A big step for me was to think about what I really loved in life that SI prevented me from doing - in my case owning pets and riding horses. I started by looking after my friends cats while she was in hospital for 3 months - I couldn't SI with the cats about, and then I took in my own cats, later started horse riding again (definately cannot do that well with SI) and now I own, care for and train 4 horses - the risk of relapse being fatal, and the thought of what would happen to my horses keeps me SI free. I've been free for 7 years now.
I honestly have just filled my life with so much stuff I could not even think about self harming. I guess the doctor's are right when they tell you to find distractions!
I have been upset and triggered at some points but realise that hurting myself is not the answer though I know I will always be a self harmer :)
"From seeing the worst to loving the strongest; People grow over time."
When I very first started trying to stop, A couple of years now, I taught myself to knit. It is SO not like what it used to be when my mom tried to teach me back in the early 90's. It helps me keep my mind of somthing other than whaat is making me want to SI. And I get something out of it. I'm currently working on a new bag to take with me to the gym. :) I've been working on it a lot lately.
I go on websites like this and talk to people who understand how I feel... :)
And get angry and throw stuff across my room. And mess the quilt and my pillows up. And take all the sheets off my bed, then i have to re-do them so it takes longer and there is more time for my urge to go away! :P
This might not be for everyone as it involves using scissors, but i like to make origami stars. lots and lots of origami stars, then tip the out onto my floor and pick them back up and put them in to the box where i keep them one by one. keeps my hands busy.
- Drawing pretty and colorful things at the place you want to cut.
It works in two ways: first, you distract yourself for some time minding to draw the details and everything, second, if you cut, you'll spoile the draw. It also works to write positive things (or reminders) on your skin.
- Coloring (yep, being a kid) :)
- holding ice cubes when the urges are too bad.
Oh, one thing I find great: write down a list of the reasons you want to stop and keep it near, when you start to even think about it you'll have a very clear reminder of the reasons not to do it.
I used to injure because I was anxious a lot of the time. For me carrying my tools around with me calmed me down. Another thing that worked for me is I would promise myself I would do some time consuming activity and if I still felt like injuring I would. Most of the time I chose not to.
I don't think these are very helpful to many, but that's what I did.
Don't pressure yourself too much and if you can wean your self slowly do that. As for recovery do it because you want to and not because you feel like you have to.
Sorry this is long.
don't run from problems. Facing them may seem harder but truly running only makes the problem 10x worse.
If you feel like harming, talk about it to a person you are in confidence with. No matter how little/big it is you will be surprised that talking can aid you in rethinking your intentions rather than acting on unhelpful thoughts. It really does work. Give it a try a step at a time first and see how you get on. That is one way I have stayed si free.
Stress balls are great for coping, the activity worker in the hospital I was in gave me one and Im still using it in this new hospital and its really helping me. It keeps my hands busy and releases the tension and takes my mind of things, I can throw it at the wal and catch it or throw it in the air or just fiddle with it, its great!
Last edited by melda : 02-10-2009 at 11:20 AM.
Always keep a goal in mind, wether it be 'i won't self harm for the next week' or 'i'll be self harm free by this time next year' always keep a goal. Reward yourself at regular intervals throughout the journey, be it every week or every month.
If you think about it, look how far you've come and how long you've abstained from it, try double it.
Keep a playlist of 'up beat' music, such as techno/dance/pop music on your ipod/mp3 also to drown out thoughts enlist in some screamo music and turn it up full volume when needed.
Use exercise, be it dance, swimming, surfing/bodyboarding, full out running anything to just wear you down so you are physically exhausted to the point where you cannot do anything. Or even join a gym.
Eat healthily, this can sometimes help with mood which often impacts on our thought process.
Get out be social, avoid situations in which you are able to harm yourself.
But in the longrun you have to WANT to be free and if you are doing it for anyone but yourself its not worth it. Do it for yourself, treat yourself, let your skin relax.
I find a lot of ideas to turn the urge away from oneself very helpful!
A few of them I’ve already known and others are so creative. For instance the one with the piece of wood you cut into instead of your arm.
For some of you it could work to chew on something that’s really sour (in Germany there is a gum called “Center Shock”). Or maybe if you bite in a lemon as well ^^