OCD/Dermatillomania: How to Prevent the Tension Build Up

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I will be identifying what it is throughout the day that I react to in stress/anxiety/fear/irritation/agitation/anger. These reactions hit me in jolts and seem to remain within me instead of being processed out and diffused over time. For me, as an OCD/derma sufferer, it remains inside and builds up, causing me to feel tense, anxious and wound up most all of the time. What I will do is walk through my day, look at the triggers, and release them with self-forgiveness, self-commitments, and self-corrective application.

 

Morning:

 

I wake up, several thoughts get me out of bed:

 

“I need to go to work”

 

“I can’t be late for work”

 

“What do I need to do to be as fast as possible so I can get to work on time”

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to wake up thinking “I need to go to work”.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to connect emotional stress, anxiousness, and a ‘rushed’ energy to the thoughts that I wake up with in the morning of “I need to get to work”, “I can’t be late for work”, and “what do I need to do to be as fast as possible to get to work on time”.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think, believe or perceive that if I don’t rush, or go as fast as possible, that I will be late for work.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing stress, anxiety, and rushed-ness to exist within and as me.

 

When and as I see that I am going into stress, anxiety, and rushed-ness in relation to the fear of being late for work, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to comfort within myself by reminding myself that I set my alarm to give me an adequate amount of time to prepare, and that I make it to work on time every single morning, unless there is an unforeseen circumstance which prevents me, in which case I will call in and explain, which is as much as I can do.

 

I commit myself to push myself to walk through my morning routine within/as self-direction, comfort and ease, as I move from one task to the next with common sense,  instead of stress, anxiety and rushed-ness within the paranoia of being late/developing a bad reputation/being fired.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to terrorize myself with thoughts that if I am late for work, my boss and managers will be angry, my colleagues will judge me, and I will develop a bad and undependable reputation, and I will lose my job and fall into debt, and not get a good reference from which to get another good job.

 

When and as I see that I am imagining pretend consequences of scenarios where I am late for work, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to common sense by reminding myself that I am rarely late because I manage myself and my time in such a way to prepare myself to get to work on time, that this job is not the only way to support myself in this world, that I can live in such a way to avoid large debt, that I already have enough references for work and even if I didn’t, I could still get a job and make new references, and with the skills I am developing, namely discipline, perseverance and consistency, I know I ca be successful at most jobs I can get.

 

I commit myself to let go of my past self-definitions created by memories of a not too distant past where I  didn’t have the essential life skills I am now developing, I wasn’t able to hold down a job mostly due to my OCD, I was accumulating debt, and I was not in control of most elements in my life. Within this, to also see that even from there, I was able to correct my life over time, step by step, to get myself into/back into an empowered position.

 

I commit myself to talk myself down from terrorizing myself with pretend doomsday scenarios that are blown out of proportion, and to instead have a self-honest look at the actual reality of the my life situation.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think of myself as a bad and undependable person.

 

I commit myself to continue to work towards being and becoming more disciplined, consistent and organized at home, because I then bring these habits into everything that I do, and with these skills I will, over time, become someone I can depend on and therefor will be dependable for others.

 

I commit myself to continue learning how to incorporate living actions of self-acceptance and self-care into my daily life and routine.

 

I commit myself to stop feeding and following the self-depreciating and self-judgmental thoughts that ‘I am not good enough’, or ‘I can’t be depended on’, because I know this is self-sabotage, and that I am walking a process of self-acceptance and self-worth, teaching myself how to be dependable for me, through self-application and pushing myself towards becoming consistent and self-directed.

 

When and as I catch myself thinking negatively about myself as ‘who I am as a person/employee’ in judgmental and self-depreciating ways, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-worth by reminding myself that this way of thinking is disempowering and is an avoidance mechanism within which I can find the justification and excuse to not change, not push myself, not challenge my current way of being, and to continue with OCD.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to sabotage my self-trust, within and through picking my skin instead of directing myself to complete that tasks I set out for myself, tasks which I put in place to support myself to be organized and on time, such as preparing food/clothes the night before, taking a shower, and reading/writing myself out, and then going to bed on time.

 

When and as I see that I am picking my skin instead of accomplishing constructive, self-supportive tasks, I stop, and I breathe, I bring myself back to self-love and self-support by pushing myself to breathe through the experience instead of continuing on picking, within the understanding that relief or ‘end point’/completion experience will not come through picking, but will be made real through actually applying the discipline to move through daily tasks/obligations/responsibilities, thus developing the self-trust required to be able to depend on myself that I will not create anxious, stressful scenarios for myself to live out and remain in the anxiety disorder mind.

 

I commit myself to continue to push myself to replace OCD/picking with constructive tasks that serve to support me to release myself from the disorder.

 

I commit myself to NOT judge myself when I fall, but to constantly and continuously pick myself up and try again, each and every time until it is manifest.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear that if I have more time in the morning, I will pick my skin.

 

When and as I see I have spare time in the morning, creating the desire to act out OCD impulses, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-support and self-stability through self-movement and self-direction, within the understanding of the choice that stands in front of me: to pick, or not to pick. I choose not to pick, and to walk through and bear the accumulated consequences of this choice until I have processed it all and it is done.

 

I commit myself to bear the burden I have created for myself until it is processed, figured out, understood, seen, re-directed and re-scripted.

 

I commit myself to walk through the self-created consequences of having lived with and depended on OCD for so many years, because I see, realize and understand that there is no other way.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think/believe that if I don’t feel rushed, I will not move effectively and will pick my skin.

 

When and as I see that I am creating the feeling of ‘rushed’ as a way to avoid facing and walking through what I’m really feeling, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to presence, awareness and self-movement with breath, by reminding myself that I choose not to live a life of avoidance, and that I have it in me to face that which lies beneath the surface, no matter how unpleasant it is, because I have already proven it to myself that I can do it, it’s just a matter of continuing to do it over and over, until it is done.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to feel physically anxious and stressed if I am not rushing and moving fast within the belief that I will not get to work on time, instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that the anxious, stressful rushed energy is not valid, and it’s not what’s moving me. I am moving me, and the emotional experiences of anxiety, stress, and rushed-ness are only in my mind, and are all a part of the disorder.

 

When and as I see that I am feeling anxious and stressed when I should be feeling calm and relaxed, I stop, and I breathe. I allow myself to feel the stress and anxiety without attaching any values to it, but to accept it and understand it, to breathe through it, to speak at least one self-forgiveness statement, and to push myself to move myself regardless.

 

I commit myself to learn how to effectively walk through the OCD mind reactions, by trial and error, writing myself out, and practical application of what I script for myself through self-introspection and understanding.

 

 

Compulsive Skin-Picking, Causes, Solutions, continued

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I am currently looking at what is going on inside my mind that creates the conditions in which I build up pressure within myself in such a way that I have created and perpetuated the need to pick at my skin as a form of release. In my last blog I described an event at work, which was where I had made a mistake, and I had gone into quite an exaggerated reaction when I interpreted a co-worker’s reaction to it. This reaction stayed with me throughout the day as a pressure/irritation and un-comfortability within me, and was but one example of the accumulated experiences that together contribute to OCD/dermatillomania/skin-picking.

I have extreme and intense reactions to things, situations and events, and it builds up as negative emotions within me, which begin to feel like a constant pressure and un-comfortability which can’t be escaped. I find when I get home after a day of this, I need a release, and the only thing that apparently ‘works’, is compulsive skin-picking. The release I feel from picking at my skin is such that it’s as if I were releasing the day’s tension.

Unfortunately, I have seen for myself that ‘just stopping’ and not doing it doesn’t work – the tension is there and needs to be released. I’ve tired many many things, but in the end they are not long-term solutions. The solution I am looking at now is changing the way in which I handle situations and events throughout the day, so that I don’t create such big, intense reactions.

The strategy or technique here is to identify and thus learn to notice in day-to-day life instances where I am triggered and need to step in to direct or support myself. I am starting by the example from my last blog, where I had intense negative reactions to my perceived reaction from a coworker. It has been fascinating for me to find out through the process of self-forgiveness (see below), that all the things I thought the coworker was thinking about me, I was actually thinking about myself!

In addition to this, I also realized that the way in which I work has been developed over time where, when I am confronted with something difficult to do or learn, I had developed techniques to ‘get though it’ with the least amount of what I had perceived as ‘suffering’, where for me, ‘learning’ and ‘suffering’ had become interlinked.

This was mostly developed throughout my schooling years, and I realized that within the public school system, I had created an idea or perception of myself wherein I believed that I was less-than most pupils. I believed I wasn’t as smart, and that if I faced a challenge or a difficulty it meant that I was unable to do it (wasn’t smart enough to think it through). So instead of actually trying, I would want to avoid the whole challenge or situation, because I wouldn’t want to face the fact that I felt so insecure and less-than, that I felt it was easier to try to fool everyone around me and ‘fake-it’ through the situation.

Of course, this is a terrible tactic, because in the end, even if the goal is achieved, the grade passed or the job acquired, within myself, I would know I didn’t actually have to understanding and know-how, and I was actually just coping. I would also know that I didn’t actually let myself be challenged, or let myself really try and see how my self-expression would come through in terms of how I would handle the challenge or difficulty if I weren’t hindered by the belief that ‘I can’t do it’. The consequence of this is constantly feeling insecure about one’s own work. Feeling that there is something to hide and fearing exposure, and this fear would be realized every time I would slip up or make a mistake. It would be like “ah-ha I knew it! I knew I would mess up/now they know I am a fraud!”. In this way, it also becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, exactly as I describe in my last blog, which should be read for context.

The following self-forgiveness reveals how I exposed my hidden fears to myself, in order to come to the realizations that I mentioned above. Owning the truth and reality of myself now opens up the possibility for change, which is why the self-forgiveness is followed by self-corrective applications and self-commitment statements.

These are things I have written for myself, so that instead of going into my usual, automatic reactions, I can now look at my new ‘plan B’, and remind myself that there is in fact an alternative way to react and comport myself throughout the day. A way in which I divert myself from building up the anxiety, fear, stress, anger, agitation and irritation which I later need to take out on myself in the privacy of my home, my bedroom or my bathroom – spaces which should be safe and nurturing, but which become instead linked to self-harm and self-damning depression.

I have already experienced much success with this technique and have done a lot of this type of writing which has greatly assisted me to reduce the aforementioned emotional experiences in my life. These are the experiences which I see lead me to compulsively pick my skin. I will talk more about the triumphs in my next blog, but for now, please read the following self-forgiveness and see the applications I’ve written at the end, because the application is where the change happens, and when it’s been planned out, it is MUCH easier to implement.

This is how I release myself from my past ways:

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to go into fear and self-diminishment when I make an error or mistake.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think, believe or perceive that making an error or mistake tarnishes who I am.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to place my self-image, self-value and self-worth outside of myself and into ‘roles’ I occupy in my job and life, without first looking at who I am within the role/position/job etc…

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think that I can strive for roles and titles alone, without doing all the necessary work to earn them through learning and understanding the work, job and tasks, which is a process that involves making mistakes, and within this:

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think/perceive/believe that my value and worth will increase just because I have advanced or achieved, instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that the test of time will always show me who I really am, and if I have in fact built myself up on falsities which will eventually fall, or on actual practical application, practiced and developed over time.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to go into a self-defensive stance when I make a mistake/error, because I want to hide the fact that I fear that my mistakes and errors are caused by my carelessness or lack of understanding, because I have in fact been careless and not understood in instances,  and that this should be hidden in order to protect myself from having to accept responsibility for the fact that I either cut corners or pretended to understand something when I didn’t actually fully understand it, and did not care enough to learn but rather instead chose to preserve my self-image and ego.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to cut corners within work I deem ‘hard’ or ‘boring’ in order to ‘save time’ and ‘get it over with’, instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that it usually costs more time and consequences in the long run when corners are cut in the short run.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to pretend to understand something before I actually understand it, as a survival technique I learned in school and later at jobs, so that I appear to be conforming well, doing what I’m ‘supposed to do’, being a ‘fast learner’ and therefore a good student/employee so that I can survive in the system, instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that the most important thing is who I am within what I am doing, and when I take the apparent ‘easy route’, I am not developing myself, and thus denying myself of self-trust and self-confidence.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to feel panic, anxiety and fear when I don’t catch on to something immediately, because I fear the judgment of others that I am a slow learner and I am not ‘getting it’, thus confirming my worst fears and harshest self-judgments.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to waste the moments of potential information integration by using them instead to fuel my general panic, anxiety and fear reactions through self-judgment and self-intimidation by reflecting it off of what I think others might be thinking.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to, in moments when I feel that something is challenging or difficult, to automatically assume I can’t do it, that I’m not smart enough, or that other’s can do it but not me because I am slower and less-intelligent than others, and thus create methods and strategies to ‘get through it’ and satisfy those around me, instead of actually giving myself the opportunity to just go for it, to give it a try and see if I actually can do it.

When and as I face a challenge or a difficulty, I stop, and I breathe. I bring my whole self into that moment in order to give myself the opportunity to actually apply myself and challenge myself to see how I can work it through and find a solution. I bring myself back to self-confidence and self-trust by reminding myself that even if I can’t do it in that moment, that is not a defeat or a dead-end, and that I can work with obstacles and try different routes to get to the goal, and within this thus then end up actually developing myself, and contributing to building self-trust and self-confidence in myself.

I commit myself to support myself and nurture myself to build the self-confidence and self-trust in any way I can, in order to create myself as what I will need to be in order to walk through this disorder.

When and as I am learning, and I see that I am going into a panic, anxiety and fear in moments of hesitation or difficulty, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to the physical and open up the space within myself to learn safely, by stopping the self-judgmental thoughts and instead focusing on incorporating and absorbing and being able to apply the information that I learn.

I commit myself to teach myself how to learn, how to love to learn, and how to create a safe internal environment for myself in which my learning is nurtured and supported.

I commit myself to see, realize and understand that there is NO place for self-judgment and self-diminishing thoughts within learning nor within anything I do whatsoever.

When and as I see that I am going into a pressured and ‘rushed’ energy and feeling like I need to cut corners and ‘get it over with’, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to the pace of the physical by moving myself to do everything I do with the utmost attention and care, within the realization that in the end, this will get things done more efficiently for the long term, and in the end, this is actually love made visible.

I commit myself to do everything I do with great care, as if that which I touch and give my attention to is my greatest creation, because it is through my actions and words that I do, in fact, create myself, and thus this world.

 

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Rough Morning? Me Too – Here’s What I Did

 

This moment took place in the morning, when I hit a huge resistance in the form of a pressure, fidgetiness, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. This is when the urges came flooding in. The resistance is a familiar one for me that comes when I do self-writing on tough points, and beginning a project that I found overwhelming.

I was supposed to have these things done in a couple of hours, but instead I lingered in the ‘urge’ experience for over 4 hours, partially completing only one document. In this video I explore what thoughts and reactions cause the resistance to build up so that I can understand WHY and HOW I created it for myself.

I lay out my blueprint of how I will tackle the issue in my day. I manage to find some relief and feel more ready to face the day after creating this real-time moment of support. The video also includes a next-day update, looking at how the moments of support we create for ourselves play out over time, and not necessarily right then and there, in the moment.