Perfectionism is a big part of my OCD, and one of the biggest obstacles to doing Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy(ERP), because of looking for "perfect" ways to do it. I've had some readers query whether I actually have Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder(OCPD) rather than OCD, because of all the posts I've written about perfectionism. My understanding, via my therapist, is that there is an element of finding perfectionism to be pleasing rather than painful in the case of OCPD. My impulse is to look this up, but I've looked it up in the past, and I know the familiar trap of wanting to get everything just right.
Early on I decided that I could be loved by my family only if I never made a mistake again, and I strived to always to get things right on the first try, or I would procrastinate ever trying at all, in order to avoid failure and the feared consequence of becoming worthless and unloveable. Avoidance became one of my major compulsions, as OCD got its claws into my fears, ever the vulture circling. The most frustrating aspect was that often I didn't even know what "perfect" was in any given situation, just that whatever I was doing was "imperfect" . It was a moving target, always changing, and if I finally felt "aha, that's it" then my mind would generate some other aspect to make perfect.
It's been a battle accepting that my mind will probably continue to generate thoughts of not being good enough, or done, or finished, or that I've ruined a day, or my life. But I also see that I don't have to jump when these thoughts arrive, scrambling to fix things, make things perfect. Perfection is a corrosive illusion, and all the "Perfectionism is actually an advantage" truisms used to send me into compulsive searching to find out if this was really true, because I could never be wrong, always had to figure things out. But I know from experience that perfectionism is most likely to prevent me from getting things done, keeps me searching for photos on flickr past the first couple pages, or delaying writing posts until I find the "right" topic. I have met amazing readers with OCD through this blog, in all its imperfections, and offered some hope, and that is what keeps me going.