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Re: Well, apparently I have poor tolerance Dinah

Posted by JenStar on October 21, 2005, at 21:43:07

In reply to Well, apparently I have poor tolerance, posted by Dinah on October 21, 2005, at 17:56:49

hi Dinah,
well, I think it's an imperfect science. And everyone is going to have their own opinion of what constitutes self-soothing and how that differs from distraction, and whether it's OK to use one or both. I also think the definition is going to vary depending on whether the definer (each T) needs to do self-soothing or distracting him/her self. I find that people seem to understand it better when they suffer from a condition that means they need to do it. If they're only talking "textbook" they're making best guesses, and that's only going to be approximate...

I personally think that whatever helps you get through the day without harming you....is good distraction! Whether it's working out, snuggling with pets, watching a TV show, reading a book, knitting, reading for the blind, etc.

I suppose if the self-soothing behavior is something potentially damaging (like cutting, casual sex with strangers, binge eating, outright neglect of a job to sit home and watch Springer) THEN those things would be "bad." But if the activities in and of themselves are positive or neutral, why should they be considered "bad"? I guess I don't get that either.

I think it depends on whether the anxieties and strong emotions can be "conquered." If they CAN (for instance, a fear of vomit, fear of elevators, fear of airplanes) then you should work through it. But if it's a fear that can never be conquered, and just needs to be pushed down and out of sight from time to time (fear of death? maybe?) then perhaps distraction is the right way to go. But I'm no expert. :)

I guess in the best of worlds, we'd all be able to find self-soothing and distracting activities that ENHANCE our lives. Wouldn't it be cool if we all went out and made lots of money, or lost lots of weight, or did all kinds of charitable things when we were trying to distract? Maybe that's something *I* should work on -- trying to turn my distraction activities into things I'd later be proud that I did...

hmmmm...

But I hope that T3 works out and is helpful to you now in your current struggles. take care!

JenStar


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