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I remember when I was in college, I had to stop into one of my roommate’s friends’ rooms across the hall. When I opened the door, I felt uncomfortable – not because of anything they said or did, but because of what I saw. The room was bare – I don’t remember seeing anything on the wall, on the shelves, anything. I remember thinking to myself, how could anyone live in a place like this?
So, we're on a journey to building better self-esteem and you want to know where to begin. Starting out may seem like a daunting task. The best way to tackle it is by breaking it down into smaller steps. Today, we'll cover step one: identifying what makes you, you.
As much as I would rather overlook this step in the healing process, I cannot deny that self-forgiveness is a powerful tool in eating disorder recovery. It pains me right down to my core when I remember just how much I hurt both myself and those I love most in that dark, miserable season of life when my eating disorder had all the control. I take no pleasure in those memories, but I need to forgive myself for them nonetheless.
I asked my friend, "What do you think your younger self would have thought of older you?" We retraced our steps down the hill through snow, on our way back to the trailhead. She said, "I think she would have been so surprised. I don't think I ever expected I would move away from my hometown."
I'm an overthinker. I always have been. Even minute things like what color shirt I'm going to wear or which book I want to read have caused me to waste hours of my life. My inability to reach a decision has gotten better as I've become a better planner and figured out an organizational system that makes sense for me.
When I feel anxious, I tend to be very aware of the multiple symptoms I experience, including struggles with my confidence. However, because anxiety is something I've struggled with for years, this also means that keeping my self-confidence and self-esteem up has been a struggle for me for years as well.
Since 2016, life has been hurtling unprecedented personal and professional challenges my way. I've been coping with them the best I can, mainly due to my belief in this Persian adage: this too shall pass. And towards the end of 2019, things were looking up, if only just a little. Then in 2020, the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Needless to say, I had a new list of challenges to face. However, this time, I had little faith in the adage. I tried to keep going, but in January 2022, I decided to pause for perspective. It's the reason I have only one new year resolution: to cultivate better coping mechanisms.
Postpartum depression (PPD) does not just affect the individual suffering from it. It also affects the family. If you're dealing with postpartum depression, it can be easy to become so introspective that you lose perspective of those around you. By trying to understand how your loved ones are feeling, however, you can strengthen your relationships while also helping them more appropriately support you. 
One significant niche of individuals who suffer from verbal abuse is the senior community. Often abuse happens to vulnerable people, and elders are no exception. But of course, verbal abuse is just one of the many branches of this ongoing problem, making those at risk even more in danger of harm. 
Self-harm and dissociation, separately, can be scary things. Together, they can be a frightening and isolating experience, to say the least. Let's talk a little about what that's like, and how to cope.

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Kim Berkley
Hi Paula,

Thanks for your comment. There is definitely some overlap between the two, to be sure. (I also pick excessively sometimes, to the point of needing band-aids.) For me, I think the main difference is that I was always conscious of my actions when self-harming (even if I felt like I "had" to do it), whereas I often start picking unconsciously and don't even know I'm doing it until I suddenly feel it or something draws my attention to it (my boyfriend will reach over and grab my hand to stop me if he sees me doing it).

But everyone experiences these things differently, and for you, maybe they are the same thing. (As far as I know, there's no "official" classification one way or the other. And you have every right to choose the labels with which to describe your own experiences.) I think the important thing to remember is that, regardless of what we label it, skin-picking does hurt us, and is something to work on healing—one day at a time.

I hope we both can find a good way to stop, or at least reduce, our picking, someday soon. :)


Sincerely,
Kim

Frank DiCola
Great to hear that you are in good place now and having a joyful life.
Paula
I'm not sure if they are different, I've been skin picking my fingers for years, to the point of making them bleed and become very sore, also knowing that when taking it to an extreme, it will cause lots of pain, hence=self-harm...
I also have OCD, can't remember which came first...
n/a
i'm a teen and i've been dealing with depression for years. i have attachment issues and i constantly need emotional validation from my partners. i feel disconnected from my family, friends, myself, and life. i'm so stressed out and i often daydream of death and i have violent thoughts. i struggled with eating disorders, self-harm, and i've been hospitalized two times in the past year. i've been getting better (i'm now able to do chores, homework, and taking care of pets). i come here as a vent and am open to any suggestions to help me overcome this. i'm developing a lack of trust for those who were once close to me and i just feel so lost.
Phillip earle
Hello , I’m raising a teen girl 13 who continually steals food and especially chocolate and clondike bars from the fridge , Ive spoken to her explained all she has to do is ASK !!! Would I give her a stone ? I’ve sat explained , next day get up same thing stolen out of fridge I’m worried this will escalate too local stores and then be charged what do you suggest as I’ve tried everything taken pericials no tv you name it bar a dam good hiding with wooden spoon 🥄. Or buying 5 bars n making her eat them all ? Until she is sick 🤒