Take Responsibility: It Will Change Your Life.

 

Do you feel like your life is out of your control? Do the same bad things seem to be happening to you over and over again? Do you feel powerless to what happens to you in relationships, with jobs, and with friends?  If so, then I am sorry to hear it, and I think that there may be a solution for you.  

 

The world can be a difficult and unpredictable place.  Bad things happen to people all the time. Unfortunately,  when someone has experienced a traumatic event that is out of their control, one might feel powerless and like other people are responsible for how they feel. And to some extent,  they aren’t wrong. Other people make choices that impact us. There is no doubt about that. Someone may choose a fate for you, one that you would have never chosen for yourself.  And this is where things get tricky, because if you are a victim of a crime or an assault, alcoholic or narcissistic parents, or relationships with controlling people, you may have forgotten that you too, have agency, and you too, can continue to make decisions that can affect the outcomes of not the past, but of the present and forward.

 

Let me tell you about taking personally responsibility and how it will change you life. Lets first talk about what it means to take responsibility.  Taking responsibility is owning that you may be acting in a way that is propagating your current situation. For example, if you are in a bad relationship with someone who is selfish. Maybe you made a mistake and didn’t know what the warning signs were. That’s ok. There is no need to blame or shame yourself. But you also don’t need to continue to suffer.  A way to take responsibility is to own that, although maybe you made a mistake, you are choosing now to stay in this relationship, and it is therefor your responsibility to choose to stay or to decide to leave.  

 

Please do not mistake someone telling you to take responsibility for victim blaming.  If something terrible has happened to you, such as a sexual assault, a car accident, or an attack, that’s not your fault. You cannot take responsibility for the actions of another who has harmed you.  You cannot change the past, and you cannot stop bad things from happening. You can, however,  take responsibility for yourself as much as possible. Going to therapy to explore your beliefs in the world, your tendencies in relationships, and what responsibility you are taking to heal, be accountable to others, and choose to surround yourself with supportive people can be helpful.  

 

And this is how it will change your life:  once you take responsibility for yourself and for your actions, you might find that you feel empowered, because when you believe that you have agency and you can change your situation,  you may realize that you are making choices for yourself, as opposed to the world around you making choices for you.

Bianca Aarons LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist in San Francisco . Bianca’s specialties include attachment, trauma, sexual abuse, post traumatic stress, relationship issues, depression issues, couples work and work with teenagers. Learn more about Bianca at www.biancaaarons.com, email her at BiancaAaronsMFT@gmail.com, or call her at (415) 553-5346 to ask any questions or to set up a consultation session. 

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Love, Self, and the Addiction to Perfection

(and learning to love yourself, of course)

Addictions can come in all different shapes, sizes and forms.  When one thinks of addiction, they often assume that an addiction is referring to a substance, such as drugs, or an activity, such as sex.  There are many types of addictions; food addictions, love addictions, ect. Addictions are coping mechanisms that are formed when emotions are intolerable and stress levels are unmanageable.  Often times, a person feels out of control of their addiction, and when they try to manage or change it, they find that the addiction gets worst.  

Many addictions can be misunderstood or misjudged, such as the addiction to control or abstinence.  Anorexia is actually an addiction to avoiding eating or preventing food intake.  "Sexual Anorexia" or contact avoidance is yet another misunderstood and highly unseen addiction, where one can go unnoticed in being addicted to finding ways to avoid relationships and prevent themselves from having sex.

One of the most recent addictions that I have encountered is the addiction to perfection. The signs of this are when someone feels that they cannot do anything because they cannot, or will not, be perfect enough when they do it.  Many people who have an addiction to perfection find that they experience procrastination or a hard time doing anything at all for the daunting reality that what they do will not fit their own expectations.  A person who is addicted to perfection will walk away from a partner who is not "perfect" enough, or walk away from a potential partner because THEY THEMSELVES feel that they are not perfect enough, or will just avoid dating in general for the same reasons.  An addiction to perfection can stilt a person from being able to do things that they could maybe do if they were ok with "good enough", like get a good enough job as opposed to being jobless in lieu of the the perfect job.

An addiction to perfection is surprisingly, and comparatively, as difficult to work through as other addictions.  And to work through this addiction, and many other addictions, some deeper issues may need to be confronted around fundamental sadness, self-hatred, grief, and hopelessness that may lay just beneath the protective layer of the addiction. 

 

 

 

Bianca Aarons LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist in San Francisco's Duboce Triangle neighborhood. Bianca’s specialties include attachment, trauma, sexual abuse, post traumatic stress, relationship issues, depression issues, couples work and work with teenagers. Learn more about Bianca at www.biancaaarons.com, email her at BiancaAaronsMFT@gmail.com, or call her at (415) 553-5346 to ask any questions or to set up a consultation session.

 

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