantastic project.
But it sounds like what this post is saying is that you took the writing and stories of other people, without their permission, and are publishing them in hopes of profiting from it. Please, say it ain't so! Like, actually, please clarify if that is not what's happening.
Anything you write in a public forum is fair game for publishing. If you have an anonymous moniker, why would you care? The whole idea of posting is to share with others, which is exactly the purpose of the book (and to send Dan back to school & out to eat LOL) .
@Hopeful one's point is right; on this site, at least, it is fair game, and I should have read the fine print.
For me, why I would care is that I make my living by writing. There is a difference, to me, between writing a comment here that someone else might enjoy, and writing something for Dan to make *his* living by without my knowledge. He does, as Hopeful one points out, have my implicit permission, so there's not much I can do about it — except, as @adoptivemomto2 suggests, not comment much. In this case, it's not a big issue for me; I didn't comment on the original post, so I'm definitely not in the book. But knowing that's an option going forward, I'm likely to think twice about it.
@bzzzzgrrrl I was thinking that too. I hope he wrote to each person who commented on that blog piece and asked their permission to use their replies in the book. Dan, I love your blog but if this is a missive that you plan to repeat, I may stop commenting. There are reasons a lot of us use anonymous type blogger names. We could be anyone but I definitely don't want my comments to end up in a book. :(
At the bottom left of the page of SDL.
"The content on this blog is owned and copyrighted by Single Dad Laughing, LLC. Any content sent to Dan, including all comments, messages, and contest entries become the property of Single Dad Laughing, LLC and can be used as needed."
I remember when I first read this and cried almost the whole way through until the end when I succumbed to bawling. I gave it to all three of my children and posted it on my wall several times. It's amazing how something you have written touched so many so deeply.
I can't believe that was 2 years ago already! It has certainly changed my perspective on life -- I'm working very hard to live an authentic life. I've managed to anger some people along the way, but have also discovered an inner strength I didn't know I have. I started therapy recently, and am looking forward to working on truly being ME. When I'm me, my kids are happier, my marriage is happier, we are all happier. So living an authentic life not only changes you, it can change your entire world. Thanks Dan, for sharing your life and thoughts with all of us.
I wasn't around 2 years ago, I started following you after a more recent viral post and stayed because I love your sense of humor, and your take on parenting. While the original "Perfection" post didn't change my life, I had a similar epiphany about 4 years ago - that the life I was living WASN'T perfect, it was miserable, and that by being miserable myself, my child (then just an infant) was going to end up miserable as well. I made the very difficult decision to leave my husband who had mental health issues, was addicted to internet porn and having multiple partners outside our relationship (ironically he is seen as the "Golden Boy" at our church ... if they only knew). While my life is certainly not viewed by many as "perfect" anymore, I am considerably happier, MUCH healthier (no longer requiring HIGH does of two different anti-depressants) and full of joy - and so is my little boy. Thanks for being smart, strong, and brave enough to write what you do. You're not perfect, but you are wise :) and Noah is so gosh-darned cute he makes me melt!
Thank you Dan. . . I just copied a line from your blog. Couldn't get to all of it right now, but I will go back to reading it later. Everything you write is worth reading.
Wow I can believe that was two years ago! Time flies. My journey to live authentic, with out judgement and to over come the disease has been just like you said easy at times and extremely hard at others. The rewards have been great but some of the losses even greater. Over all I like me and am learning if other don't like me for who I am, well I must be good with that! I still have a long way to go but giving up some things like,fear of judgement,letting go of some close relationships that are not working is still terrifying for me. Who knew two years ago that living authentic would be so hard? I sure didn't! Like you said its a process. Thank you for starting me on this journey no matter where it my lead!
Good for you! It is hard being that open and vulnerable to the world. You do an amazing job! Thank you. You have given a lot of people hope, myself included.
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