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  1. #1
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    Default Reversing Self-Neglect - Have You Done It?

    Hola my peoples!

    I'm going through a huge transition period in my life at the moment. My marriage ended almost a year ago, and a lot of soul searching and growth has come about as a result. Very positive things!

    One thing, if not the very biggest thing, I came away with was recognizing a serious tendency to neglect myself. I am talking in both the physical sense (not brushing my teeth enough, not grooming enough, not much interest in keeping up on hair care or appearance based things) and in the sense that I am bad at going after things just for me. I have spent a lot of my focus on the wants and needs of others my whole life, and hence I woke up after my husband left realizing the consequences of neglecting my own interest and being dependent on others.

    The main reason I am not dating right now or going near another relationship yet is because I am striving to figure out how to care about ME. I want to build up my own life, my own interests, my own education and have my own identity in that respect so that I am in a better position to have a healthier relationship in the future. This is the hardest thing I think I've ever had to do.

    I've certainly been going through the motions. Looking for work, learning how to make resumes, all sorts of stuff that is brand new to me. I've been investigating my college opportunities, looking into going to the gym, changing my diet to healthier choices little by little. I've been a life long nail biter and I grew them out. I've joined a lot of social groups and met a crap load of new people.

    I'm proud of this, but I'm still dissatisfied at this point because it is still touch and go. If I were trying to sort out of the life of someone I loved, there is nothing I wouldn't do and I would be SO motivated. Finding that motivation for myself is the challenge. I am so much more motivated to kick ass and take names in the interest of those I care about than I am myself. I'm trying to learn how to care about MYSELF that way, but damn, this is so foreign!! I'll have spurts where I'm unstoppable, but then it wanes away and I totally neglect myself, feeling lost for purpose.

    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.

    Have any of you been through something like this or similar and come out the other side with the means to care about your self interest more? I'm very interested in stories and feedback!!
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

  2. #2
    Retired Member Wonkavision's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloriana View Post
    Hola my peoples!

    I'm going through a huge transition period in my life at the moment. My marriage ended almost a year ago, and a lot of soul searching and growth has come about as a result. Very positive things!

    One thing, if not the very biggest thing, I came away with was recognizing a serious tendency to neglect myself. I am talking in both the physical sense (not brushing my teeth enough, not grooming enough, not much interest in keeping up on hair care or appearance based things) and in the sense that I am bad at going after things just for me. I have spent a lot of my focus on the wants and needs of others my whole life, and hence I woke up after my husband left realizing the consequences of neglecting my own interest and being dependent on others.

    The main reason I am not dating right now or going near another relationship yet is because I am striving to figure out how to care about ME. I want to build up my own life, my own interests, my own education and have my own identity in that respect so that I am in a better position to have a healthier relationship in the future. This is the hardest thing I think I've ever had to do.

    I've certainly been going through the motions. Looking for work, learning how to make resumes, all sorts of stuff that is brand new to me. I've been investigating my college opportunities, looking into going to the gym, changing my diet to healthier choices little by little. I've been a life long nail biter and I grew them out. I've joined a lot of social groups and met a crap load of new people.

    I'm proud of this, but I'm still dissatisfied at this point because it is still touch and go. If I were trying to sort out of the life of someone I loved, there is nothing I wouldn't do and I would be SO motivated. Finding that motivation for myself is the challenge. I am so much more motivated to kick ass and take names in the interest of those I care about than I am myself. I'm trying to learn how to care about MYSELF that way, but damn, this is so foreign!! I'll have spurts where I'm unstoppable, but then it wanes away and I totally neglect myself, feeling lost for purpose.

    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.

    Have any of you been through something like this or similar and come out the other side with the means to care about your self interest more? I'm very interested in stories and feedback!!

    I can relate to a lot of this.

    It's really difficult to change these patterns, but I'm workin on it.

    I give you my full sympathy and support, sista.
    __________________


    I'M OUTTA HERE.

    IT'S BEEN FUN.

    TAKE CARE.

    PEACE OUT!!!


  3. #3
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonkavision View Post
    I can relate to a lot of this.

    It's really difficult to change these patterns, but I'm workin on it.

    I give you my full sympathy and support, sista.
    Cheers Wonka!
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

  4. #4
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    While I don't identify with all the reasoning behind the opening post. Physical self-neglect is something I often indulge in because I'm distracted by more important stuff in my life. The amusing thing is the known but unacknowledged realisation that by focusing on a top-down approach to life. You just end up being really ineffective as the mind can't focus without the body.

    As for the whole idea of growth which I know is common for NFJs. I'd just point out that problem that may come with this, the trap of never reaching a satisfactory point to determine how well you are doing in life. It's a contrast to the idea of accepting your flaws, but there's the paradox of accepting things and wanting to improve things. I know some websites attempt to reconcile that by claiming that your natural state of being is the desire to improve regardless so a person is never stagnent even when they accept problems.

  5. #5
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloriana View Post
    Hola my peoples!

    I'm going through a huge transition period in my life at the moment. My marriage ended almost a year ago, and a lot of soul searching and growth has come about as a result. Very positive things!

    One thing, if not the very biggest thing, I came away with was recognizing a serious tendency to neglect myself. I am talking in both the physical sense (not brushing my teeth enough, not grooming enough, not much interest in keeping up on hair care or appearance based things) and in the sense that I am bad at going after things just for me. I have spent a lot of my focus on the wants and needs of others my whole life, and hence I woke up after my husband left realizing the consequences of neglecting my own interest and being dependent on others.

    The main reason I am not dating right now or going near another relationship yet is because I am striving to figure out how to care about ME. I want to build up my own life, my own interests, my own education and have my own identity in that respect so that I am in a better position to have a healthier relationship in the future. This is the hardest thing I think I've ever had to do.

    I've certainly been going through the motions. Looking for work, learning how to make resumes, all sorts of stuff that is brand new to me. I've been investigating my college opportunities, looking into going to the gym, changing my diet to healthier choices little by little. I've been a life long nail biter and I grew them out. I've joined a lot of social groups and met a crap load of new people.

    I'm proud of this, but I'm still dissatisfied at this point because it is still touch and go. If I were trying to sort out of the life of someone I loved, there is nothing I wouldn't do and I would be SO motivated. Finding that motivation for myself is the challenge. I am so much more motivated to kick ass and take names in the interest of those I care about than I am myself. I'm trying to learn how to care about MYSELF that way, but damn, this is so foreign!! I'll have spurts where I'm unstoppable, but then it wanes away and I totally neglect myself, feeling lost for purpose.

    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.

    Have any of you been through something like this or similar and come out the other side with the means to care about your self interest more? I'm very interested in stories and feedback!!
    I relate to most of this, surprisingly enough.

    I've just never had many opportunities to care for people, so I've just kind of allowed myself to sink into daydreams and research for most of my life.

  6. #6
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Hugs, Chick. There is always some good reason not to take care of ourselves like we should. Kudos.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Alchemiss's Avatar
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    Congratulations on paying attention to what you want and need! My sense is if self-care is part of your value system, it becomes easier to honor it consistently. I think many parents were more worried about us being (or seeming!) selfish than about us undercommitting to ourselves.

    I've recently discovered ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) which I'm finding very helpful even without seeing a ACT therapist. Here's an article about it which contains many of the key points: http://www.actmindfully.com.au/upima...iew_of_ACT.pdf This author, not the originator of the method but still a great resource, also wrote The Happiness Trap. The Happiness Trap | Stop Struggling Start Living by Dr Russ Harris In the book, he discusses a bit about how early humans had to pay careful attention to how they were perceived lest they be thrown out to starve. Near the end of the book he also talks about aligning our lives with our values. It's definitely worth a read.

    Best of luck!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloriana View Post
    Have any of you been through something like this or similar
    yes


    and come out the other side with the means to care about your self interest more?
    no

  9. #9
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcvcdc View Post
    yes

    no
    Yes, caring for yourself is difficult. And caring for someone else is easier.

    Perhaps one way is to find something you like doing, and do it every now and then.

    It is truly difficult to learn to please yourself so it is a good idea to start off with something very small and only do it every now and then.

    Then, when you are pleased, relax into it and enjoy it.

    Yourself really wants to be pleased and you have it in your power to do it - every now and then.

    And in the meantime we practise pleasing others so that slowly over time we can come to please ourselves too.

  10. #10
    Senior Member thinkinjazz's Avatar
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    Hey there girl- that's awesome that you're doing this taking care of and finding what's right for you thing. I can totally relate. Hugs and let me know how things turn out. Here's what I've found so far: You have to exercise everyday for at least one straight hour- no matter what type you are it will help you feel a lot better- the morning is a great time because you can start your day off feeling good. And keep a regular sleep schedule- whatever works for you-sleep makes a surprisingly big difference. Also if you have a way to really express yourself and connect with your NF side that helps: painting, writing, singing, dance/social dance (my fav), cooking. Reading helps too if you find ones with characters you have an affinity for (Harry Potter- childish but amazing). I hope this helps. -hugs

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