It is far from easy to change my time-honored abhorrence to myself. When asked to choose three words to describe myself it would always have been a hateful expression of self disclosure. Mistake, awkward and failure would be ones that would instantly spring to mind.. Self-negativity just comes more natural to me than self-kindness. I can’t tell you an exact time when my thinking began to deviate towards such a spiteful disgust for all that is me, but I can honestly say I don’t have childhood memories where I ever looked at myself with compassion or kindness or self validation.
So, now that it comes to using the DBT skill of SELF SOOTHE and ACCUMULATE POSITIVE EXPERIENCES I shudder at the thought of doing something for me, only for me. The only way I can describe it is; it’s like trying to be kind and professional to a really nasty customer in a shop. All you want to do is clobber them. You are forced to be nice to them through gritted teeth because you are obliged to, and because the security cameras would capture your every move!
That is how I feel today. It’s been a rough few weeks since finished the skills group. I feel so despondent and isolated from the only thing that gave me some sort of a life. My mood has been near to the ground and I have been clinging on to every resource and skill base I can access to keep my emotional boat afloat.
I strained myself to do something nice for myself today. I went and got a massage. I did enjoy it, but found my automatic negative thoughts overtaking any pleasure that was coming through my senses. I was so worried about taking my clothes off, as I have put on a considerable amount of weight since stopping the disordered eating behaviours. For so long I punished my body physically with food and exercise, I ravaged my muscles and bones and skin. So today, when the therapist’s warm hands glided over my body and caressed each part so tenderly, it felt unnatural and wrong. The juxtaposition created by the comforting touch and the undeserving thoughts was too much to contend with. I found it hard to settle into the hour and really relax. Instead my mind was racing with spiteful digs of unworthiness and unpleasant sensations of guilt.
I guess I can say I was at least WILLING to use DBT skills today, but this one created a worrisome chain of thoughts which I did not intend.