Photo credit: tropical.pete on VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

I’m a big-time avoider. If I can get out of doing something or going somewhere I don’t want to do or go to, I just don’t. However, I don’t do so well when I avoid things. My mind swiftly slides into a state of depression, and it becomes really hard to do anything at all. Until I started PHP #4, I didn’t even realize that avoidance is a thing.

At PHP (partial hospitalization program) I learned to identify when I’m avoiding stuff, as well as some skills to combat that feeling, such as thought stopping. I thrive on structure. It’s important to me to have a routine, which includes showering. Some of you know that I have difficulty doing that. Now, I tell myself that I’ll feel better if I do it, and I believe that because it’s true. No, that isn’t always enough to get me in the shower, but it’s a start.

Anxiety is behind a lot of my avoidance, like going to the yoga and martial arts classes that I mentioned the other day. In my mind everyone else is judging me, talking behind my back, laughing at me, and so on. Yet a part of me knows this isn’t true. That part of me  also pushes me to do this or that, and basically avoid avoidance. It’s uncomfortable, but I’m getting used to it.

Do you recognize avoidance in your own life?

19 thoughts on “Avoidance

  1. Yes, me too. I use to push myself too much and now I’ve swung the other way because I’ve been trying to protect myself.

  2. i have some kind of extreme mix of avoidance on one hand, and then battering through terrible mood states and situations to keep going keep going keep going without rest, all to the detriment of my health because i don’t know how to care for myself…… it would help if i could find some middle ground! 🙂 (Elle)

  3. I didn’t realize avoidance was a thing either until recently I read a post about it. I avoid everything!!! If I avoid it, it doesn’t exist or I don’t have to participate. This is something I realize I do badly! Since recognizing this behavior I have been able to pinpoint when I do it and wow… It’s a lot.

  4. I like what you said about having a routine. Sometimes I get out of my routine and then start thinking, well I missed this, so what does it matter if I miss everything else…which is not a good path to go down. I try to think, “What are the consequences of not doing this / going to this?” and “Would I feel better if I went / did it, even if it was hard?” which don’t always work, but help sometimes. If I’m avoiding a task or homework or something, I set a timer for 20 minutes and tell myself I only have to do it for 20 minutes, and then I can stop. That generally helps since it’s a lower expectation.

    1. I agree that limiting yourself to doing a task in 20 minutes is much less intimidating. I’m glad you’ve found something that helps you 🌻

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