How I Create Peace In My Life

peace tree.jpg

The moment I found out that I had limited myself to a definition of ‘peace’ in my life that involved running away, escape, and complete removal from my daily environment, was    the moment I was asked to really have a look at it. I would like to experience more peace in my daily life, but I have never really taken a step in awareness to actually create it.

After involving myself in a process of self-change about 10 years ago, I have taken many steps in awareness to create things in my life, resulting in a life and experience that is tremendously different from the path I was on back then. In this blog, I want to share an example of how this kind of life creation works for me, how it starts so small and so simply, and how it can seem so insignificant at first, but with a little attention and nourishment, can grow into a real and substantiated way of living.

In this case I was having a look at the word ‘peace’. The action of looking is always the first step for me in the journey of my own self-creation. I immediately saw that I had been living the word ‘peace’ as something that can be attained mostly when I am away, ideally on vacation at a tropical destination with a beach, the ocean, and being faaaar away from work, bills, stress, home and all of daily life.

The first thing I did when I decided to look at this word was to apply a little honesty: this way of living ‘peace’ is unrealistic because I can’t afford to do it regularly, and I simply can’t spend all my time avoiding my real-life reality situation. Also, this would mean that to experience ‘peace’ I would need to spend money, “extra” money I don’t always have, and when I do, I usually end up stressing about it later.

And now a little more self-honestly: ‘Peace’ defined in this way is more like escape. It is a temporary hiding from myself. Even when I do go on vacation I still feel anxieties come up, I still worry, I still judge myself and, for example, my body… I still face concerns and uncertainties the same as I do when I am home. And when I get back, it usually takes less then a week for me to move back into the things I was trying to escape in the first place, because the reality is that I cannot escape from myself, and I cannot escape my own mind.

Is it enjoyable to escape on vacation? Yes! Without a doubt! But is it real? No, unfortunately it is not real peace.

So how do I define real peace? I define it as something substantial that I can integrate into my life at any time, no matter where I am. I define it as peace in mind, being and body, where I understand and am confident about who and what I am in that moment, even if I am not perfect and even if I have made mistakes, I can be at peace with myself and where I’m at.

Now I ask questions: How do I live this? What is the first baby step I can take where I plant seeds of peace within me that I can nourish and grow to develop over time? This is what I did:

I took a look at these questions while I was at work. I brought them up within myself I moments that were the opposite of peaceful – emotional moments of stress, rush, anxiety, pressure and distress- and I had a look at how to create peace in those moments. What I found was if I take a moment for myself to bring the emotion up (instead of pushing it down and moving on with my day), that I would feel it all throughout my body. Yes, it would be uncomfortable to immerse myself into emotional experiences of stress, worry, anxiety, pressure and distress, but I saw I could stabilize myself within that discomfort, and have a look around at what was creating it, and then ask my questions about how I can create peace in these moments.

I saw that in order to create peace, once I identified what was creating the inner turmoil, I would have a look at myself, as a person, and see all the steps I had already taken to support myself within and through turmoil in the past.  This helps me to see that I am not so lost and alone as I sometimes feel in moments. I have really stepped up over the past ten years to be there for me, and how rarely do I give myself credit for this process I have walked to support myself? Well, now is the perfect moment to do so. This helps to set the platform for peace, as I really feel that I am here for myself no matter what, and I can depend on me.

The next thing I did was to look at what steps can I take to resolve the current situation. What am I resisting, avoiding or hesitating on? Do I need to make a decision, do I need to take a step? Do I need to re-align my focus? Do I need to take 10 minutes to just go breathe? Maybe I need to do some self-forgiveness, or maybe I need to write something down instead of relying on myself to remember it. All of these have come up for me as solutions at different times, in moments of inner emotional turmoil.

The action of taking the experience into me entirely, looking at it, and scripting a solution for myself, I saw creates a little peace within me. Once I have taken steps to actually walk the solution, I feel even more at peace. At the end of the day, when I take a look back at how I lived that day, at how I stood up with, as and for myself, how I walked a different path than I would have had I continued on with or suppressed the inner turmoil, I can breathe and live that peace that ‘I got this’. This is just my start, it will be a process because some days I do not live my best potential, and so I understand from here it will take time. I am at peace with that.

I can see that over the past ten years I have proven to myself that I am here for me. I have little by little created a self that can take this process of redefining and living words for example, and implement it over time and watch it actually take root and grow in my life. I can see that I can create myself, develop and expand myself in ways that are beneficial to me. I can see that the tools and principles of self-forgiveness and self-honesty along with self-change I use have had a huge impact in my life because when I first heard of them, I could see the common sense and self-empowerment, but when I actually asserted myself to apply the information, I saw real change.

Anyone can do this, but it is not a quick fix. It is a way of life where the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years put in to it – time that would be passing anyways – are all moments of opportunity to turn self around and direct self into a way that is really how life should be lived. Where I (self) decide who and how I am in any given moment. I choose the direction, I am at the reigns and steer my ship through the stress, the anxiety, the breakdowns and the build ups, the highs and the lows. I parent myself. I soothe myself. I give myself peace that is real. I find stability.

 

In this Moment – I Changed (Planting the Seeds of Change)

seed

I just read a blog I had written in 2013, and I was struck at how much I have changed since then. It’s funny how we can forget how much we have changed over time because it tends to happen quite slowly, and it’s cool to blog and document progress because it produces moments like these. Here is the blog, and at the end I will give an update on how I am doing now:

“I’ve noticed that while on my way to work, regardless of what time it is, I will become anxious about getting to there on time. I have been late to work SO MANY times because of OCD and skin-picking, because I would become trapped within a skin picking session up till the last minute, and then I would have to hurriedly apply make-up to look ‘normal’ again for work. Throughout this entire play-out I would be building and generating anxiety until I was tightly wound up; and this would be the starting point of my day.

This has happened so many times over the years that I find, even when I am not late I  will automatically go into this anxiety before work as a habit because it’s what I’m so used to. It’s become all that I know. I feel as though, if I do not go through these motions I will not be able to get to work at all, because in the past, it has been the anxiety of getting to work that has broken me out of the skin-picking possession and got me moving towards actually getting out the door. So now there exists the belief that without the anxiety, I cannot move myself, and I won’t get to work.

 

Continuing with this common sequence: after I would get myself out the door and off to work, I would be in a really unpleasant state. I would get to work, and would probably have an air about me, or a presence about me that others may react to. Whether I did or not, I can never be sure, but what is certain, is the fact that because I felt so anxious already, and because I would also feel insecure due to the fact that my picture presentation was covered in flaws, and because I created and manifested the anger at myself, the fear, the self-loathing caused by picking, I would reflect it back to myself off of my coworkers.

 

For example: one day as I arrived to work, and as I was walking by a couple co-workers I said “good morning”. One of them looked at me and replied, but the other one just looked at me and turned away and began talking again. As I continued walking to put my coat away I remember this having given me a really bad feeling, I felt like they disliked me, did not want me there, and painfully endured my presence.

 

So, the interesting thing about this is that these thoughts or emotions can only be experienced by me if I created them already- somewhere in my life I accepted and allowed myself to feel these ways about myself, ways which are now activated within and through certain situations. So, within self-honesty I can see, realize and understand that I in fact painfully endure my own presence at times, especially within and as OCD. I dislike myself when I participate in the self-abusive habits that I participate in. I in fact don’t want to be me when I feel the way I do after I have had a pick session, for example.

 

I thought about this that day, and I tried something new to see if they were in fact feeling this way about me, or if I was simply creating it all in my mind. I walked back over there and asked how they were doing, and the other one ignored me again. So I pushed through the fear, self-consciousness and anger, looked straight at her and asked if something was wrong. This seemed to surprise her or catch her off guard, she sort of snapped out of it and apologized. She actually reached out and touched my arm, and participated in a very warm and welcoming interaction.

 

As it turned out, she was dealing with an extremely stressful situation within one of her work-cases, and she was trying to figure it out with the other co-worker. She was just completely wrapped up in it, and had probably worked herself up into a state where she was so self-involved in her own situation that she was not concerned or aware of the impression she was giving off to others- which is the exact same way that I become. So when I pushed it a little by asking her if anything was wrong, I learned it had nothing to do with me at all. I had just been taking everything personally, and consequently feeding my own cycles of self-loathing, insecurity and lack of self-acceptance.
Within the state of mind I enter into within and through the disorder of OCD, I become even more prone to these self-experiences, by taking so many things throughout my day personally because I set myself up to already feel this way: so a glance, a comment, my own internal conversations, etc…  using all of this to accept and allow myself to feel terrible; creating and manifesting an absolutely dreadful internal experience, and then getting home to abuse myself within OCD as a release and escape from it, only to start the whole cycle over again- waking up the next morning and not wanting to face the day ahead. Reluctant to get out of bed, and feeling fatigued on my drive to work because of this absolute reluctance and the anxiety that I create for myself—I mean, is this living? Or is this simply enduring the day? Within and through OCD, I create a life which that I can’t endure and which I would rather escape, but I see now that with a little awareness, I can stop a LOT of the experiences by pushing through the situations I create for myself, simply by using common sense and pushing through a small wall of emotion.”

That is the end of the older blog, and it has been a few years since then…

So how am I doing now?

 

Well, in the mornings, I have a routine that does not include OCD or skin picking. If I slip, it is very minimal, I can get out of it and move on to the next point quite easily or fluidly. I am more aware.

 

When I look at how I arrive at work now I can see that it puts me in a good mood (sometimes a little distracting as I enjoy my co-workers so much that I have to pull myself away and focus on working). I do say hello to everyone, even at times going around to people that sit further away to make a connection and ‘check-in’. I really like this and the dynamic it creates between us.

 

I laugh a lot with my co-workers and generally have a pretty good time, even spending time together outside of work (and have gone on two vacations with co-workers). I would say the relationships I have at work are worthwhile, deeper that I have been used to, but have a light, easy-going feel to them. I am so glad I walked this point, and it is cool to see one of the first moments of correction where it started years ago.

 

So what am I reflecting to myself now within my experience around others? I would say a lot more self-acceptance and self-appreciation. It is to the point where I am now pushing more self-expression, to express me and get to know myself as who I am when I am not constantly judging me and looking at my flaws.

 

This is how the process works, one moment at a time, which accumulates into many moments and then just becomes a way of living. This is how we can create a life worth living for ourselves. Not just with getting along well at work, but within realizing that we are the creators of our own lives, starting with the small, and working to the great. My one condition is that the life I create will be one where I value, respect and honour all Life in my living application, and live according to principle, such as giving as I would like to receive, and doing what’s best for everyone, not just me.

 

How to Get to Work Without Ruining Your Day

late for bus

I left off in my last blog by re-scripting my morning routine, effectively editing out any OCD behavior. I saw how it in fact not only completely sabotages my mornings, but also sabotages my relationship to myself. It does this by severely undermining my self-trust, as I have shown myself that with OCD, I can’t depend on myself because I can’t depend on whether or not my own actions will be congruent with my intentions.

Also, the fact that I accept and allow myself to fall into compulsions in the morning causes me stress and anxiety, due to the fear of being late for work, which fuels and perpetuates the disorder throughout the day. This ‘starting the day out on a bad foot’ creates a nearly impossible foundation for me to walk throughout my day with the vigilance and discipline I require to manage OCD, which I require to do throughout the day and into the evening.

With this re-scripting, I have seen my anxiety levels decrease in normal and uneventful situations. This is why I am continuing on here, where I have done my morning routine, and I am now heading out the door and catching the bus to the metro. In future blogs I will do them same for stressful events and circumstances that arise, but first I have to start with a platform of stability:

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to steal little moments of time from myself, when I see that I’m not ‘late’ yet, and using these stolen moments to go into OCD knowing that I don’t yet have control over it and that I will almost inevitably take too much time, which accumulates into me ending up leaving my house only minutes before the bus arrives, causing me to have to run and worry that I won’t catch it.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think that I have nothing to do with spare time in the morning, because it’s not enough time to do anything constructive, wherein I become stressed by the idea of spare time, because in the morning, that means time alone with me, and time alone with me is difficult when I’m not preoccupied and distracted because in those moments I feel the intense urges of OCD coming forward and beginning to react in my body.

When and as I see that I have little spare moments of time, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-direction by reminding myself that I do have better uses for that time, and that it is in fact precious time. I direct myself to walk through my morning tasks until they are done, unaffected by the possibility that I may end up with extra time, and if that time does, I direct myself to find a better use for it, such as spending more time saying goodbye to my partner or walking more slowly to the bus to be able to enjoy the day, for example.

I commit myself to push myself to stop wasting precious time on OCD, and to instead invest into myself, using that time to add value to myself and my life, instead of taking value away.

I commit myself to continue to breathe through the suppressions coming to the fore, instead of pushing them back down and distracting myself, so that I may walk through my tasks uninterrupted by OCD, even if it feels bad/uncomfortable, I know it will subside/go away eventually.

I commit myself to say longer goodbye’s to my partner, and to walk slowly to the bus when I have extra time.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to feel triumphant when I catch the bus when I’m late, as if I had won a race or beat the odds, instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that I had already lost the moment I left the house, because I had missed moments I could have spent with myself, preparing myself to effectively handle myself throughout the day.

When and as I am running for the bus when I am late, I stop within myself, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-honesty by reminding myself that it is not in fact me that is moving myself and feeling triumphant, but rather the stress energy that I had accumulated during the morning as I create a situation where I am late. If I in fact have to run, I run as self-movement, with and as breath, with no extra ‘motivating factors’ coming from my mind, feeding the OCD cycles.

I commit myself to continue to remind myself to remain stable within myself, no longer utilizing the self-created stress-inducing scenarios to feed and perpetuate OCD within and as me.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to become uneasy around the passengers on the bus.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think, believe and perceive that all the passengers on the bus are looking at me and judging me in some way, causing me to become self-conscious which makes my skin crawl, causing me to feel dirty.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think/believe/perceive that the passengers on the bus are looking at me the way I look at myself, when I look at myself through OCD/dermatillomania, close up and looking for imperfections, narrowing in on every flaw and going into judgment/repulsion due to my mind creating the ideas that my skin is dirty even when it is not.

When and as I see that I am sitting on the bus and I begin to feel my skin crawl, and I start feeling generally dirty due to the presence of others, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-honesty by using common sense to determine that I am completely the same as I was when I left my house, when I at the gym, and when I’m with my partner, and these are all moments/situations where I feel normal. I bring myself back to normalcy through breathing through the thoughts/sensations that I am unclean and remind myself that it is not real, but a self-created sensation in my mind, therefor I can change it and choose to feel differently.

I commit myself to stop myself from feeling dirty and unclean by constantly and continuously stopping, breathing, using common sense to remind myself that the feelings are not real, and releasing/letting go of the thoughts.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to observe the other passengers and to judge them, because this creates a fear of judgment in myself, as I wouldn’t want someone else to look at me and judge me the way I know I am looking at and judging others.

When and as I see that I am judging others on the bus, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-honesty by reminding myself that the only judgment is self-judgment, which means I see something of myself in those that I am judging, and so long as I judge, I will be judged, because I am judging me instead of changing me. I bring forth self-acceptance by letting the judgments go, and embracing the presence of those that I see around me, placing myself in their shoes, and seeing within self-honesty, that which I am judging in myself.

To be continued….

OCD/Dermatillomania: How to Prevent the Tension Build Up

photo-1495467732811-d200fa06166a

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

people-3350545__340

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.

 

startup-593341__340

 

Defining the Sensation That Causes Me to Compulsively Pick My Skin – What’s the Plan?

background-3234504__340

Are we even aware of what it is we are thinking or feeling the moment we are so compelled that we start picking our own skin? I seem to think that in the past, before I knew this was a disorder and before I knew it wasn’t normal and that it is actually quite harmful, I don’t recall being aware of what was going on inside of me the moments before I would begin to pick. With the process of self-forgiveness I’ve been able to slow down a little bit, and actually have a look at the feelings I experience within myself the moments where I feel like it’s time to ‘pick or die’.

Of these internal emotional energetic experiences, one stands out in particular. It moves in and takes over quite regularly, and the last time it was intense was today, on my way home from work. It was an overwhelming sense and presence of fear. It was a dizzying uncertainty within which I felt a lack of control. Within this experience, as I was walking home, I knew that if I didn’t do something about it, I would end up getting home to an empty house, finding a mirror, finding some tweezers, and picking in an attempt to make this feeling go away, to ‘ground myself’, and make myself feel better.

The reason why I knew this is because this is the pattern I have become familiar with: I get the feeling, I ignore it and suppress it, and then I act out skin-picking compulsions in order to regain a sense of comfort, focus, and closeness with myself. Because I realized that in these moments, it’s hard to admit, but I don’t like myself very much. I don’t like what I’ve accepted and allowed myself to be and become; I feel alien and awkward, and like all my bad qualities are exaggerated. I feel like I’d rather disappear and not exist except for in the small safe bubble that is created when I pick.

However, I am now continuing to walk a process of no longer accepting or allowing old habits and patterns to control me. I am slowly scripting out new patterns and moving myself as my own self-directive principle, moment to moment, no matter what my internal experience and no matter how I’m feeling. This is the goal, and this is how I took a step today to achieve it:

First I did some self-forgiveness out loud, yes, right in the middle of the street as I was walking, because self-forgiveness can immediately ease the overwhelm experienced in these moments. It actually creates a beneficial closeness, self-acceptance and self-intimacy in these moments that is a cool transition from the detrimental closeness created by skin-picking (detrimental – like being in an abusive relationship of dependency).

Have you ever tried forgiving yourself? Try saying the words out loud and see how it feels, it can be intense… or it can be nothing, depending on our mind-state at the moment you are doing it. When you do it you have to mean it, and I meant it today because I was scared. I was walking into a suffocating trap (an empty apartment) and I knew I had to do something, so my self-forgiveness went something like this:

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear going home to an empty house.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to become overcome and overwhelmed by this feeling of absolute fear and dizzying uncertainty and I forgive myself for accepting and allowing overwhelming fear and dizzying uncertainty to exist within and as me.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear not giving myself a plan or a strategy to use to direct myself in these moments where I need it most, moments where I am in fear and uncertainty.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to not be there for myself to arm myself with preventative measures when I know I need them most.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to abandon myself and abdicate myself, my ‘Who I Am’ to this disorder, within the belief that subconscious submission to the disorder will somehow ‘work’ and make me feel better, instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that if I continue to submit, I will simply cycle and loop back into the same position, but worse because I will have hurt myself and caused visible damage, and I will have let myself down again.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to not trust myself that I will be able to control myself when I get home into an empty house.

I forgive myself for NOT accepting and allowing myself to think, believe or perceive that I will be able to direct myself when I get home to an empty house without first preparing myself with a plan or blueprint for how I will go about spending that time between getting home from work and going to bed.

I forgive myself for NOT accepting myself unconditionally, even when I am feeling like self-judgment and self-hate are who I am.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to judge myself

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to hate myself

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to ignore and not realize that if I push myself to go home and NOT pick, I will feel SO much self-empowerment and control, and I will create self-love, self-worth and self-intimacy, which are the things I have been depriving myself of through the use and act of skin-picking.

After speaking to myself in this way, the OCD/dermatillomania feeling subsided enough so that I was able to think more clearly. I gave myself a step-by-step plan for when I got home:

Put away my things, take a shower, put on comfy clothes, make tea, make a snack, watch a video, write a journal entry, prepare food and clothes for the next day, go to bed (each step can be broken down into mini-steps for me to focus on when the urge to pick becomes ‘loud’ and distracting).

So instead of accepting and allowing myself to subconsciously feed the fear and uncertainty I was feeling, I occupied my mind with the practical concept of making a plan that I could then live out. This is like using the mind as a practical tool, instead as a generator of overwhelming energetic reactions. This is empowering. When I would start to feel the bad feeling creeping in again, I would push and direct myself to think of the little details of my plan: what kind of tea would I make exactly; what would I prepare for a snack, what will I put on, how will I feel in those clothes. I even began to feel comforted thinking about the nice things I would be doing instead of picking my skin and re-generating the aweful feelings that come with and after a skin-picking session.

So did it work? I only picked a little bit before the shower, but I stopped myself, then I started, then I stopped myself again, turned off the lights, and got in the shower.

The main point or realization within this blog and within this experience I had today is that taking preventative measures can be HUGE when you see you are walking into a difficult situation. The self-awareness and self-discipline it takes to know when, how and why to do this, and then to move and shift your mind into this new way of thinking (instead of falling into the usual patterns), AND THEN moving yourself physically to live out the plan you’ve made for yourself, can be difficult and may not be achieved right away.

Then again- maybe it IS possible, one never really knows. I am certainly not there yet, but I am taking notes and I am practicing. For me it is a step by step labour of self-love, because taking preventative measures is actual self-love made real, tangible and visible.

The feeling I get when I see these things through is indescribable – thus far short lived- but I have seen glimpses, and it’s like breathing for the first time after enduring suffocation.

So to recap:

Look into self when you start feeling like you’re going to pick. Try to define in words   what it is you see and what it is you are feeling.

Do self-forgiveness on that which you have clarified for yourself as your internal experience, in order to clear the mind for practical use.

Make a step-by-step plan for what you are going to do INSTEAD of picking.

Keep focused and the details of the plan and get specific, get VERY specific if you have to. You know how specific and detailed you get when picking? Channel that into plan-making instead.

LIVE the plan.

pocket-watch-1637396_960_720

 

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.