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So close... (trigger)


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I had to give a speech for my communications class earlier today. I'm terrible with public speaking, so even though this was only in front of 25 people, I was shaking/nauseous/etc while thinking about it in my dorm room before going to class. To get my mind off of it, and keep calm, I resorted to my feet. (I usually attack the soles of my feet with nail clippers when I'm angry/anxious/sad. I'm trying to stop that, but it does work.)

Unfortunately/Fortunately--depends on whether you're me or not--my boyfriend has confiscated all my clippers. I was rather determined, though, so I used my nails and even my teeth instead. When all was said and done, both of my big toes were bleeding, as was the ball of one foot.

I'm rather disappointed in myself, since I had music easily available. (Certain music puts me in an almost trance-like state, very calm, etc.) The speech really wasn't that bad, either. I certainly made a mountain out of a molehill.

So, I'm wondering...to those out there who are fighting self-harming tendencies, how do you get over the shame of slipping?

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Audball,

I am all to familiar with huge anxiety over public speaking. However, there are a lot better ways to cope with and reduce the anxiety than attacking you toes with a clipper. Deep breating exercises really help. We have a self help section, here, on our site, and you can learn them here.

What happens is that when we feel extreme anxiety we start to take breaths that are too shallow. That increases the anxiety and even panic. Taking deep breaths really helps and you can do that any time, even when speaking. In preparation, Yoga helps a very great deal. If you do not know yoga you can learn it just by getting dvd that shows you how or you can go to yoga classes. It really helps.


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