I have come to the conclusion that cognitive behavior therapy is like anything else. To eat the fish, spit out the bones. If his suggestions do not work, then I must find what does, take the bull by the horns and own my own recovery.
So I gave myself a manicure, painting the nails “Petites #240 Hot Fushia” even though my fingernails are now short and neat like man nails. I did the toes to match.
Sounds stupid, but biting my nails again seems to be the only “behavior modification” replacing the behavior that I am trying to erradicate from my life so it is best to nip this right in the bud. I gave up biting my nails when I started smoking. Spent my teen years replacing one bad behavior with another, self medicating, and developing negative coping mechanisms.
Now I am 52 years old, have already dealt with “issues” that sparked the behavior in the first place, and still… it is hard to let go of what I do not need anymore.
So what am I so afraid of? Will the earth shatter if/when I stop trying to contain myself?
No… in fact, no one would even notice. I have spent most of my life trying to contain myself, to slide under the radar pretending to be normal. I can’t do it anymore… even this blog, to bee out loud, runs cross-grain to that pretend persona.
Part of it has to do with how we were raised. We grew up in glass houses, church parsonages, so it was deeply ingrained in us that whatever we do reflects on our parents. It is a cardinal sin to embarress your mother. There are people to this day who believe that “Nancy is so quiet.” Nancy is this… Nancy is that… very few people actually know me. Nancy is happiest when she is being her own self, not pretending to be some quiet little mouse of a woman fading off into a neutral background.
Oh… it is time to come out and play. I cannot contain myself anymore. Hot fushia pink nail polish on hands in fur trimmed fingerless gloves? Oh yeah, so me.
Recovery is me, too.