Sunday, August 31, 2014

Day 2 - Defining the Sensation That Causes Me to Compulsively Pick My Skin - What's the Plan?

          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 overwhelming-ness 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. 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 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.
I forgive myself for NOT accepting and allowing myself to accept 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 not to go home and 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 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 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 blog. 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 god-awfulness created by derma.

            So did it work? I 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 bad situation. The self-awareness and self-discipline it takes to know when to do this, and then to actually move and shift your mind into this new way of thinking instead of falling into the usual patterns, AND THEN moving yourself physically to actually live the plan you’ve made for yourself, can be difficult and may not be achieved right away.  Then again- maybe not, 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.

Self-Study with support, learn to respect you and others, learn how to stop mind chatter, learn how to forgive so effectively that you actually change forever, learn how to stop and change the automatic thoughts that run your life --Sign up for the free course at this link: DIPLITE, try it for yourself . - See more at: http://kimsjourneytolife.blogspot.com/#sthash.tBWO0lJy.dpuf
 

 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Day 1 - Picking my Skin - The Source is the Thoughts, the Source is Me

          I intend to continue walking my process out of dermatillomania, and this intention can only be real and be lived through the actual physical act of writing, applying, and changing. I began documenting this process in my other blog titled 'Kim's Journey to Life', as well as my YouTube channel. My goal within this process is to put out the fire at it's source. The source is the thoughts, feelings, emotions, ideas, perceptions, beliefs etc... that occur throughout the day and contribute and build the inner turmoil that then seeks for a release through dermatillomania. A simple thought as an idea, such as the belief that , for example, 'submitting to the urge to pick will somehow make me feel better', can become so strong that it can lead me to defy my own logic and rational thought process. Within dermatillomania, it can be observed that a single thought can actually take one over to the point where compulsions are acted out despite the fact that they are harmful and detrimental to every aspect of our lives. This is the power of the mind over the physical, and this is the power that I endeavor to take back because it is an awesome power, and I would rather intend to do something good with it, to do something meaningful, something practical. To contribute to the world as to myself as to those around me.

          One of the biggest realizations I've had recently within this disorder is that I held a lot of blame towards others. I would experience people staring at me and judging me in their minds, and I would want to be alone, and I would dread having to go out in public. What I realized is that no one is doing this to me, no one else is responsible for my internal experience but me, and it’s all up in my head. I’m not saying that the outside world doesn’t notice or react when the damage I’ve done is revealed; what I am saying is that what I’m dreading is my own creation: judgments and reactions to the external environment and my own reactions to the thoughts I’m having about that external environment. Just think of a child with a skin condition, a disorder or a deformity. The child lives and expresses freely until it learns the shame, judgment and remorse that is so common within us as we age. We program this into ourselves through thinking, over and over again, without monitoring or reigning in these thought processes.

         This is cool to realize because once we realize that we actually have control over what goes on in our own mind through stopping thoughts (which I will call directive principle), we realize that we can stop a large part of what feeds this disorder within us, simply by stopping and changing the way we think and react. The process I am walking to apply this change in a practical way is a process of self-forgiveness and self-corrective application. Please visit my other blog (Kim's Journey to Life) in which the latter half is dedicated the OCD and dermatillomania,  because I wrote quite a few blogs and it demonstrates the use of self-forgiveness, a life-changing technique that brings you back to yourself. I also have another blog called Thru Breath where I have been walking a process of self-correction, and it is another good example of the application of the tools of self-forgiveness, self-corrective statements and self-corrective application).