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Does Anyone Else Try To Comfort Themselves In Unusual Ways?


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I've been trying to cope with PTSD for many years now. I can luckily say that my life is finally starting to reach a vague level or normalcy. It is likely not normal for most people, but it is the best it has been for me. I am no longer terrified life. I finally have a job and it's even full time! I am able to talk to strangers now too, though it is always a struggle. For me, this is more than I ever felt capable of.

Unfortunately, there are still days that I feel crippled by anxiety and loneliness. I feel crazy, useless, and unloveable. I've try my hardest to comfort myself on these days. I would love to be hugged by someone but I'm not sure how. It is very hard for me to maintain friends or to get close to anyone. I have struggled with substance abuse on and off. I am sure many of you have felt the same way.

Lately I have been self medicating again. It is hard to resist the comforting feeling I get from it. It is like being wrapped up in a warm blanket. It somehow feels like everything will be ok. I like to lie under the blankets and watch mind-numbing unboxing videos with soft-spoken women on YouTube. There is something almost maternal about these faceless women. I feel extremely embarrassed about this habit but it is probably my biggest source of comfort.

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Lately I have been self medicating again. It is hard to resist the comforting feeling I get from it. It is like being wrapped up in a warm blanket. It somehow feels like everything will be ok. I like to lie under the blankets and watch mind-numbing unboxing videos with soft-spoken women on YouTube. There is something almost maternal about these faceless women. I feel extremely embarrassed about this habit but it is probably my biggest source of comfort.

 

Nothing unusual about that, at least not to me.  I watch videos like that on YoutTube all the time.  I like hearing people's thoughts and seeing the expressions on their faces as they speak.  When I talk to people in person, I have a nasty habit of looking all around me; so, I don't pay as much attention to their faces as I should.  It makes it hard for people to read me when I do that; so, there is a bit of a disconnect going on there.  I'm sure you know what I am talking about, you probably experience the same thing.

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Lately I have been self medicating again. It is hard to resist the comforting feeling I get from it. It is like being wrapped up in a warm blanket. It somehow feels like everything will be ok. I like to lie under the blankets and watch mind-numbing unboxing videos with soft-spoken women on YouTube. There is something almost maternal about these faceless women. I feel extremely embarrassed about this habit but it is probably my biggest source of comfort.

Nothing unusual about that, at least not to me. I watch videos like that on YoutTube all the time. I like hearing people's thoughts and seeing the expressions on their faces as they speak. When I talk to people in person, I have a nasty habit of looking all around me; so, I don't pay as much attention to their faces as I should. It makes it hard for people to read me when I do that; so, there is a bit of a disconnect going on there. I'm sure you know what I am talking about, you probably experience the same thing.

Yes, I understand what you mean. I'm not sure if I look around me, but I do have a very hard time making eye contact. It's one of those things that I have only recently been able to force myself to do and it feels so unnatural and awkward. It's very stressful.

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Hi and welcome. Ptsd is a pain and I think it messes up our ability to connect in all sorts of ways and puts our coping abilities under extreme stress so I think it is totally normal to have all sorts of coping and I think the ones you mention are perfectly normal in context. 

 

i relate to the eye contact thing too and hate it. In fact I realised that in a work setting what I do is a sort of dissociative thing where I sit behind my eyes so that I can look at someone. Its hard to put into words but I think it distances me enough to be able to look at the person. 

 

I've done all sorts such as eating disorders, workaholicism (before things got too bad and that stopped being a possibility), alcohol, self harm, watching the shopping channel. cartoons, doing childrens computer games (really basic ones for v young children) for days on end etc. 

 

One thing I hate is that I seem to at times be compelled to watch fllms or programs that are close to my trauma and potentially triggering. The thing I am most ashamed of is having a habit of visualising extreme self harm as a way of calming myself and getting to sleep. 

 

My soft fluffy blanket and mindlessly watching things is my best calming ritual and sometimes I actually go entirely underneath it and stay there. Apparently blankets are very grounding and a lot of us use them. 

 

I think you should be extremely proud of the progress you have made and I understand the achievement of being able to do a full time job! Please dont feel obliged to answer but have you done exposure therapy for the trauma? 

Edited by Fizzle
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@Fizzle

I'm not yet sure how to respond directly to your post, so I hope this reaches you.

Everything you said resonated very deeply with me. You seem like a very perceptive person with a lot of internal insight. I too have to disassociate myself from the person I'm looking at. I almost feel as though im kind of looking into and beyond their eyes. I can't think of it as looking into *someone's* eyes. I'm looking at *something*. Just reading that gives me American psycho vibes but I know you get what I mean. Other people are very intimidating, or even terrifying.

I also am attracted to things that are not meant for adults. There is just a mind-numbing comfort that comes with it. I think that things made for children are very nonjudgmental, sensitive, and encouraging. I have doubts whenever making decisions and am very emotionally fragile. I tend to look at every other adult as a superior and I feel less than human.

I honestly just want to feel like it's ok to feel like I do. I want to feel like it's ok to exist as I am but I'm honestly not sure if it is, or what is.

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UFO, 

I do understand everything you wrote. I think its Ok and very importantly you feel like you do for very good reason. Its actually normal in context. I can see that for other people. Much harder to do for myself. 

 

Thanks for sharing about looking at people. I think Ive only ever discussed that once before. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm all for soft fuzzy blankies and even snuggling with teddybears. unusual i suppose for someone of my age, but yeah. chocolate therapy also helps but unfortunately has side effects of weight gain. mindnumbing netflix binging, but also totally immersing myself in an interesting hobby like a craft helps. Really I know what I'm doing is hiding..... I guess.

I am happy that you are doing better. 

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I'm all for soft fuzzy blankies and even snuggling with teddybears. unusual i suppose for someone of my age, but yeah. chocolate therapy also helps but unfortunately has side effects of weight gain. mindnumbing netflix binging, but also totally immersing myself in an interesting hobby like a craft helps. Really I know what I'm doing is hiding..... I guess.

I am happy that you are doing better. 

 

I was just about to say that I hold my teddy bear and Pound Puppy (if anyone remembers those from the 80s.....yes, I've had mine for that long) for comfort when things get really bad...... and that I am 35 years old and how unusual it must be for people to read that. I guess I am not the only one. On the first day at my new job, I was so overwhelmed that I came home and sobbed on my couch until I could hardly breathe. I went and got the bear and pup off my bed (which I will only admit to sleeping with at night in this forum and no one else). It helped me to calm down a little finally. Then I get mad at myself for needing to do that to calm down, and the I-hate-myself cycle starts all over again.

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Nothing to be embarrassed about by any of the previous posts. I self comfort with old Godzilla movies and 1970s episodes of Doctor Who. Oh, and the feel of a blanket just behind my fingernail on the back of my index finger. Strangely comforting.

 

Peace and love

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I alternate between jumping in my bed and watching anything home improvement on TV or taking my dogs and cats (yes cats, in a stroller) for a long, beautiful walk in the gorgeous little town we live in.  I'm on a down slope this week, not sure why, but I've been more depressed and anxious than usual.  Hopefully, this too shall pass.

 

As for the youtube videos, I have a teenage son who  is also having anxiety attacks (fortunately I've been honest so he knows what is happening).  He too uses youtube to calm him.  Whatever works....don't be ashamed. 

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I often watch ASMR videos as well. I don't care if it's strange. I wouldn't tell people in the outside world though, as they would probably think it's odd. Lots of people watch these videos though and if it helps, it's a good thing.

Another thing I do when anxious is counting things and playing alphabet or list games.

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I often binge-watch 30 Rock or Mad Men. I've also taken up just cooking up random batches of food lately. Standing over the frying pan is really calming for some reason, and keeping my hands busy seems to help me. Distraction, basically. I think last night I made like...2 omelettes, a greek yogurt fruit salad, and a couple (fancy!) grilled cheeses? At least I'm home for the summer at the moment, and my family can help me finish it all.

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i like watching scooby doo... i know its odd, but it brings me so much confort. i also like classic movies once in a while it reminds me of simpler environments and almost all of them have happy endings


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  • 1 month later...

It's nice to know that I am not alone. For me it's playing children's video games and binge watching Netflix during the day. At nighttime when my insomnia kicks in I get the urge to clean one particular thing (lasts about 30 minutes)

~Peace~

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When I go to bed at night, I detach from my identity completely. I pretend I'm someone else entirely. Different identity. Different life. Maybe a few qualities I pride myself on are still there, but for all intents and purposes it is a totally different human being.

 

Ironically enough, it is a person with their own insecurities. Their own conflicts and problems. Because that is how life works.

 

When I wake up each day, I typically feel quite peaceful, rarely that depressed. Each new day begins with a question. That question is, "Am I ready to be me again for a stretch of twelve or fourteen hours?" Getting out of bed in that state is hard.

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