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 Post subject: Shame and self acceptance
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:59 pm 
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I think it's a good sign when I don't come on here that often..it usually means I'm doing pretty well. Now today I don't know if it's because I'm premenstrual (lol) or if I'm just having some growing pains.

I don't know how to let go of the self hatred. I don't know if it's because I I get some joy out of it or if it's because it is harder to talk back to it than it is to accept and wallow in it.

Argghhh! I have no reason to hate myself so much. I have done nothing wrong! I do a lot of things that should make me feel proud of myself. I do a lot of things that should give me self esteem. For the most part, they do, which is why I have felt more stable. I was having a good day. I woke up..surfed..cleaned up the beach then went to class. I just got to work and am still feeling good. I made one mistake that does not deserve the self deprecation I'm giving myself. And it's a really small mistake. It's one of my friend's birthday's on the 25th of this month. Well I thought today was the 24th, so I texted a bunch of our friends and told them to call her tomorrow because of it and not to tell who told them. Well one of our friends knew too and texted me "No it isn't. It's Wednesday." So I don't know how to forgive myself for making a dumb mistake. I texted everyone..giving them the correct date and I'm still mad at myself. I think it's so dumb that whenever I don't fit my perfect image, I want to hurt myself to punish myself. Cause when I do that I feel okay again because I paid for my mistake.

I know in a few hours I'm going to feel really ashamed for this but the shame is all apart of my complex as well! Argghh!!


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 Post subject: Re: Shame and self acceptance
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:44 pm 
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I dwell on mistakes too, so I know how you feel. Not just mistakes, but on anything I feel excited about. Do you think you're using twisted thinking in calling yourself dumb for mixing up the date? Don't you think plenty of people mix up the date now and then? People mix up a lot of things. It's not like you committed a crime or did something wrong on purpose. People make mistakes and in the scheme of things, what you did was a very minor mistake.

But you know that it was a small mistake already. I think the problem is not being able to let go of it. Or, maybe I'm projecting my problems. I would be going over and over what happened in my mind, not necessarily thinking how dumb I was, but just thinking about it. Probably in a negative way, like you.

What can we do to change our way of thinking? First, we can decide that we are human, and are allowed to get dates mixed up, or whatever. Then, we can decide to move on. That's where I get stuck. I dwell on something until something else comes along to distract me. So, maybe the answer is to mindfully select something else to think about so my brain does not waste time on something meaningless.

I'm not sure I understand about feeling the need to pay for your mistake. Well, sort of, maybe I do. I always feel relieved when something goes wrong because I feel like I've gotten my fair share of bad stuff happening. Which is totally irrational, I know. I just got over a virus, probably the flu, and I'm thinking "good, I got that over with." It's not exactly paying for my mistake, but feeling better when I get what I think I deserve.

Does the need to pay for your mistakes come from your childhood? You don't have to answer here, but it sounds like a message from the past. You've got to change the tapes in your mind. You don't have to pay for being human. You're okay the way you are!

Well, I've been rambling enough. I hope something makes sense to you.


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 Post subject: Re: Shame and self acceptance
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:06 pm 
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Quote:
I don't know how to let go of the self hatred


So, let me get this straight....you have a problem you don't know how to solve? Have you tried working the 5 steps for this? You may have to break it down a bit into more tangible pieces, but I find this tool to be useful for almost any problem.

Good luck to you Ibcgal....this is one many of us share and I can't say that there is 'one way' to solve it....it's within you, so that's where the answer to your quandary must originate as well, IMO. Good news is you can do it; you can find a way to love yourself completely. Just wanting to do so means a lot to me--it shows the possibility is there for real change! :D

P.S. Would it help you to take the 'should' out of your thinking? You know "I should be like this or that" kinda thing? It helps me to no longer think in terms of 'shoulds'.....to rather think in terms of what actually IS and then deciding on a case-by-case basis if what I'm doing is aligning with what I want, all the while reminding myself that we're all human. Just a thought.

_________________
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"Pain is resistance to change."
--Ida Rolf

BRING IT ON!! -- personal mantra


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 Post subject: Re: Shame and self acceptance
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:34 pm 
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Sorry it took me so long to respond! I've been doing pretty good, but I wanted to get back to the board. I appreciate both of you for taking time out of your day to help me out! :-)

Quote:
Do you think you're using twisted thinking in calling yourself dumb for mixing up the date? Don't you think plenty of people mix up the date now and then? People mix up a lot of things. It's not like you committed a crime or did something wrong on purpose. People make mistakes and in the scheme of things, what you did was a very minor mistake.


You couldn't be more right, wondering! I'm very famous (at least in my mind) for committing most of the ten thought distortions. Here I used all or nothing thinking. I thought I was a failure because I made a mistake. I also used a mental filter. Instead of thinking about celebrating my friend's birthday, I was thinking about getting the date wrong. I obsessed about how stupid I was. I also discounted the positive which was that my other friend let me know of my error and dwelled on the fact that I made a mistake. I was also mind reading..thinking this other friend hated me because she called me out on my error. I also magnified my shortcomings, which in this case was my mistake, and forgot that I was being a nice person for trying to remind everyone of our friend's birthday. Lastly, I used should statements. I told myself that I should be perfect and remember everything all the time.

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But you know that it was a small mistake already. I think the problem is not being able to let go of it. Or, maybe I'm projecting my problems. I would be going over and over what happened in my mind, not necessarily thinking how dumb I was, but just thinking about it. Probably in a negative way, like you.


That makes so much sense. I am very obsessive. Very very obsessive..lol. And I don't like to let go of anything. I think that I feel some sort of sick security in finding things to validate my sense of worthlessness. You know as a kid I was always told what a mistake I was and how worthless I was and how I was the cause of my parent's drinking so I adopted that as my role. I did things on the outside to obtain validation..was a model student, musician, good friend, quiet kid. I never gave anyone anyone trouble and I was the kid my parents compared my sister to and my friend's parents compared them to. But I guess underneath that I guess it maybe became my identity. I don't know.

Quote:
What can we do to change our way of thinking? First, we can decide that we are human, and are allowed to get dates mixed up, or whatever. Then, we can decide to move on. That's where I get stuck. I dwell on something until something else comes along to distract me. So, maybe the answer is to mindfully select something else to think about so my brain does not waste time on something meaningless.


That's very true. Sometimes I think the things that control me are out of my control. But really it's just training. Yeah, I can believe in my core that I'm worthless, which is hard to change, but if I'm not doing anything to fight it, than of course I'm going to keep believing it.

I dwell on things, too. My sponsor says that it's me not being aware. It's like I do all this volunteer work and want to save the world and I'm still seeing myself as this worthless self obsessed person. Which maybe I am self obsessed but that doesn't mean I deserve the talk I give to myself.

Yeah, I think distraction is very important here. That's why I love keeping myself very busy. I tend to feel more emotionally stable when I do. Or thinking of something else. Doing anything else not related to the content of my obsession.

Quote:
I'm not sure I understand about feeling the need to pay for your mistake. Well, sort of, maybe I do. I always feel relieved when something goes wrong because I feel like I've gotten my fair share of bad stuff happening. Which is totally irrational, I know. I just got over a virus, probably the flu, and I'm thinking "good, I got that over with." It's not exactly paying for my mistake, but feeling better when I get what I think I deserve.


I can understand that. I feel the same way sometimes, wondering. I'm glad you got over the flu, though! I hate being sick :-)

Quote:
Does the need to pay for your mistakes come from your childhood? You don't have to answer here, but it sounds like a message from the past. You've got to change the tapes in your mind. You don't have to pay for being human. You're okay the way you are


Definately. It is definately a message from the past. I guess I try to silence those voices by keeping busy. I find that the more I analyze and focus on myself, the sadder and more trapped in my childhood I get. I guess I become really needy, clingy and more like a victim. When I do things for other people, or volunteer, or go surf, or hang out with safe people, I realize the illusion of my victimhood. I'm an adult. My parents can't hurt me anymore.

Thanks for your insight, wondering and thanks for the message. I appreciate it! :-)

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Well, I've been rambling enough. I hope something makes sense to you.


It does. We are all so similar here that it makes me feel good to not be alone. Hope you have a great rest of the week, wondering! :-)

Quote:
So, let me get this straight....you have a problem you don't know how to solve? Have you tried working the 5 steps for this? You may have to break it down a bit into more tangible pieces, but I find this tool to be useful for almost any problem.


Stop / HALT
Just stop and breathe for a moment. Are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired? The HALT feelings are physically-based and only temporary. Remember that!

Hungry. The situation has passed now, but I do know that at the time I was hungry.

Determine what the problem is
Sure there can be (and usually ARE) more than just *one* problem but even still, write the problem(s) down on a piece of paper.

I sent a text to a few friends reminding them of our friend's birthday. I receive one back saying "no, it's the 25th." I interpret that text as "you worthless piece of &&^$*%, how could you forget that?"

Come up with THREE possible courses of action
Start with one of your problems and come up with three (and only three - not a hundred, not just one) possible things you could do.

I could hurt myself
I could go back to work
I could text my friend, saying "thank you for telling me, I'll let everyone else know."

Figure out which one is best for now
You don't have to make a lifelong commitment right now and if things don't work out quite the way you'd hoped they would, you can work the steps again and again and again - just like everyone else does!

Well, when it was happening I was in the midst of my feelings so I cut myself. But that urge to cut had been building for a few days because of some other things going on, so it was my excuse to do it. After I cut I calmed down and texted my friend, thanking her for the reminder. I then went back to work.

DO IT!
I say that assuming you haven't chosen suicide. Obviously, that's the ultimate final solution (assuming you'd succeed). Nothing will happen to change the situation/problem until you actually DO something, no matter how small. A change in your situation, outlook, etc. requires a change from within yourself. In order for that internal change to have effect on the outside, tangible world, you must take action to implement that change.

I don't think I did it right. I think next time I'm feeling so emotional, I should probably do my best to stop and apply the 5 steps. Maybe I could have avoided hurting myself.

Quote:
Good luck to you Ibcgal....this is one many of us share and I can't say that there is 'one way' to solve it....it's within you, so that's where the answer to your quandary must originate as well, IMO. Good news is you can do it; you can find a way to love yourself completely. Just wanting to do so means a lot to me--it shows the possibility is there for real change!


Thank you, Harmonium. I really like reading what you write and your insight. You always say "use the tools first" which I like because it helps train my brain, which is very out of shape :-) I've found in past situations for the tools to be immensely helpful. I also think you're right when you say that the answer is within me. Slowly but surely I'm begining to think a little more for myself. I am such a follower and people pleaser that it's hard for me to be honest but I think the more I engage in activities that correlate to my beliefs and things I like to do (positive activities, I mean), the more I become a whole person.

Quote:
P.S. Would it help you to take the 'should' out of your thinking? You know "I should be like this or that" kinda thing? It helps me to no longer think in terms of 'shoulds'.....to rather think in terms of what actually IS and then deciding on a case-by-case basis if what I'm doing is aligning with what I want, all the while reminding myself that we're all human. Just a thought.


I think so. I think my use of "should" is one my worst self destructive tendencies. Maybe thinking in terms of what is means acceptance right? Like letting go? If I let go of my need to be perfect and the fact I made a mistake, I'm thinking of what is and practicing radical acceptance? And then, whatever situation it is, chosing to act on whatever is needed at the time. In this situation, it would have been me using the tools on this website, or going surfing of whatever I need to do to calm down, and then thank my friend for her text. I think that might be what you mean.

Thanks for responding, Harmonium. Hope things are going well for you, too! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Shame and self acceptance
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:17 pm 
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Nice to have you back, Ibcgal! :D

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

BRING IT ON!! -- personal mantra


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