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 Post subject: How I am using 4 Steps today.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:43 am 
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I devoted yesterday to dissociation - numbing out on the Internet. I was hiding from some crisis issues in my life. My homework for therapy is to create a list of issues that need attention and list next step(s) for each item. I chose to space out as opposed to working proactively in my self-interest.

I feel like an ass that I sabotage myself by making irresponsible life choices and ignore self-care to the point of crisis.

Anyway, here is my exercise:
1. HALT - No. I am not hungry, angry, lonely or tired. I am ANXIOUS. I know this because I am taking shallow breaths. I feel compelled to numb out using a number of negative coping mechanisms. I now recognize that anxiety triggers this withdrawing reaction which in turn takes me into a downward spiral. I can accept that I am feeling anxious, scared and weak against my compulsions, but I don't need to act on my feelings. I can choose to act in my best interest.

2. What is the problem? I fear that I will lose my house, because I am underemployed and not enough money is coming in.

3. 3 courses of action
A. Try to ignore the problem, go online for the rest of the day, lose another day to avoidance behaviors. Know that my anxiety will rise, because the crisis issues will remain unaddressed.
B. Identify and do CBT/DBT exercises that will address the cognitive distortions (catastrophising, etc) that are fueling the anxiety.
C. Face off with the most pressing bill, the mortgage. Go online to check my bank balance and the amount due on the mortgage. Come back to 5 Steps to determine how to deal with whatever issue comes up (not enough money, etc)

4. Make a choice. I choose 'C'.

5. DO IT! My situation won't change unless I follow through. Experience tells me that to follow my anxiety into withdrawal and dissociation will cause me to create a life crisis. I don't want crisis. I choose to NOT have a crisis. My T says that I deserve better in life. I am shaky on agreeing with him, but I am trusting that he can help me, so I will take positive action that honors that belief.

So.....I did it! It only took a couple of minutes to do what I said I would do. I AM in trouble financially, but I have committed to facing the issue. Doing this was scary - I am still scared - but this feeling is not as bad as knowing that losing another day to avoidance activities.

Whew! Thank you all!


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 Post subject: Re: How I am using 4 Steps today.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:57 am 
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Great job Libby!! :woohoo

It IS scary sometimes, but as you pointed out so succinctly, the alternative (avoidance) is just plain not helpful in the long run.

I'm curious, though:
Quote:
Come back to 5 Steps to determine how to deal with whatever issue comes up (not enough money, etc)

I'm not clear on whether or not this part of your choice has been followed-through? Do you feel it is needed?

Again, really good job on the 5 Steps. I'm happy for you that, at least for today, you choose recovery! :biggrin

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Temet Nosce-- The Oracle
"Pain is resistance to change."
--Ida Rolf

BRING IT ON!! -- personal mantra


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 Post subject: Re: How I am using 4 Steps today.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:41 pm 
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Harmonium wrote:
I'm curious, though:
Quote:
Come back to 5 Steps to determine how to deal with whatever issue comes up (not enough money, etc)

I'm not clear on whether or not this part of your choice has been followed-through? Do you feel it is needed?


Thank you! Yes, I need to remind myself that if I start to feel overwhelmed, I should use a cbt tool to address it. The money issue is very complicated and will take many steps to solve. I'm pretty certain I will be returning to 5 Steps if anxiety threatens to de-rail my progress.

It may not be the right way to use the Steps (??not sure??), but that is why I posted - to get feedback. :)


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 Post subject: Re: How I am using 4 Steps today.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:42 pm 
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Good job! :thumbsup And yes, feel free to come back to the 5 steps (or any of the tools) whenever you need to. I look forwards to hearing more about your progress!

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 Post subject: Re: How I am using 4 Steps today.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:52 pm 
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Quote:
It may not be the right way to use the Steps (??not sure??), but that is why I posted - to get feedback. :)

I think the only 'right' way to do the 5 steps is to do exactly as you have done. Again, great job! I just wasn't sure if you followed through on the tail-end part of your choice, but it makes sense that it may take some time to do so.

There are no rigid rules with this stuff-- that I'm aware of anyway. If it 'works' for you, go for it. However, I do think it can help if, instead of waiting to become overwhelmed, you work the steps before that crisis stage (for me, my thinking is more clear that way).

I think you are doing an amazing job. And, like Echoes said, feel free to come back and work out the rest of it or some other problem too, whenever you are ready or feel the need to. :biggrin

_________________
Temet Nosce-- The Oracle
"Pain is resistance to change."
--Ida Rolf

BRING IT ON!! -- personal mantra


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 Post subject: Re: How I am using 4 Steps today.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:39 am 
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Hi Harmonium,

I see that I was not clear in saying that I did actually DO step 5. I did! :) Even though it was a little thing, it was scary because it was the first step to facing up to my financial situation (as opposed to avoiding it)


Thank you so much for your encouragement.


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