Freedom!

Submitted by: Paul Deger

's Success Story

I want to share with you some amazing success I've had using mindfulness to conquer habit/addition. It is with the guidance you offered in class that I have been able to make so much progress.

For 25 years, I have picked at my cuticles, and quite frequently until they bleed. It's a weird habit I developed from some sense of misplaced perfectionism (dry cuticle? hanging nail? pick it off!) that resulted in the opposite of perfection, resulting in more perfecting work to do - a downward spiral. It is a very powerful urge for me and I had been unable to let go of it until recently. It all began to make sense and I decided to free myself of this behavior once and for all.

Though I wouldn't consider myself "cured" just yet, I'm one heck of a lot closer than I have ever been without mindfulness practices. Though I am sometimes afraid that I won't make it, I know overall that I can.

The technique I use:

When I want to, or catch myself, doing it, I first stop, to see what I'm doing or feeling to cause this reaction. What's the trigger? Oftentimes, simply impatience, frustration, or being fidgety. Easy enough. The hard part is then not continuing on to the picking. So I just let myself feel what it feels like to want to pick, and let me tell you, it is a whole-body affair: my stomach is tight, my shoulders are tight, my jaw is tight. my hands are in position ready to do work. my whole body wants to move forward and pick. while riding it out, I know that the feeling will pass, no matter how strong, and that even though it is uncomfortable to feel that way, I will survive.

I am rewiring my brain for the better.

In just one month's time, I have gotten to the point where my hands are 99% healed, but more importantly, the urge to pick when feeling impatience, frustration, or fidgety is far less frequent. Little by little, the urge is not as powerful. Little by little, I am not needing this behavior anymore.

The breaking of this habit is a work in progress - and it is progressing. Thank you for teaching me to use the tools that have made this possible for me."