posted by Anonymous on 14 February, 2020
hello i have been having this poor coping mechanism for sometime now . i coop up and avoid people, my routine turns upside down as i am avoiding life but i become very mindless and either spend endless time distracting myself or eating. i feel really bad shutting people out or not interacting with them while i am hooked onto these self-destructive habits. i think i am really lacing in self-awareness that i can fall into these ruts time and time again. has anyone ever changed themselves from such shameful habits before? any advice on how i can face myself and make myself a better person? is the answer to motivation and improving oneself , to be more connected with other people and the world around me? i isolate too much , i think that is something i have done naturally many times over the years and cant help falling back into every time i am stressed.
first of all, kudos to you for being self-aware that you're feeling shame, and the shame is stemming from certain 'self-destructive' habits, as you call them. also give credit to yourself for acknowledging that you want to improve yourself; you are not satisfied with where you are, and the only way you will be satisfied is if you continue to work ruthlessly to transform yourself into the best version of yourself. i think it'll help you if you can understand the mechanics of why we indulge in destructive habits, despite knowing fully well that they are harmful. why does a smoker smoke cigarettes, when all packets everywhere are screaming about the possibility of cancer? because they lack the awareness of what the cigarette is doing to them day by day, until one day they wake up and realize they lack energy to do even the most basic things. why do they continue to remain in the destructive habit? becuase they have tricked themselves into believing a cigarette is actually benefitting them - stress relief / looking cool / dealing with boredom. people who don't smoke cigarettes can do just fine with stress relief, looking cool and dealing with boredom. the point is, you're addicted. in other words, you're involved in a destructive habit. habits are patterns that repeat, and these patterns are triggered by environmental cues. habits are formed when you have a strong emotional reaction (reward / punishment) to an external stimulus. so don't change anything - just notice. when you involve yourself in destructive habits, what was your trigger? become aware of what that habit is doing for you. how are you rewarding yourself with the habit? for example, i used to reward myself with pornography. long day after work - let's reward ourself with some porn. finished 2 chapters of studying? time to log onto good 'ol pornhub. bored? might as well watch porn. horny and don't have a girlfriend? porn is the answer. i built this habit a long time ago, when i saw a video of a naked dancing girl for the first time at the age of 13. puberty had just hit, and i had a strong reaction to the naked dancing girl. unaware of the perils of pornography, i thought there could be nothing wrong with continuing to do so. so i re-inforced this behaviour until it became habitual. for 15 years i watched pornorgraphy, each year it became successively more addictive; one video, one girl, one position, was not enough. i needed more. what i didn't realize was that by jerking off so much i was foolishly ridding myself of the very sexual (creative) energy that i needed to get out and do things in the world. sexual energy is creative energy; you can use this energy to create another human being through your reproductive organs, and you can use the same creative energy to color your thoughts and emotions and your body to express what is dying to come out. and don't even get me started on the affects of pornography on my perception of feminine beauty and of sexual intercourse. the way i got rid of the habit is not by applying my will power to stop. will power is like a fuel tank - it is limited in reserves. throughout your day you use it to make various decisions, and with each decision you use up some of this fuel, until there''s nothing left. in this state, if your environment triggers you, you will fall back into your destructive habits. so what do you do? don't subtract, add. what is your goal? what is productive in your opinion? is it going to the gym? is it asking that cute girl/guy out? is it working to build your social skills? or maybe you're in school or at work and you just want to be a plain bad-ass. just fantasize about yourself being the kind of person that does all those productive things. before going to bed every night, seduce yourself with the visualizations of yourself being able to deadlift 300lbs, or being able to flirt, or being able to do some public speaking. whatever it may be, start craving it. slowly, your own awareness will start showing you the way for how you can incorporate that behavioiur into your life. and over time, your life will fill with some productive habits, while the old destructive ones automatically die away because you're not energizing them anymore. i've already hinted at what helped me cope with my destructive habits. it's awareness of what's going on inside of me during these habits. there are many ways to build awareness, one of them is meditation; i leave it as homework to research which method works best for you. but you do need to build awareness. good luck my friend!
hi there! you already got some extremely good answers, built upon their own experiences. i think that hearing from someone who had to deal with self-destructive habits is a "privilege" (may not be the best word, but it's the one that came to mind). like it has already been mentioned, your self-awareness is, indeed, your most valuable mechanism to start the process of change. change is all about self-awareness, about learning to understand what you're doing and what's happening around you, about trying to conceive the best coping mechanisms for what's going on. i understand this can be hard, because it envolves taking a step further, sometimes even walking with your eyes closed for a little bit. try to understand what is it you're trying to avoid, who is it you're trying to shut out. try to understand why you're doing it and how you're doing it. bear in mind that your first step is the hardest one. however, if you feel like giving up, please ask for someone's help. we're always here to listen, but you can also ask a friend, a family member or a therapist for help. good luck!
Anonymous ● 17 February, 2020 ⚓︎
(o.p.) again feeling very drawn to food as a way to stuff down stress, however i also also felt ashamed that i am eating away all the food in the house that my mum pays for . its unfair to her. eating away at convenience foods also seems to rev up my appetite; i dont stay full for long, the appetite is unsatiable when what i want to get rid of is the feeling of anxiety. 1. like friendly striped swan suggested, use meditation : breathing mindfulness techniques , ackwowledge my anxious feelings and that it is leading o these food cravings. im not actually physically hungry , its my emotional state that needs attention 2. when i do eat , it needs to be nutritious. green leafy veg , bananas, avocados help to balance cortisol . the fibre can help me feel full and the food is much more nourishing , not addictive in the way convenience foods are . i can make a green smoothie and have that 3. really need to stop caving into the convenience foods, they are addictive and unhelpful , i will gain weight eating them mindlessly. i dont need them . my willpower obviously doesnt work to avoid them , like ffswan said about environmental cues... maybe i need to create more barriers to the convenience foods and make sure i have the healthy food availabe to me. maybe i need to plan it ith my mum . there should be consequences for caving into the junk food although nothing i do seems to help me not give in to it.. back to point no. 1 it does feel shameful and impulsive (immature) to have such a crux with food . makes my life seem pathetic, a basic flaw that has consquences for how well or rubbish i progress in life. thats along with all the other easy distractions . i want to be better than this , than all these terrible habits . im keeping myself locked in a self-limitting prison. good for nothing until i can manage myself better.