Wacky Resolutions: Greta

Putting Her Blanket to Bed

"I'm 22 years old, and this is my Tee Tee that I have had since the day I was born, and I need to give it up. Nobody would believe that I still have a blanket that I sleep with every night," says Greta. "It used to be a big, full white blanket with silk lining. It's diminished into a grayish tinge with a lot of holes in it."

"When I discover Tee Tee in bed with us, I usually try to push it off the bed. It needs to go," says John, Greta's fiancé. He didn't learn about the blanket until two years into his relationship with Greta. "We are getting married soon. I'm very afraid that Tee Tee is going to show up on our honeymoon with us."

Greta says that when she has her blanket in her hand, it soothes her. "It calms me, and it's just a sense of security," she shares. "When I pick my blanket up, I want to put my thumb in my mouth."  

John also learned about Greta's thumb sucking two years into their relationship. "I was really, really shocked," he says. "It bothers me that Greta does suck her thumb and has to have her Tee Tee."

Greta turns to Dr. Phil. "This New Year's, I want to give up my thumb sucking and my Tee Tee. I need your help," she says. 

"This is really kind of all about anxiety, isn't it?" Dr. Phil asks Greta.

"Yes," Greta agrees.

Tee Tee is brought to Dr. Phil and he shows it off. "This is something that you have found comfort in. It's a sameness. It's a routine," he says.

"Yes. The minute I have my blanket, I feel very relaxed and calm," she says.

Dr. Phil addresses John. "You toss it away, and she does what?" he asks.

"Gets very angry," John says, smiling.

Dr. Phil explains to Greta that sucking her thumb and holding her blanket are coping mechanisms, and she n
eeds to come up with new coping skills. If she just gets rid of her Tee Tee without having a new coping skill, she's going to be anxious, or she's going to want to go and find the blanket. "You don't need to throw it away," he tells her. "But you need to replace it with something." He suggests cuddling up with her fiancé.

"I usually cuddle with him and the blanket," Greta says with a laugh.

"You need to really learn to relax yourself without that," Dr. Phil says, adding that he plans to give her some tools to take home so she can learn to do that. "Those things have served a purpose, and when something in your life serves a purpose, and you take it away, you have to put a new tool in its place." He suggests that she take small steps to detach from her Tee Tee, like moving it to the nightstand, then the dresser and then in the closet. "Before you know it, it will be gone."

Greta agrees to learn new coping skills so she can give up the blanket.