“If I feel bad it’s because it’s my fault”
-> “If it’s my fault then I need to do something”
-> “Mustn’t let myself get away with things”
The above ignores triggers and other explanations of feeling bad. There is increased self-condemnation and decreased mood.
Self-harm was my early strategy of dealing with this. I have ‘collected’ other strategies through my life as well. Some are unhelpful like avoiding people, suicidal ideation and binge eating. Some are more helpful like talking to my boyfriend and family. My core beliefs about myself (“I am weak”, “I am ugly”, “I am lazy”) aren’t challenged or contradicted. Why the fuck not?
The above is a page from my CBT folder from 2004/5 that I’m revising in preparation for starting another course of CBT. I can see changes in my thinking between then and now. Overall I blame myself less I think and what blame remains is less specific – more a general “I could have done more”.