About a month ago I read a thread about walking the walk or talking the talk and it really spoke to me. I wanted to find out if I had simply substituted one distraction (self-symptom focus) for another (forum focus) so I limited my time on the forum to less than an hour a week. As it turns out, I think "talking the talk" with others was actually helping me to "walk the walk" myself. Without the support and communication of the forum members, I didn't even realize I was slipping back into my old habits. I found myself avoiding/drowning rather than facing/accepting. This past month had more than its fair share of unpleasant, emotionally charged events which I shamefully admit I responded to by self-medicating with alcohol rather than self-helping with journaling and recognition. I have learned a few things about myself in the past month so I guess something positive has come out of my experiment. I now know that my perfectionist and people-pleaser tendencies will still take over when I'm stressed or upset. During emotionally charged situations I will automatically put everyone else's needs and feelings way above my own, in fact I won't even realize the extent to which I've done it until my physical symptoms are so strong that I can hardly turn my head from muscle tension. And I've also come to realize that the only anger I can truly feel is anger directed at myself. It seems that any time I experience a degree of anger about someone or something, I have this internal arbitrator who immediately goes to work justifying the merits of the situation and the end result is that I end up feeling selfish, childish, disloyal, and ashamed. I talk myself right out of negative feelings towards another and right into self-hatred. It seems that I still have much work to do and in addition to the already existing work, now I have to work to overcome the feelings of failure that are stabbing at my inner perfectionist to no end. Ugh, still 1 step forward and 5 steps back.