STARTING TO STOP

Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB)

“A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” Lao Tzu

Your Body Focused Repetitive Behavior seems more than a habit. It has become a problem for you. So far you have been successful at concealing the bald spots from pulling your hair or the sores from compulsive skin picking, but it is getting more and more difficult to hide. You have resolved to stop so many times and failed. How do you start to stop a BFRB once and for all?
If you have ever read “Bridget Jones Diary,” you know she recorded events in her journal with painful and embarrassing detail. This is your first step – get a journal and record exactly what you do when you pull your hair or pick your skin and when you do it. Everything about your BFRB matters as you write. Your shame-based habit/behavioral addiction will attempt to convince you that this escapist behavior or that negative thought doesn’t have anything to do with your BFRB.
Trichotillomania or Dermatillia will tell you not to be so silly as to be bothered by “that thought” whatever “that thought” might be. It might be a negative thought that leads to “fortune telling.” Fortune Telling is one of many cognitive distortions that can which lead to hours of anxiety and escapist hair pulling or skin picking. Resolve to tell that voice to keep still and write as if everything that matters to you matters.
Why? Because it is important for you to start thinking that you matter.
After you have kept the journal for a period of time, read it over. Look for what is missing in your life and your relationships. It may be a sense of personal pride. It may be meaningful friendships. It may be a sense of worthiness (to be loved, to be cared for). Once you see what is missing, accept it for what it is and decide to change.
Once you decide to change, understand that the world will be happy to help you. Change means reaching out and the internet is a perfect place to reach out. Find a website, find an online support group – read and participate. Finally, you have broken through the isolation! You are on your way!
“The way to get started is to quit TALKING and begin DOING”
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Mary Travis

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