Author Topic: Self-soothing & coping strategies  (Read 640 times)

Sunny Clouds

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Self-soothing & coping strategies
« on: 01 Jun 2022 02:53PM »
I've recently turned back to something I used to do.  I've obsessive traits.  I remember years ago, I psychiatrist I was having therapy with saying I had BPD.  I told my prescribing psychiatrist that no I didn't, and presented my evidence.  "No," she said, "You don't have a borderline personality disorder, but you do have anankastic personality disorder."  "What's that?"  "Obsessive compulsive."  "Oh, perfectionism.  I know I've got that."

I wasn't in the least surprised when I later learnt it's the PD associated with compulsive hoarding.  But I'm someone who oscillates between hoarding and throwing out.  I don't simply pile things up, I organise them in boxes and drawers and cupboards.  Terribly obsessively categorised.

Then at intervals, I have to weed.  There are only so many spare plugs cut off electrical items thrown away or empty jars/tubs you can find a use for.

I'd forgotten, though, that pottering round doing it doesn't just satisfy my stockpile/clear urges, it's exercise and also when I'm doing it, I'm not fretting. 

What peculiarities or differences do you use to cope with life?
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Self-soothing & coping strategies
« Reply #1 on: 03 Jun 2022 06:25PM »
Something I do to 'ground' myself when feeling agitated (or other 'negative' emotion) is to go round straightening things - even in the fridge!  And lots of cleaning - there's always something or other needs wiping down.  Probably connected with a need to be in control...(though I must stress that I only want to control my own environment, not anyone else's!)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Self-soothing & coping strategies
« Reply #2 on: 04 Jun 2022 12:45PM »
As an aside, a wry smile about 'my space' versus 'their space' and a friendship that went wrong.

There's a woman I first met years ago and who lives near me.  A few years back, we tried to socialise, having, we discovered, some shared interests.

But I felt uncomfortable, then more, then more.  Over time it became more and more apparent that she's incredibly invasive, both physically and socially.  I told myself I was over-sensitive, then I excused it on the basis that I thought she didn't mean it but in the end decided it didn't actually matter whether she intended to do it.  She is an intelligent, mature woman and knows that others have a problem with it, but she doesn't try to control it.

I told her enough was enough.  She wouldn't let go, so I told her that if she didn't back off, I'd have to consider either going to the police or taking out an injunction.  Now, when I see her, I just say hello politely and move on.  She'll even follow me down the road trying to talk.  I am now using it as an opportunity to practice doing that firmly and decisively, to remind myself that I need to get strong about setting boundaries.

But why did I initially tell myself I was over-sensitive?  I had a father for whom nothing was ever good enough, and I ended up needing to know exactly what the rules are, exactly what the targets are, exactly what my responsibilities are.

The bad side is nitpickiness, e.g. my 35,000 'additional information' supplement to my PIP application.  The good side is that various employers have made very good use of it.  The army in particular understood that it was entirely compatible with my other traits of 'looking after' and 'needing to be good enough', therefore doing whatever job needed doing.

Anyway, that probably explains why you and I don't seem to argue, Kizzy (as opposed to debating).  The only thing we'd have a difficulty with is if we weren't sure whose role/post/thread/problem it was - so we'd clarify it and carry on, feeling ok.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

JLR2

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Re: Self-soothing & coping strategies
« Reply #3 on: 04 Jun 2022 09:50PM »
Good evening Sunny, your experience with the woman who became something of a pest/concern reminded me of a guy I met many years back. It started out really simple like, just playing a few games of pool in the village pub but I became aware that this guy was going out of his way to be in my company as it were. I came to a head one early evening when I was in the pub and I noticed him parking up in the car park opposite the pub and making a bee line to the pub. He explained he had spotted my car outside and thought he'd join me for a game of pool. Well for me this began to ring the alarm bells as because of his almost fawning over me when we did have said games of pool and an experience I had as a young school boy I decided to ask him point blank if he had some sort of fancy for me, his behaviour really did suggest this could be the case. He reacted as if he'd been badly insulted and left the pub. Maybe he was insulted or maybe he was just embarrassed that I'd called him out. I'll never know but I certainly felt a lot more comfortable with him gone.

ditchdwellers

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Re: Self-soothing & coping strategies
« Reply #4 on: 06 Jun 2022 02:27PM »
I think some of us seem to just attract people like that, myself included.
I've recently joined the U3A and a woman appears to have latched onto me and I think I might be her new BFF!


Anyway, back to your original point Sunny, I use decluttering as a way of reducing stress and anxiety in a similar way to Kizzy cleaning.
Over the Bank Holiday weekend I discovered the Vinted app and I started sifting through items in my wardrobe that I haven't worn for years and unlikely to again and began listing them for sale. I have sold two items so far and have listed 13 items in total. It's a great way to recycle your unwanted items and make a few pounds in the process. I will put the money towards our holiday in August.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Self-soothing & coping strategies
« Reply #5 on: 06 Jun 2022 03:34PM »
I've never tried selling things, except, when younger, taking stuff to a pawnbroker when in crisis.  But then, I suppose I didn't end up doing big clearouts until it was a question of clearing out my parents' stuff then also having a clearout of my stuff.  Maybe some day I'll have a go at selling stuff. 
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Self-soothing & coping strategies
« Reply #6 on: 06 Jun 2022 03:43PM »
As regards my invasive friend, it wasn't particularly me she latched onto, she's just invasive.  She'll do it with anyone.  E.g. I mentioned to her that I'd joined a group.  Just before it, she said she was going.  She hadn't asked me anything about the group.  I didn't go.  She phoned me before the group finished, evidently having left early, screaming "Where are you?!"

Well, that sounds like it's me specifically, but lots and lots of people have said she does it to them, or tries to.

Someone described her thus.   If there were four seats somewhere and two were occupied and the people had put their coats and bags on one of the empty seats, she wouldn't sit on the empty one, she'd move their coats and bags and sit there.  I've actually seen her do that in an almost empty auditorium. 

My problem with it has been my vulnerability to it, taking far too long to realise I was making excuses for her behaviour.

I've spent my life making excuses for other people.  I don't do that any more but I still lack assertiveness skills in relation to what I'll call 'paid predators' or 'rip-off service providers'. 

I'm horrified how assertive I wasn't in relation to my last landlord over damage to my things by workmen he employed.  Damage he should have paid for.  It's symbolic.

I have to either learn and move forward or I might as well give up. 

Pouring out what I think has been another coping skill, but it's one I need to adapt, alter, modify.  I need to spend more time working out how to move forward.  It's bloody difficult.  In the past, I spent a lot of time with others mired in mental illness in almost a 'career mental' way.  Here, I find others who are also disabled/impaired, but also finding a range of coping strategies, also doing their damnedest not just to keep their heads above water, but swim forward, even if just a bit at a time.

(And I've just been on a clear out of my stationery.  An amazing realisation I've got sticky labels I bought in the early 90s.)
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Self-soothing & coping strategies
« Reply #7 on: 02 Jul 2022 01:43PM »
Interesting thread  :f_smiley:


As mentioned a while ago i do spend a fair bit of time on TikTok. I have had to cut back a bit because I think it is affecting my attention space, then again I am 'learning' so much.


I have had a weirdness over some stuff that is old paperwork being shredded and going in the bin so I bought a oil drum to have a fire in it. I then got distracted started feeding the birds, Spring came and went and fires are now delayed until nature goes back to sleep albeit I will still feed the birds. Back to TIktok there are a fair number of videos about ADHD that have me wondering mmm mmm mmm. :f_laugh:


I have music on as I type and new music is playing I just heard the lyrics


Monkeys in my heart[/size]Are rattling their cages.


 :heart: :heart: :heart:
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