Coping Cards

Lost But Not Losing

This coping card has two meanings for me: I sometimes feel lost, especially after having lost another fight to my BFRBs. But I have to remind myself that I’m not losing the battle

I only recently felt almost arrogant because I thought I had overcome my BFRBs. I felt like I had all of the tricks I need to control my urges. For almost a week, I managed not to pick my skin or chew my cheeks and lips. Even my fingers never looked healthier.

Then, after this long healthy period, I had a major setback. I don’t even know why it happened … I even tell myself that I had no (obvious) reason to relapse. 

And exactly that is the tricky and irrational part of BFRB – you don’t always need a reason to pick, scratch, bite or pull. 

These self-harming and very often self-soothing behaviors have been well practiced for years. It is not that easy to control this subconscious urge. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to overcoming our BFRBs. We have to go the bumpy road. 

When I started my BFRB healing journey, I knew setbacks would happen. Oh boy, and they happen … But I didn’t think they come with so many tears, self-doubt, and even self-loathing. 

After every setback, I feel like I’m starting from scratch. But that’s not the case because with every setback, I learn something new about myself. And with every new day, there is an opportunity to kick BFRB in the butt with a new trick 😉

Above all, it is crucial to recognize your own progress and celebrate small successes.

So when I reflect on my recent setback, I feel very proud that I left my face alone – this is a huge win! I only picked a few blemishes on my arms and legs. I just nibbled the inside of my mouth instead of biting it until bleeding. Sure, my fingers could look better, but I only bit off two fingernails instead of ten.

Yeah, I’ll lose a few fights, but I’m not going to lose the battle. Let’s get motivated by the small victories and small steps we take. Setting the bar too high will only result in disappointment.

Longstanding behavior patterns will take time and effort to change. Let’s be a little more compassionate and patient with ourselves. We deserve that.

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