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Self Pity, Dwelling, Wallowing, and Overwhelm

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Balsa11, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    These four things are addicting. Even tough things like panic attacks, pain, anxiety, and depression are temporary. But the self sabotage of the top 4 things are really persistent and sneaky. Any tips on permanently subduing them?
    plum likes this.
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    When you have setbacks or feel overwhelmed, the tendency is to get depressed and defeated. Try viewing setbacks and problems as opportunities to practice and grow. Rather than dwelling on the past and regret, try focusing on the present moment. Conversely, when you find yourself catastrophising about the future, bring your self back to the present moment. I would say that if you could reframe your inner narrative from the victim's story, to the hero's journey, that would be a good way to shift your brain in another direction. Shift self pity (which is disempowering and victimhood) to self compassion ("I'm doing my best and things will gradually get better if I'm patient). The antidotes to the 4 habits you listed would be practicing gratitude, compassion, forgiveness and helping others. The goal is to go from feeling like a powerless victim to an empowered self. Change the story. Start a new chapter. Get out of your head and into life.
    TG957, plum, backhand and 1 other person like this.
  3. Cariad

    Cariad Peer Supporter

    Ooh, I'm interested to see how this thread plays out, @Balsa11 , as it's something I struggle with myself - my self-talk is shocking sometimes - total discouragement, and 'See? no matter what you try, it goes wrong!' etc. I've been trying to question WHY I would do this, what purpose it could serve?

    And my current theories are a) that it's how my parents spoke to me (and theirs to them, no doubt), :rolleyes: and b) it's a kind of 'learned helplessness'. I think, if I tell myself that I'm hopeless and doomed to fail, then I can't be expected to go through the discomfort of trying something hard (and this last, of course, is what I'm trying to avoid...). So maybe it's about avoiding the pain/shame of exposing myself to failure. And I think the mental pain is the same as the physical symptoms, trying to do the same 'protective' thing.

    I don't know if that makes any sense... I'm still picking my way through it myself. But I'm finding that it helps to NOT drive yourself on with angry criticism (as used to be my knee-jerk reaction), but rather to step back a bit, ease off, and say 'Yeah, I know this is scary or challenging. I'll do one small thing towards it and then I'll allow myself to rest, to take stock.' And then the scariness seems to melt or ease a bit. It is, in fact, the self-compassion that @miffybunny mentions above.

    DEFINITELY a work in progress for me, but I hope this helps a little!
    TG957, plum, JanAtheCPA and 1 other person like this.
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think all of those fall under the category of self-absorption, which is a common characteristic of people with TMS. We turn too much attention on our thoughts, emotions, and changes in our physical well-being. I think the best antidote is to focus on other people. Even giving support and advice to others on this Forum is a good remedy. But it is also helpful to switch the focus to pets, nature, music, art, or any absorbing task or hobby.

    No one can endure as much scrutiny as we often give ourselves.
    hawaii_five0, TrustIt, TG957 and 3 others like this.
  5. Cariad

    Cariad Peer Supporter

    That's a good point @Ellen ! I've always thought of myself as a happy introvert, but this lockdown has taught me that even introverts need to turn outwards and communicate with other people...

  6. Sita

    Sita Well known member

    I agree!

    I'm cooking right now. Chicken wings in the oven 400F, with salt and paprika, no oil, for about an hour = crispy and delicious. It's a hobby of mine and my husband appreciates it too. He's at the gym, so when he'll come back home, the wings will be ready for attack. ;)

    Take care.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  7. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well Ellen, that is a gem! I would ruin any relationship with another if I scrutinized her/him the way I do myself!!
    TrustIt, TG957 and Balsa11 like this.
  8. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think this is nice. To see the sort of depressive self-talk and deficient self-images, often reconstituting, as a protective thing. Like the idea of TMS symptoms being a mechanism to get the body to slow down and not re-injure ourselves, because the mind has interpreted stress and emotional pain as a physical injury. Dr. Schubiner speaks of this.

    There is something compassionate in this view for both TMS and our self-pity. The sense of overwhelm is easier for me to have compassion for, and this is good.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  9. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Yep I can do something with the learned helplessness but doing isn't always the solution for exhaustion or overwhelm.
  10. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Overwhelm and exhaustion are manifestation of anxiety. Focus on stabilizing yourself mentally.
    When I am exhausted and overwhelmed, I meditate. An hour later, my energy and mental clarity are back.
    Sita likes this.
  11. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    What are some good ways to deal with self absorption? Sorry I read this thread so late, I should have gone through the replies carefully.
  12. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    I've started doing this and it's made me realize that my habits like making excuses have been changing me into a person I don't want to be. I'll have to let go of the old me and create a new me.
    TG957 likes this.
  13. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    I'm finding it useful to not "let go of" the old me but to consider and nurture the "me" of different stages of my life. Each "me" has different hurts and in journaling, I let them "speak" (write) or I ask them questions. It's kind of like the "multiple personalities" Sybil thing -- I'm not saying I have that as a condition -- but the metaphor seems to work for journaling. I didn't have any major traumas in my life. Standard American childhood. No sexual abuse or anything awful. But still I find that when you are/were little, small things scared you or made you angry. Mama yelling at you or picking on Daddy all the time.
    Jealousy of sister or brother. Or things you did that you feel bad or guilty about. Or the parent that made you feel like you had to be perfect. Or do things his or her way. Or some embarrassment you had in elementary school or junior high. Allowing all this to come out, for me, seems to help a lot.
    Even if "Little Booble" starts out by yelling and calling me/us a loser or whatever. (I think I'm revealing too much here -- I'm really not as crazy as this makes me sound.) Through all of this, even in the short time I've been doing it, it's been reducing all my physical symptoms including the anxiety that creates habits like making excuses as you mention.
    TG957, Balsa11 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  14. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is called forgiveness! Being self-aware and understanding yourself!
    LaughingKat and Booble like this.

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