Confessions of a Self-Soother

Playing Alone Was Soothing

I remember my basement.

The hard concrete floor, the thin carpet and the bright fluorescent lights. There were plastic models, puzzles, colored markers, and heaps of Legos. Even a little record player.

My basement was a sanctuary.

No one yelled. No one was mean or critical or wanted something from me. I could just play and be a kid. It was great.

 

I Was a Self-Soothing Heavy User

I think I’ve always done this in one way or another

The healthier kids found comfort in being close to others, but not me. Not then at least.

My story was about Self-Soothing through all manner of thoughts and behaviors. This was how I escaped the moment. The intolerable moment.

 

Fantasy worked, so I stuck with it.

Over time, I added new and different means of escape. I was quite the expert on Self-Soothing and I was on a fast track to addiction.

Whether it was anxiety, boredom, anger, pain, shame, or guilt, I chose to avoid the feelings. They wouldn’t disappear, but I could avoid them.

 

As a kid, I needed to escape, but as an adult, I was addicted and I was missing my life.

 

Are you?

 

Are you a life-long self-soothing pro?

Do you move around from one escape behavior or thought to another?

Are you an addict playing “Whack-a-Mole” with your life?

Are you willing to set it all down and just “BE HERE NOW?”

Jeff Schultz, LPC, CSAT, is the owner and founder of the Sono­ran Heal­ing Cen­ter in Phoenix, Arizona.

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