Sunday, November 30, 2008

She's Finding a Pedicurist

Dear SSG,

9 days! Has it been that long?? Really? I'm sorry about that. Work, home, funeral, sadness, and holidays are all culprits of my silence about this question. Not to mention the fact that I've been dealing with these situations by scraping cookie dough from the sides of my holiday baking bowls and adding them to the milk I pour on my captain crunch each morning instead of writing to you. Forgive me, won't you?

Because that right there is avoidance, SSG. And that right there is the defence mechanism of choice in how I've been addressing the question you wrote.

Too.Close.To.Home. Writing with the periods in between the words. It's an attempt to emphasize my feelings on the question you asked below. Also, another attempt to avoid this topic all together.

What was the question again?

Right. Body Image.

So here's an exercise. Get it? Exercise? Body Image? har har. Ok, I actually meant an activity. An emotional one. So gear up!

Take a piece of paper and divide it into five columns. You may have to turn your paper horizontal. The second column will be the most narrow.

Please write the following sentences in the first column.
Or you can write any other unpleasant statements you may say to yourself consistently.

1. I am not happy with my life.
2. I am self-conscious.
3. I am ashamed.
4. I feel rejected.
5.I am lonely.
6. I am nervous.
7. I feel vulnerable.
8. I feel grief.
9. I don't fit in.
10. I give up too easily.

In the second column, rate each sentence on how "true" it feels from 0 to 10. 0 being totally NOT true. 10 being TOTALLY TRUE.

In the third column, please explore any rating higher than a 3. Give reasons, incidents, and specific events underlying those ratings.

If these statements are uncomfortable to answer, remember you're the only one who will see them and this is just a self-assessment. A gauge, if you will. If you're still uncomfortable, then stop and revisit this or other activities another time.

But now this is the clincher, in the forth row, take the reasons associated with the statements, and ADD TO THEM. That's right, cheer yourself up with additional thoughts. But they have to be TRUE positive thoughts about yourself. Stay away from the self-BS. (Did you love that clinical term?). Then rate the statement again in the fifth column. Continue with the reasoning and the authentic positive statements until the rating decreases significantly. This is basic CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).


Statement: I am envious

Rating: 8

Reason: Crash Test Dummy has a great figure and awesome style. The fact that she has 4 kids, is so cool, and is the Relief Society President who everyone loves make me sick sick sick!

Additional Thought: I am very much loved as well. I am authentic and kind. I am smart. And even though some people may be intimidated by me, I can be disarming and help people feel at ease.

Rating: 0

See how all of life's problems are so easily solved? ha!

So really, SSG, this is only a beginning. When we change our thoughts, we change our lives. Period. It's a process for me and everyone on this planet. But a process worth pursuing. I'm guessing if you do this exercise, body issues will inevitably come up. That's good. Write about them in the "reason" section and again, replace them with a better and more true statement.

As with the end of every post, I recommend that if you're feeling like you need more than this simple exercise, see a counselor. I love them! If your first counselor isn't working out for you, find another one. Counselors are like pedicurists, you need to find one that won't judge, that's experienced in "cleaning up", and that will have you leave feeling beautiful and in-tact. All in one hour to boot!

Good Luck, SSG!


1 comment:

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Dear SGF,

I LOVED this post. I was writing down all the exercises. Until I got to the examples. You really should have added to the addition thought: I realize that I can't see everything about the CTD, like her cellulite and stretch marks, and anyway, I'm wiser than her and I more authentic and more courageous, and smarter and I make more money . . .

So my first counselor is working out, but she's about to have a baby. Does that mean I should get a new pedicurist?

;) LY LIZ! You da bomb! Loved this post (you silly goose.)