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StevenS
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7 years ago 0 StevenS 29 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Question about what isn´t talked about in Session 1

Hello all,  I am just starting this program and have gotten nearly to the end of Session 1.  For me, at least, there is a glaring absence under "sensations" that I experience when I have a panic attack that goes beyond the "fight or flight" responses.  that is that I loose control of my bowels.  Now as it is true as with all of the rest of the sensations, I haven't died from it, but it causes a great deal of embarrassment , not to mention mess.  This has happened on a number of occasions where I couldn't make it to a restroom in time and there is no way to hold it back as it creates a "dump syndrome" and it is just like water...and that part of the body isn't designed to hold liquid back.  Just in case you might say, take something like an anti-diarrheal, I also have Crohn's Disease and taking anything that will "stop me up" will cause a Crohn's flare-up.  Also, wearing diapers is not an option either, because you still have the clean up issue which would cause you to have to go home and clean you clothes and shower...not to mention any related tell-tale odor.
 
I can't be the only one where bowel incontinence occurs with a panic attack and the associated avoidance of places or situations that will cause a panic attack.  I would be interested in knowing others experiences regarding this issue.  Also, yes, I have tried numerous medications and suppliments all of which are ineffective for the incontinence.
 
Thanks.
StevenS
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7 years ago 0 StevenS 29 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
I need some help with the forms from Session 1

Hello,
 
I read all of Session 1 and got the forms at the end; "Panic Attack Form" and "Anxious Thoughts Form"and I must be missing something.  I understood everything that was said in the Session as I have had my issues for most of my life (I'm 53).  I have been in therapy of one sort or another for half of my life and been on meds nearly 20 years.  I have a better than average understanding of psychology because of all of this.  Although I understand the words on the forms in question, I don't quite get how to fill them out.  I know that sounds dumb (for lack of a better word), but I must be missing something.

Because of my years of experience with panic issues, I have developed Agoraphobia and a Social Phobia.  I have must have several Phd's in avoidance behavior at this point.  I very seldom do anything that brings on full panic attacks.  I have been going through the reduction/elimination of my psych meds and am in the middle of that now.  That in itself is causing issues of withdrawal that I would wish on anyone.  What I have been noticing lately is what I am calling "thought provoked" anxiety "surges".  It might be adrenaline "surges", but I am not sure.  The feeling is like someone squirted "digestive juice" into my solar plexus/top of my stomach.  I also get a feeling of heat going across my chest.  In the past, I never had symptoms like this.  I have been noticing a number of issues that I either hadn't had before or are becoming more noticeable like increased depression.  I am relating that to the titration of my meds (doctor supervised).  I am coming out of a state of existing and a constant flatness to feeling again.  I am glad of that, but at the same time, it is not all that comfortable to go through...in fact in the beginning when we were titrating to quickly, I ended up in the ER with literally unbearable anxiety and nausea that would not let up except when I was sleeping.
 
I didn't actually plan on getting into all of that, but I wanted to give some aspect of my background and current experiences so that might help with an explanation of how to use these forms.
 
I can be sitting here doing nothing in particular on the computer and if I happen to see a message from someone or think of that person, I will get these "surges" bringing my anxiety up from 0 to 7 in a second.  Then they will subside as quickly as they came albeit with some techniques that I use to remove anxiety.  That works great AFTER it comes up and if the triggering thought goes away, but what I want to do is eliminate it from happening in the first place.
 
Now as far as these forms go, one would think that they are straight forward and basically self-explanatory.   For what ever reason, I am either "over-thinking" them (something I do to just about everything), or I am missing something.
 
If i use the example I used of thinking of someone and having the surges of anxiety.  I would look at the form and say, "ok, that was about a 60 on the scale".   For the negative thought 1 in my fear level level, a 60;  the situation, "sitting in my chair at the computer"; today's date and now;  physical symptoms, adrenaline surges in solar plexus and heat across chest; anxious thoughts description, "thinking of Josh";  behaviors, ????.  I won't do thought 2 because it would be a repeat of thought 1 in this case.
 
 Now if that is what I am supposed to do, then I don't get the point of doing it at all.  I know what the symptoms are and every little detail is that happens when I think of Josh...and sometimes other things...but right now, it is mostly him that causes these anxiety "surges"...at least when we are talking about "Anxious Thoughts".
 
Can someone help me to understand, one, if I have the idea of what the form is for and if I would be using it correctly and two, how is this supposed to do anything but use up TONS of paper because it happens everything I think of Josh or anything pertaining to him, where he lives, something that he does, etc. 
 
I would very much like your help with this.
 
Thank you,
 
Steven
 
P.S.  Why is the Right Mouse Button disabled while in this area so I cannot do a  spell-check on a word that is highlighted, instead having to choose the spell-check feature at the top to check the document and why can't i add words to the dictionary (my dictionary) as I can with any other program or browser or mail client, etc.???
StevenS
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7 years ago 0 StevenS 29 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
I need some help with the forms from Session 1

Hi Davit,  Thank you for your reply.  Hopefully a moderator will help me with the forms.  The short answer is two-fold.  I have been on the same meds since 2008 and not adjusted, so they only helped to a small degree. I live rurally and finding a psychiatrist is difficult here.  I have been living in a basically "dead" state for about 7 or 8 years.  If I went out, it was to a doctor or to the market and straight back home.  I didn't challenge anything so as not to bring on a panic attack.  Like I had said, I got REALLY good at avoidance...(bad thing in the long run).  So, the other thing was that I had met someone that I was involved with intimately and it had been 11 years since I have been with anyone intimately.  I wasn't able to perform sexually and found out that one of Pixel's main side effects is sexual dysfunction.  Well, I wanted to "fix" that asap.  That lead (under doctor's supervision), to starting to get off of all my psych meds.  I hadn't had a "baseline"  done in years and really needed to get off of these things to find out how I really was doing and what, if anything I needed to be taking.  Well, after having a very bad withdrawal, I got hooked up with a psychiatrist who recognized what was happening (an SSRI Withdrawal Syndrome is what it is called) and so he added Zyprexa and raised my Tegretol to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms (at least mostly) and changed my titration from 10mg per week to 5mg per week.  That has helped a great deal. 
 
I want to be able to feel again.  Getting off of these meds is helping me to be able to feel again.  Granted, I am having issues that come with getting off of meds that you have been on for nearly 2 decades, but it will be worth it in the end.  I had 20 more mg to go down and I will be finished with the Paxil.  then we will stop the Zyprexa and then start the reduction of the Klonopin.  Then I will only be using Tegretol.  Hopefully, I will be able to either stop that too or reduce the dose of that to a lower dose so as to reduce any side effects that are dose related.
 
 No one has told me and I don't know what you mean when you refer to,  "what your triggers open when they happen...and why"...and "why they appear out of the blue".
 
Can you tell me?  I would be most interested in knowing as even though I have way too much experience in therapy, verbally and pharmacologically, I don't have any experience with CBT and the reasoning behind it and how it works.
 
I would appreciate your help in understanding that.
 
Also, I feel I am at a dead stop with this because I don't understand these forms.  I don't feel I can continue to the next Session and I don't know what to do about these forms.  I really hope someone will chime in and explain things to me.  this is frustrating to say the least and I can't just pick up the phone and ask someone.
 
I hope to hear from you soon.
 
Thank you,
 
Steven
StevenS
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7 years ago 0 StevenS 29 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
I don´t understand the Anxious Thoghts Form or the Panic Attack Form

Please help me to understand the forms mentioned in the subject. I understand what they say and theoretically understand what they mean, but i don't get AT ALL how they are used as they pertain to me.  See below...:
 
 "Now as far as these forms go, one would think that they are straight forward and basically self-explanatory.   For what ever reason, I am either "over-thinking" them (something I do to just about everything), or I am missing something.

 If I use the example I used of thinking of someone and having the surges of anxiety.  I would look at the form and say, "ok, that was about a 60 on the scale".   For the negative thought 1 in my fear level level, a 60;  the situation, "sitting in my chair at the computer"; today's date and now;  physical symptoms, adrenaline surges in solar plexus and heat across chest; anxious thoughts description, "thinking of Josh";  behaviors, ????.  I won't do thought 2 because it would be a repeat of thought 1 in this case.

Now if that is what I am supposed to do, then I don't get the point of doing it at all.  I know what the symptoms are and every little detail is that happens when I think of Josh...and sometimes other things...but right now, it is mostly him that causes these anxiety "surges"...at least when we are talking about "Anxious Thoughts".

 Can someone help me to understand, one, if I have the idea of what the form is for and if I would be using it correctly and two, how is this supposed to do anything but use up TONS of paper because it happens everything I think of Josh or anything pertaining to him, where he lives, something that he does, etc."
 
I need your help with this.
 
Thank you,
 
Steven
StevenS
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7 years ago 0 StevenS 29 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
I need some help with the forms from Session 1

Hi Davit,

I never thought of it that way, but it makes sense.  I understand what you are saying.  My negative thoughts come from being sexual abused as a child and then was further complicated by unsuccessful relationships I had where I basically drove people away with my constant need of reassurance and feeling of abandonment when we were not together.

I have overlaid those old thoughts onto Josh when he distanced himself saying that he thought I was falling in love with him.  Oddly, I was just being able to feel truly comfortable with him and intimate in a special way with him.  There is an emotional attachment and I do love him, but not in a romantic way.  Our interaction was intimate like one would be in a romantic relationship, but because he said from day one, that he didn't want a relationship because he was coming out of a 4 yr relationship and that he was seeing other people as well as me, I just enjoyed every moment of our time together.  Even though I had allot of tears, especially in the beginning, because it had been so long (11 years) since I was with anyone at all and I had allot of stored up emotions.  Something caused by my meds and the "dead" state they put me in for all of that time.
 
Josh, in this case is the trigger, but the source goes way back to my childhood and subsequently to all of the failed relationships that just added more bad memories regarding intimate relationships.
 
I don't know how to get to the root cause.  My psychiatrist said that it wasn't important to go back into the past to try to figure out things.  He said that dealing with how I now react/respond to the thoughts/situations is what needs to be worked on.
 
Although I understand that in concept, I would think that it would be important to go to the cause and then understand it and deal with those feeling and then work on things coming forward.  I am a bit confused about not needing to deal with the source issue.
StevenS
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7 years ago 0 StevenS 29 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
I need some help with the forms from Session 1

Davit, 

I am having a Crohn's episode today and have been feeling pretty miserable and also have had to take Darvocet and Bentyl and Levsin to try to help the pain and other symptoms.  These Crohn's episodes are almost always caused by anxiety.  And I have been going through allot fo anxiety thinking about Josh and also starting this program...which is quite scary to me and I have no support except for professionals and they all say, I need a bigger support group, but that isn't something you can advertise for. 
 
I just woke up from a dream where I was going to be put in prison (or a mental hospital) because I didn't have anyone to take care of me and I was having anxiety/panic symptoms.  I haven't woken up from a dream like that in a very long time.  I am noticing that with me coming off of the Paxil, I am experiencing things that I haven't experienced in years.  Depression is one that is again popping up, but at the same time, I don't have the "dead" feeling all of the time.  It is a double-edged sword.

I came in here and read your reply and looked up Attachment Theory and Thought Triangle and it scared me ALLOT.  It represented the possibility that I will never get over any of this because it goes back to so many things in my childhood.  It brought up so many bad feelings and made me feel so alone and that I can't do this by myself.  This is where Josh saying that, "he wouldn't leave me" and he "would be there, physically and emotionally" was supposed to give me that very special person to rely on going through all of this stuff.  I don't have anyone that I trust to the level I trust Josh and know I could do or say anything and he would take it in stride...this is how it was before he distanced himself from me and moved 25 miles away and with him losing his job and me having a truck that gets 10mpg, I can't go up there and he can't come down here so we can see each other as we did regularly before.  It has left me in an "in-between" state.  By me cleaning my house, I removed my "cocoon", my safe place and I now feel naked and without protection.  I have no safe place to go anymore.  This is overwhelming when I read stuff like I read on those two things.
 
I don't have very strong coping mechanisms in place.  I have tried some different techniques and they do help, but if something is really bad, I can't get to that internal space I need to go to be able to use the coping mechanisms.  That is where having another human that didn't judge and gave me the hugs and shoulder to cry on the the hand to hold and the help up from falling that I desperately need.  I am not in a great place right now to loose that support.  I am sure that you will say that I need to support myself, and in time that was the idea, but you don't push someone off of a cliff even with a parachute and tell them to figure it out on the way down and that is where I feel I am right now.  Please don't think that i am dumping on you, because that is not my intention.  I am just trying to be open and tell you what I am feeling.
StevenS
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7 years ago 0 StevenS 29 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
I need some help with the forms from Session 1

Hi Davit,

The dog was my first Golden Retriever.  She was born one month to the day after my did died.  She had a brain tumor in the end and so 1 week before her 11th birthday, I had to put her to sleep because she cold no longer walk.  That happened on the 4th of this month.  I have 3 other dogs and one of them is getting up there in age.

Throughout my life, I have always lived either in the past or the future...never the present.  I have tried to be present in the now, but because of living so long thinking the other way, it has proven hard not to think of things as I have all of my life.
 
As far as dealing with allot of my past.  I had many issues in childhood after the sexual abuse that just further cemented my feelings of worthlessness.  I was mercilessly abused verbally and physically by the other children through most of my school years.  It was the worst in my early years, grades 1 to 8.  In high school things were some better, but the damage had been done.  During those early years, I yearned for someone to come and make it all stop...that never happened.
 
The thing is, I know about a great deal of this.  I think I mentioned in another post that I didn't realize until this February that the sexual abuse had such a big effect on my adult life regarding relationships.
 
Having been through so much therapy and medications through my life gave me tons of information on how therapy works and how to get around the therapists if they presented a problem for me.  I was always told that I was "too smart for my own good"...that my intelligence actually worked against me in therapy.  They were probably right.  I could see though all of their techniques and "games" with ease.  Now when I see a therapist, I warn them ahead of time to watch out for my abilities so I can actually get something worthwhile out of it.
 
I feel that I am talking in circles here.  I am having trouble focusing on the subject at hand. 
 
I think it is quite admirable that you are helping others with these issues to pay back those who helped you in the past.
 
As far as the "scary reading", I felt like I was reading it like you would watch a scary movie...with you hands partially covering your eyes.  That just brought up so many things that I felt overwhelmed...that I couldn't comprehend how I was going to be able to deal with all of the things that happened to me in my childhood that are effecting me now.  I have never done well by myself even though I have pretty much been a loner.  I always wished that I would have close friends and intimate relationships, but only had very short lived relationships.  They started fast and ended fast.  they just reinforced my feeling of never being able to have the relationship I dreamed of from the age of 6.
 
I need to stop now because I think that I am just writing a bunch of unrelated stuff and it won't make any sense.  the only reason I am actually posting it is that maybe you could see some important details in what I have written.
 
I will look up the Box breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and distractions.  By distractions, I assume that you mean a hobby or something like that.


Take Care,

Steven
StevenS
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7 years ago 0 StevenS 29 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
I need some help with the forms from Session 1

Hello Davit,

I have read some on core beliefs and understand it to some degree, but I haven't gotten the "ah-ha" moment where I truly understand.  I should interject here and tell you that I have difficulties reading because of mild dyslexia.  I have to often read something a few times so that I get it.  I have never liked reading because of it.  I am a visual person and do really well visualizing.  Having to read allot of this technical information is rather daunting...especially to understand it.  I do have a collection of books, but most of them are what I call reference books on many different subjects that I am or have been interested in.  Also, when something challenges me or my thoughts, I get a very uncomfortable physical feeling that almost requires me to stop reading.  It feeling like my skin is crawling and my eyes start to hurt inside my eye sockets.  It is very hard to describe, but it doesn't feel good at all.

Doing all of this stuff online is difficult for me because it is all reading...even on the forum, it is typing and reading.  I do so much better talking with a human and being able to ask questions as they come up instead of writing to someone and then waiting for a response.  I know that so much has been going on over the past few months that I could ask a question and the next day has no relevance anymore because of all that is happening and my progression.  I hope that makes sense.

I know that when I am having anxiety and someone tries to distract me with something that is irrelevant, it only makes me think of the anxiety thoughts more intensely...but if something real is brought up, my anxiety can disappear all by itself.  You know, like someone says, "just don't think about it", or "think of a pretty day" or something like that.  To me that is almost insulting and i let them know that.  I understand that if someone hasn't had a panic attack or extreme anxiety, they simply can't understand.  I know they don't mean any harm and are actually trying to help, but what ends up happening is that I think of the fear and anxiety that much more.
 
I tried to do a search on your writing on thought triangles,  but didn't have any luck finding anything.  My ability at putting in the correct search words evades me allot.  My dad was always amazing at being able to put just the right search words in and coming up wit information that I couldn't find. 
 
I would be interested in knowing more about core beliefs and the thought triangle.
 
Thanks,
 
Steven
StevenS
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7 years ago 0 StevenS 29 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
I need some help with the forms from Session 1

Hi Davit,

I understand what you are saying about core beliefs and early childhood.  When I was born, my mom almost died and had to stay in the hospital for 6 weeks.  During that time, I was taken care of (lived with) my grandparents since my dad had to work.  Then with the sex abuse happening at age 5 and the verbal and physical abuse from the other kids through age 7 and up to high school, would suggest that I have allot of negative core beliefs.  That is what I "saw" (good visualization skills) when I was reading the stuff on Attachment Theory and Thought Triangle.  

There is a part of me that worries about making the changes because then I won't be the person I am.  I worry about loosing my ability to be compassionate and similar "good things" if I become "balanced/healed" and change my core beliefs.  I am sure that is not an uncommon thought, but I know in the past, thinking of changing myself through therapy and other means, I worried about losing some of my good traits.  That has been an ongoing fight when I was presented with things like this that would change me at a deep level.  I know it defies logic, not wanting to help myself past all of the negative stuff so that I will retain the compassion and empathy I have for others.  There is allot of fear related to that.

Do you have a bigger image of the image that you made your avatar?  I have tried to read it and can't.  Could you send me a bigger version of it to my email?  It is:  solotogreat@gmail.com
 
Thank you,
 
Steven
StevenS
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7 years ago 0 StevenS 29 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
I need some help with the forms from Session 1

Hi Davit,

I got the triangle just fine.  Thank you.

You said something in your last reply that I have heard many times before and I have never figured out how to deal with it.  It is, "You can not deal with core beliefs if you do not like who you are. If there is anything to forgive yourself for do it now.  You can not deal with core beliefs or any part of the program from the outside looking in. It is too easy to walk away. you must do it from the inside and never forget that every move you make is you and about you."

Although I do like some things about me, I have never had a good opinion of myself because I have never been able to deal with things like "healthy" people do.  I am timid and shy when it comes to dealing with others, especially in an intimate relationship.  I have never been able to forgive myself, as you put it, for the "bad" parts that are within me.
 
By that last statement, you just killed my ability to help myself through this program.  Those feelings run very deep and are lifelong.  I have never been like others that I have observed.  Confident, happy, able to deal with things like a "normal well-adjusted person" can do. 
 
I have stayed in the shadows...always wanting what they had...being able to do what the do...but in my 53 years, I have been unable to do that.
 
Now I don't know what to say...