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Making Bad Choices


Zoe--Anastasia

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Let me know if anyone can relate...

I have three therapists. One is a talk therapist, where we discuss past traumas and day to day stressors. One is a DBT (dialectical behavioral therapist) therapist and with her we try to work on my anxiety disorder as well as my borderline personality disorder. This is the therapy where I create my tools and learn how to implement them. Meditation, grounding techniques, deep breathing. Lastly, I have my psychiatrist. This woman is a Dr. and nothing more. She prescribes me my Klonopin and begs me to take Zoloft, which I refuse. All my therapists have one thing in common, they try to teach me about my personal responsibility and ability to be in control. They also warn me of the behaviors that can trigger anxiety, depressive mood and full blown emotional outbursts. I constantly hear from them how my anxiety is in my control, it does not come from outside of me but inside of me and I have the power to control it, it does not have the power to control me. It is empowering and beautiful, and easier said than done. 

What I struggle with the most is, "these are the things you should not do." Let me list them. 

  • eat bad foods
  • overeat
  • starve yourself
  • sleep all day
  • stay up all night
  • don't follow a routine
  • lack a self care routine
  • don't exercise 
  • stay in the house all day
  • isolate yourself
  • speak negatively about yourself
  • over medicate

Through personal research I know I should also avoid... 

  • porn (excessive, manic masturbation-which I am very guilty of)
  • excessive social media scrolling
  • T.V

From my research I know it is important not to do these things because they overstimulate us (which can trigger panic and anxiety), they distract us from our self care and they can trigger dissociation. Which is my least favorite symptom of my PTSD because I consistently dissociate and consistently pretend "everything is fine," and than always act surprised when everything is not fine, I still have mental illness and I still suffer from the things I suffer from. This is when I overeat taco bell 3 times in one week, stay up all night, sleep all day, isolate myself and stay in the house, and overall lack a self care routine. This usually always results in some type of emotional outburst. It can be a panic attack, leading me to over medicate, it can be an act of anger and rebellion, or it can be a full blown 5year old's tantrum. It is a perpetual cycle that creates more stress, more drama than what is needed and more pain. 

You may read this and think, "wow this person is really self aware, she must handle her issues very well." My issue is that no matter how self-aware I am, I don't do anything to stop what is avoidable.

So I am writing this because I found myself falling into a cycle of abuse. I'm laying in bed, I'm restless, I'm having trouble getting tired, like I usually struggle with at night. I washed my face, even though I struggled mentally to want to do so. I did my night routine (for the most part- I have this self hating compulsion to never brush my teeth). I am lying in bed but I started the sequence. Checking FB every 5 minutes (nothing new), scrolling through instagram (nothing new on there either), compulsively checking youtube for things to watch (watched it all) and doing everything but the things I probably should do... 

  • read
  • meditate
  • turn off the light
  • journal

And then my favorite compulsion arises. My obsessive need to watch porn and masturbate. Instead I picked up my laptop to write this blog that no one will read BUT even as I am writing I desperately want to lay back, open up xvideos and spend a good 30 minutes entering a world that is pure fantasy and escapism. I am not saying there is anything wrong with porn and masturbation but I do not have a healthy relationship and that cycle ALWAYS triggers a panic attack. 'Cause it is 2AM now, I will watch and cum, I will then listen to music, watch again, cum again and I will overstimulate myself to the point of pure anxiety. 

I have to take the time to understand why I would want to do something like this. I feel a little lonely, I am not happy still with the situation I recapped in my last post (refer) ...and I am overall avoiding the obvious. I need to do what is good for me. I need to love myself, and I need to care about myself. 

Again, let me know if anyone out there can relate or if anyone out here has anything to say. I know I might be typing to a void, I don't care. I would really love my blog to be an open space to talk about anything and everything. Where we can say our deepest, darkest, nastiest thoughts that make us "hate" ourselves. I know us survivors find any reason to hate ourselves based off of traumas we didn't ask for. 

Love, 

Zoe

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Oh wow... I’m so sorry you are dealing with so much! I can relate to just about everything you have written!!! LITERALLY. I “did” have 3 Ts... I have BPD and see a DBT T along with skills group classes. I have a psychiatrist. I “was” seeing an EMDR T for trauma, but she dropped me after she felt like we weren’t hitting our targets - I couldn’t seem to get into the memories and stay in them long enough to process before dissociating again. So now I have 2. My psychiatrist just upped my meds as well.

Almost all the urges you have mentioned and the struggles you are currently dealing with I can totally relate to as well. From the lack of routine, to not exercising, to the isolation, etc. That’s why I am up at 2:45am (EST USA) on here right now. Although I work for myself during the day from home, I often take naps in between working on projects, which I have been extending deadlines for... then I cannot sleep at night. Like you also said, I get restless, try watching TV/movies, eat/drink, over medicate, but then end up engaging excessive m* as a release and self harm at the same time - which ultimately triggers me. @Zoe--Anastasia I seriously could have written this myself lol. SO weird... but somewhat reassuring to know I am not the only one.

I’m not sure what to offer other since I’m still trying to dig my way out of all of this too... but I just wanted to respond to your question as to if anyone could relate, because I definitely can! I will also say to please hang in there and continue to reach out here, as well as be open and honest with your support team of Ts - especially, DBT. That is what has been helping me. I haven’t been the best at using my skills lately. But my my DBT T has been on me about them.

I had to move back in with my family after a breakdown a few years ago, when I also received my BPD diagnosis and began DBT. With all the things I’ve been doing over the past few months (and not doing), I believe my family thinks I’m crazy lol. They hinted at inpatient care last week because I’ve been so different. :( As you know, having BPD yourself, I never usually express my emotions. I’ve kept them locked up for so long just to survive my trauma. I wasn’t really allowed to show emotion growing up, and if I did, it cost me a beating. So I became really numb and calm outwardly, and internalized the storm of emotions that constantly overwhelm me. That led to me coping in very unhealthy ways from a very young age. So to my family, in the outside, I grew up to be seemingly calm, quiet, and collected, not realizing the pain and trauma/abuse I was suppressing and hiding from everyone. However, with my latest bout of depression and anxiety, and increase in meds, I have been more expressive or on edge. I also pretty much keep to myself in my room lol. My family isn’t used to this me. But my DBT T has been amazing in reassuring me despite my struggling with many of the same things you mentioned, that I am still trying my best and simply live in an invalidating environment that  is not sure how to handle “this version of me they never see”. Although being accountable is important, also remember to have some self compassion in dealing with all of this. I am trying to remember that myself. 😓

Feel free to PM me if you want/need. Sitting with you in the meantime if okay ❤️❤️❤️

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@Enigma87 Thank you so much for your response ❤️

It is nice to hear that someone out there relates to this constant battle. When I am falling asleep (hopefully soon) you will be a reassuring thought and I am thankful. What are skills grouping classes? I also don't know what an EMDR Therapist is, would you mind explaining? Right now I am not on any meds (besides anxiety meds that I take as needed and a CBD oil that I purchase for myself and take a lot of). But my psych keeps pestering me about starting medication. Medication terrifies me, I seem to always suffer from the worst of the worst of side affects. I was on Zoloft about a year ago and I suffered from migraines and brain fog that triggered an intense panic attack while I was driving my car. Seemed counter productive...

It is reassuring to me as well that someone out there experiences the same things. Sometimes I feel like such a freak or that my body and mind are collapsing within themselves and I have no control. It is terrifying. 

I find that I have not had the best of luck with my DBT. I don't know if it is because of me or her or if it is because of me but she is letting me figure things out on my own time but I can't seem to keep focused on a topic. In one session she will say lets work on this issue for the next few sessions but then the next session I will manically cancel or change the subject or the topic or the issue. I am most likely avoiding. I also run away from the coping skills she proposes to me, which is silly. 

I can most definitely relate to you talking about your difficulty with expressing your emotions. I am the shut-it-down queen. I won't talk about anything with anyone, and than wonder why I explode so violently. It pains me to read that you were beat for showing emotion growing up. I was ignored, or belittled for sharing. I am also a survivor of incest, so I learned from an early age to pretend, ignore and lie to keep myself safe. I work outside of the home but lately I am always calling out. I am considering intensive outpatient therapy for borderline and anxiety. I was thinking that since I have such a hard time staying consistent with therapy and myself, that maybe a program where I have to attend daily will keep me attentive but I am not sure. 

Thank you for reminding me about self compassion. I love to hate myself and I do it often. I never give myself compassion. I hope you can stay consistent with your self love as well, and your self-care. You deserve it and thank you so much for sharing with me, you have no idea how much it means to me. 

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Let me just say...that I also relate so much to this. I couldve been typing most of this myself. Though I won't always admit these things...many are true for me as well...idk why the self hate thing with not brushing teeth or any self care. It is ALWAYS a struggle for me.

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I relate to this is several ways and recognize others struggles in your content as well. You are not stepping into a void, this is all normal. You are just being human. I agree that anxiety can be within our control, just remember that if it happens, you shouldn't feel guilty about it. Just keep taking good care of yourself. 

I did over eat during my worst period, and barely made it out of bed. I did attend school, but when I came home I went straight to bed to binge series. I fled I guess. In the series I watched, nobody got assaulted, everyone was well groomed and joyful. I just wanted to escape my own head. I did comfort eat as a child and sort of fell back into that habit for a while there. I also ate a lot of candy and snacks, probably to make myself feel better if just temporarily. As I started to get help, I made a list of what I should do daily. Mine were

  • Doing my homework/study
  • Exercise
  • Reading my Bible

I also made a rule that I was allowed to skip one of these if I had a bad day, but only one. So, if I didn't work out (that one almost never fell away, I was so into exercising) I would at least get my home work done and so on.

Feeling an uncontrollable need to masturbate is something I have read in several member's posts here. Please do not be ashamed, it is so normal and you can talk about it here. I am sure many members can give you advice on that. 

I encourage you to keep using your words here. I personally believe that a support system of professionals, a community and close ones makes a healthy circle where each part complete another. 

Sitting with you if okay? 

- Wanna ☀️

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I relate to so much of what you wrote.

And I just want to, sort of, share my thoughts a little with the hope that it helps you feel less alone. That, like, I and so many of us here cope in such similar ways.

To me, I get frustrated when I'm told "you are in control of your anxiety" -- because I feel like I'm doing all I can to control it, and it's not working. So it makes me feel a little bit like a failure, like I don't have the willpower or have some weird need to feel bad. That's not true, but, to me, there is a negative interpretation of that advice -- that I could choose to be over it.

Masturbation, for me, is usually, like, a distraction. Sometimes it seems like the only thing that can give me a break from feeling bad.

I also have experienced, like, years and years of appearing so calm and collected and together when I am not. I totally agree with you that pretending to be fine makes my inner world (especially dissociation) so much worse.

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Hi @Zoe--Anastasia I also relate.  I have struggled with finding a balance and navigating through daily life for pretty much my whole life and it gets so frustrating because I feel angry at myself for not being able to follow through with what I know will be helpful or resistant against people who try to coach me to do those things (and then mad at myself for acting like a petulant teen). I'm sorry that the struggle is so hard for you right now and I see that you're working hard to heal and be present and do kind things for yourself. 

I think the only thing that I would add is that I am sending you kindness, because  you deserve kindness.  My inner voices can be so harsh and critical and use the words of my T or other "experts" against me in much the same punishing way that my abusers did, as examples to tell me I'm a failure and I'll never get better.  If that happens to you, I just want to send you kindness and say: you're not a failure, it's ok that it's a process and that sometimes it is really really hard.  Keep trying and if it doesn't go well, try again tomorrow.  You are a good human and you are dealing with a lot, and that is not your fault. You may have things you can do to help yourself with your healing, but that doesn't mean that you deserve shame on those days that it's just super hard to take those steps. 

Sitting with you if that's ok?

Edited by abhaya
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@Zoe--Anastasia I’m so glad sharing my experience could be of some help to you. :hug:I hope your day is going better.

My DBT treatment plan consists of: 1) having an individual session with a DBT-trained T, attending a group session (of maybe 5-10 ppl) that are also in the DBT program, and using coaching calls from my individual T in between, as I need them. The whole focus is on using the skills we learn to effectively manage relationships with others, cope with pain/distress, and regulate our emotions. In the skills group class we have workbooks, and homework, and are taught: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of exposure therapy that involves ‘bilateral stimulation’ of the brain while holding a memory in mind, together with the feelings, sensations, emotions and beliefs connected to it. It helps you overcome the effects of trauma.

Here’s a forum topic here on AS that has more information:

I’m sorry you haven’t had the best experiences with medication. They do feel like they can be counterproductive sometimes! I also was put on Zoloft at first. Even though it did seem to help with my symptoms, I had tremors with it. So after some time, my psychiatrist decided to have me switch to Wellbutrin XL, and it seems to be working I guess. But I agree, if you can find other natural ways of relieving your symptoms, then that is so much better! I wish you the best ❤️
 
I’m glad my rambling made you feel better haha. Yes, it is always comforting to know others can relate. You made me feel less alone too! I was literally laying in bed feeling like I cannot be helped and I should stop trying to get better. But I think we can get in our way sometimes. :( 
 
DBT is very hard stuff. Don’t underestimate the hard work that goes into it. I have felt the same way at times where I feel like I’m just not getting it, or that I will never be “skillful” enough. But my T says it will take time and effort. She always reminds me to think of how long it took me to develop these habits or the seriousness of my past, and to be compassionate with myself in accepting that it may take some time to recondition myself to use skills in place of the harmful coping mechanisms I have used for so long. So although it does take some level of willingness and determination, please be gentle and patient with yourself. It’s hard stuff.
 
I’m so sorry for the CSA you experienced. 💔I can see why you would feel the need to lie, pretend, ignore and lie to keep yourself safe. :( No child should have to live that way. I get that feeling when it comes to avoiding making my parents (moreso my dad) mad as a kid. I did the same to avoid a beating or whipping. I’m sorry you’ve been struggling with working too. That’s where I am right now. I’m trying to have some sort of routine or work schedule but my depression keeps me from being fully engaged. It’s frustrating. An Intensive Outpatient Program isn’t a bad idea if you feel it could be helpful for you. I was in back in 2016. It lasted a month and it was the beginning of my mental health journey. I’m glad I did it. However, only you can make that decision, and possibly with the help or advice of your T.
 
Ha... This statement you made resonated with me: ”I love to hate myself and I do it often.” I do the same thing. My T asks me at the end of every session, “So what are you going to do for your self-care this week?” I hate that question lol. But it’s really important. I’ve also found mindfulness and certain guided meditations about self-compassion to be soothing too, when I am willing to do them that is.
 
Anyway, I really hope things improve for your and that you continue to reach out here to us for support! We are glad you are here. I am here if you ever want to message me! Still sitting with you and sending safe hugs if you want them! :hug:❤️❤️
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