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  1. #11
    Member Felix's Avatar
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    I think to a degree we all experience similar things throughout our lives, including the difficulty overcoming it. The reasons why you do these things, in my opinion, is there are certain beliefs about yourself and the people around you that you developed during childhood that sometimes just replay and replay throughout your life, that if gone unchallanged will constantly cause you to repeat the same mistakes and life-situations over and over.

    For me I hit this crisis situation, and I decided that that was it, I've had enough and I need to figure out why I keep doing these things. So I sat down with pen and paper and just wrote and wrote and wrote, about where I think this behaviour comes from, why I do it, where it's going to lead me, what exactly I'm thinking and how it makes me feel, and how rational it all was. I think I then just woke up, realised that certain thoughts and behaviours where completely pointless and time wasting, and I just completely shattered all of the irrational behaviour with just realising how incredibly pointless it all is, only serving to make me miserable.

    Something changed that day, and although I had understood all the concepts of releasing denial and rationalising your beliefs my whole life, I put it mainly down to the fact that I sat there and wrote it all down on the piece of paper, with the intention of getting to the bottom of it no matter what.

    So if I find myself doing any of these unwanted behaviours these days, I just think back to what I had written, and remind myself that I have already proven how pointless all of it is, and the behaviours just disappear.

    I hope this makes sense

  2. #12
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I can honestly say I've been, and sometimes still are, in your shoes. The bad part about this is that it tends to not go away. It's like an alcoholic - the alochol will always be just a will-power moment away.

    I went through a situation-inducing depression that made me lose self-esteem. When I say that, I mean I had no reason in the world to believe I couldn't be president, and went from that mentality to nothing. I didn't brush my hair, clean my room, wash my clothes, brush my teeth, bathe... I mean. I DID do these things, but I didn't want to. I'd brush my teeth when it got too embarrassing. I bathed when my sister would peer pressure me into it. My room was wrecked and I slept in, what I'd consider now filth. It was because I didn't care about myself, and if I didn't feel like I needed these things, who the hell cares what other people think I need?

    Lifting myself out of my depression started with correcting this behavior. There was no way I was going to respect myself so long as I looked and acted like a hobo. It's sheer will-power, and the motivation of losing my happiness forever that keeps it up now. I cheered myself up about it all by buying nice toothpaste, name-brand floss, and even a fancy toothbrush. I cut my hair so I couldn't use it as an excuse to not shower. I started a routine so that it'd be easier to stick with, and it was as simple as ensuring a toothbrush made it's way into my mouth each morning, and deodorant and face swabs made their way on my body. My hair was short so there was no reason to not brush it.

    It's a sort of self-mutilating behavior. I equate it to mild versions of things like cutting.. because it's all a pain and disrespect to the body. I wasn't the person I wanted to be, and I found that I was happier, and felt better, when I changed these patterns. Eventually I got really anal about things like flossing when I brush because it reminds me not to slip back into that state of mind. Eventually I took my anger and depression out in exercise form. I didn't change my eating habits, but I did say that even if I was too sad to get out of bed I'd lift a weight, go walking, do SOMETHING.

    I just picked one thing, and started doing it. One day at a time. Slowly building up on it. Making my bed, doing my laundry regularly, doing 10 sit-ups before my shower. It's a slow process, and if you're anything like me, it's one that won't quite go away now. But it's definitely manageable, and it can be overcome.

    I wish you the best of luck.
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  3. #13
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    I've been through the same kind of thing, Gloriana. Here's my advice: you need to recognize that taking care of yourself, and striving to build a more satisfying and meaningful life for yourself, is equally valuable and important as having a positive influence in the lives of others.

    Look at it this way: think about why you're a caring and altruistic person. I'd be willing to bet that it more or less boils down to something like, "because they're human beings, and I value them because of that". Well, you're a human being, too. This gives you the same inherent value as everyone else, which in turn makes you inherently deserving of being someone to give the same care and attention that you give to others. Also consider that taking care of yourself isn't really a 100% selfish thing; if you're a happier, more confident, and more self-actualized person, then that makes you even better equipped to be a positive influence in the lives of others, wouldn't you agree? So it's not just you who benefits when you show yourself the same care and commitment that you feel for others - the effects extend beyond yourself, too.

    Another thing: I definitely second the advice that Felix and kyuuei have given. I've used (and still use from time to time) the same approaches and techniques they've described, and I find that they really are helpful for getting yourself out of a rut.

    Best of luck to you in achieving your goals.

  4. #14
    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    Probably the most important lesson I learned about value was from a newsletter subscription service. I have had many subscriptions to various services over the years. I was used to paying around $30 to $50 a month. The publisher of this particular service happens to be quite talented at slicing, dicing and making sense of macroeconomic data. This is an awesome newsletter. The trial was three months which seemed long for a newsletter. By the end of the trial I was sold. I wanted that newsletter. I expected it to cost around $50 a month. I was shocked to learn the price was $10,000 a year. At first I thought it was way too expensive. Later I realized it's all about value. We don't pay for the media. We don't pay for the paper it is printed on or PDFs, we pay for the content. If the service or information can't easily be obtained elsewhere, the value (price) goes up.

    I apply this principle to my own life. Any given investment is an opportunity cost. For now I choose to focus completely on my business. I invest my time, money and energy in my business at the cost of not having much of a life outside of it. I am building value for the future.

    It's about value. What do you value at this moment in time? How much are you willing to pay for it? At this moment in time I place more value on building my vision of the future than on the living in the present. At some point (soon) that will have to reverse.

    The same principal can be applied to all kinds of different situations. Do you at this moment in time value that donut or cigarette more than the future health benefits of going without?

    The investment of going without donuts or cigarettes or leisure activities in the short term can pay large dividends in the future. The opposite is also true. What do you most value at this moment in time? It won't come for free. Some way or another you will have to pay for it. If it's great value I am more than happy, even eager, to pay for it with time, money and energy. That is the essence of investing.

    I want a frickin $100bn!! But I will still have to pay for it.

  5. #15
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Absolutely. As many parents will tell you, your life is forever altered after kids come. You come second. I probably went a little further with that than I needed to but for some time, I never thought of myself and my own needs. This left an unhappy mom and kids who noticed it. I don't do this now and not for a long time. Depression and other mental illness aside, those are obvious issues that would effect self care regardless. I started with one day a month that I devoted to myself. No matter how demanding life is, I still set this one day a month aside.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  6. #16
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    To OP: Actually we've both been through some similar stuff. Literally the last 2+ years of my life have been dedicated to this. It is painful and difficult, and the changes I made in the process of recovering myself ended up in my losing a number of things that I never wanted to lose, and I'm still working through the repercussions and seeing what can be salvaged, based on whether the relationships and situations can be renegotiated ... this time, with terms that allow me to have what I need rather than my tacit abandonment of my own needs for everyone else.

    In my family growing up, my father was (and still is) the alcoholic. The counterpart to him was my ISFJ mother who never did anything for herself whatsoever even as it crushed her in many ways, and since she never really grasped me, she was never able to really give me what I needed aside from the physical/tangible needs (food, shelter, clothes, etc.).

    I was the eldest child and easily took the burden of being the family stabilizer and laying aside my needs and hopes (which were never met anyway, any time I took a chance and revealed them).... and being who I am, I always took a more "rational" route and tossed my emotional needs into the "unnecessary" pile, I could live without them being met. After all, they weren't rational. Except of course I was wrong, and that same pattern persisted long into my marriage, and eventually went very very badly for me, and in the end I had to make some very very drastic decisions in order to regain myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by gloriana
    I adopted the message that my worth was wrapped up in what I could do for others very early on. My Mom was an alcoholic when I was little and I felt most important/noticed when I could help her with something. I was neglected in many ways and so there is that irritating void there which is missing the feeling of self worth. I know the roots to a lot of it, which is fine, but it's the "Ok, now to handle this and repair, grow, and change" part that is difficult. I dream of having that part filled somehow, where I wake up ready to do what I need to do for myself and henceforth make so much more out of my life than I've got going right now. This is my goal.
    The self-worth thing is very hard. I don't know if I will ever get beyond the ache. Oh, I have changed and healed a lot and found parts of myself I didn't know existed, but I still feel a large sense of inner loss that refuses to go away... and there's still this crazy confusion/uncertainty about what I can ask for, what I'm supposed to give, and what level of guilt I should feel in any situation where I have to put up boundaries to protect myself.

    My shrink waaaay back told me that I was so good at taking care of my kids and other people in my life, but I needed to learn how to take care of myself... that I was just as valuable as they and even while continuing to be there for them, I couldn't afford to neglect myself. We did the whole visualization thing where I pictured myself as a young kid and then I was asked how I would parent myself, if I could have been my own parent at that age? I had to learn to see myself as another person in my life who needed to use my knowledge and experience and commitment/love to help nurture and guide myself, and that worked well for me... since i had all this experience in nurturing and looking after my own kids.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean O View Post
    I've been through the same kind of thing, Gloriana. Here's my advice: you need to recognize that taking care of yourself, and striving to build a more satisfying and meaningful life for yourself, is equally valuable and important as having a positive influence in the lives of others.

    Look at it this way: think about why you're a caring and altruistic person. I'd be willing to bet that it more or less boils down to something like, "because they're human beings, and I value them because of that". Well, you're a human being, too. This gives you the same inherent value as everyone else, which in turn makes you inherently deserving of being someone to give the same care and attention that you give to others. Also consider that taking care of yourself isn't really a 100% selfish thing; if you're a happier, more confident, and more self-actualized person, then that makes you even better equipped to be a positive influence in the lives of others, wouldn't you agree? So it's not just you who benefits when you show yourself the same care and commitment that you feel for others - the effects extend beyond yourself, too.
    Yup. Exactly what I said above. We're all people, no one is worth less than anyone else. That, and the fact that we FUNCTION better if we give ourselves what we need to work right, leads to the need for self-care.


    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    Absolutely. As many parents will tell you, your life is forever altered after kids come. You come second. I probably went a little further with that than I needed to but for some time, I never thought of myself and my own needs. This left an unhappy mom and kids who noticed it. I don't do this now and not for a long time. Depression and other mental illness aside, those are obvious issues that would effect self care regardless. I started with one day a month that I devoted to myself. No matter how demanding life is, I still set this one day a month aside.
    Good for you, hon. Being a mom is especially difficult, with all the social pressure and expectations of what a mom should be as the "selfless nurturer" of her kids, and the kids will usually keep asking a lot and are just kids, and it's easy to just lose yourself if you are not careful.

    Things are definitely better in the long run if every person in the family is allowed to be a person.

    I've also learned it's no one else's damned business how I parent my kids. In the end, they are my kids and it's our family, and even if someone else is critical of it, that's just too bad. The price of trying to appease people outside that circle is just too devastating to permit.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  7. #17
    Cat Wench ReadingRainbows's Avatar
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    I know all about this. I was a self harmer for years (still am in some ways it just stopped being a knife, but bad relationships I go for) I tore myself up for about 6 years physically and now I'm onto the emotional section. I wonder sometimes when I'm going to be okay.

    At the time I was psychotic when I was 15 I was horribly self neglectful. But my mother was self neglectful. All of the above of what you said. Someone else outside of my home taught me to take care of myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
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