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-   -   Share your tips for staying SH free (https://www.recoveryourlife.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3541)

Margo 10-06-2007 08:34 PM

Share your tips for staying SH free
Hi all. Firstly well done to everyone who has quit and is on the path to recovery!

Its really inspiring seeing and reading all the success stories!

I thought it might be kinda nice to have a thread where people can write down their tips and secrets for staying SH free. How you overcome the urges and how you begin to start to cope without SH. Then hopefully others (like myself) can get inspired from it too and we can all learn from each-other.

Shambles 10-06-2007 09:27 PM

Nice Idea!

I find not counting days works better for me. I mean *technically* i'm not recovering, but I find when i don't put pressure on myself, or try to measure success in days, i get further!


TheSuffererComplex 10-06-2007 09:29 PM

getting out a lot has helped me not cut a few times. Just go somewhere where you know you'll be safe, and just have a fun time.

cant-stop-myself 10-06-2007 10:32 PM

It helps me to count the days then I can see how far I have come, and how much I would throw away if I gave up.

Just spending time with my horse when I have such urges helps me.

lostdoll 10-06-2007 11:52 PM

Even though I'm currently not quitting, I suggest that people find something that works and STICKS with it.

Red pen sometimes worked for me. Texting a friend when things got tough helps too. Just talking to someone or typing things out, getting things out of your system in a healthy way.

emily.ily9 11-06-2007 03:04 AM

calling someone, so my hands were physically occupied and my brain was off the subject, has been really helpful.

great idea for a thread by the way :]

TheSuffererComplex 11-06-2007 01:52 PM

music and video games usually work too... it's all about doing something to keep your hands busy

J.K 11-06-2007 02:46 PM

Definitely going out with people who you really like and whos company you enjoy helps. Doing things that you really enjoy, along with listening to music, reading a good book or watching a film. Just trying to calm down and relax as best you can, I think.

Useless Information 101 11-06-2007 06:23 PM

Staying away from a particular place where you normally cut, helps for me. If I have a bad urge I stay away from my bedroom for awhile, even if it means camping out in the bathroom with a book :-P.

Do anything that distracts you, no matter how silly. Ive spent hours browsing through wikipedia.org, looking up the randomest things.

Set a goal and stick to it, it helps keeping that in mind. For instance say to yourself "Im going to go a week without SH". Then when you make that goal reward yourself (not by cutting!) and make another.
Setting goals has probably been the main thing that has kept me SI free.
Make sure you have a good support system as well.

LittleBabyNothing 11-06-2007 07:49 PM

Do things that you know are going to upset you and stress you out but make sure you don't have anything that you could hurt yourself with. The more you encounter stressy situations without being able to cut you learn to deal with them instead and eventually hurting yourself doesnt even become an issue.

If you avoid certain situations then your never going to learn to cope and realise that it's not really that bad.

Ami 11-06-2007 08:46 PM

I find the whole "if i get through 15 minutes, then I can cut after"
and saying the same thing after them 15 minutes too, and sometimes the urges have past.

ikle me 11-06-2007 09:00 PM

I love this thread, would you all like it stickied as a quick reference?

Personally I don't count. It means it is not constantly on my mind.

Margo 12-06-2007 06:50 PM

I think that would be rather splendid! :)

192 12-06-2007 07:42 PM

i count, days hours minutes... whatever it takes to remind me i cant screw up and start over or when that doesnt work i leave the house taking nothing with me- just walk out and dont come back til its safe
i've also promised myself i could get a tattoo if i go a year, sometimes i sketch what i want the tattoo to look like to distract myself

abcdefgpie 15-06-2007 09:51 AM

come on here.
rant, post in serious discussion, or go on f&d.

or just go out and see your friends.
don't tell them why you need to be out and about, just say you'd like to meet up, anyone free.

abcdefgpie 15-06-2007 09:52 AM

also, remembering how you feel after you cut - not the relief immediately after/during, but the shame, hurt, guilt etc.
it's a bad feeling and mostly people want to avoid feeling like that.
but then again, different people cope in different ways and this one especially could trigger people even more.

Sofie 15-06-2007 06:16 PM

Internet, talking to friends & playing computer games works for me.

revenge 15-06-2007 06:33 PM

i try and talk to my friend when i feel like cutting
she really helps =)

confuzzled 15-06-2007 08:50 PM

By rewarding yourself for achievemtns you've done. For instance if you've gone a week free then reward yourself. Then say to yourself you will rewward yourself if you do another 2 weeks etc. Giving you something to focus on and also the reward being something you really want.

That's what works for me =) xx

__T 15-06-2007 09:18 PM

Any sort of physical exercise distracts me from doing something i shouldnt. I'd recommend it to anyone, not only does it distract, but it also makes you a healthier/slimmer person :)

Also, do what chloe said (Y)

rebelrunner 20-06-2007 06:58 AM

I found that talking to one of my friends or being with them was the best imediate method, granted this was with a friend who knew about it. Just going to sleep was a good way to avoid doing anything. Another one of my favorites was drawing a face on my stomach with a nonpermanent marker using my bellybutton as a mouth and then stand infront of a mirror and make it talk. As stupid as it sounds it made me laugh every time. It is also crucial to remove all of the things that you use to hurt yourself, remove temptation.

Ryoko_gemini 20-06-2007 10:59 PM

Whenever the urge came up, I forced myself to stay in a room with other people or with other people's company. This sometimes took effort because you'd want to just run out of the room and fall back ino old habits, but I found if I really pushed myself I could do it. Also realising I could force myself to stay with people when I didn't feel like it reinforced that I could do things I found difficult such as quitting in general :)

y a s m i n 22-06-2007 10:43 AM

i try to distract myself by getting out of the house and jus tryin to have fun, i need to distract my brain alot too...i always try to focus on other things..


Mimsy 26-06-2007 09:14 PM

When I gave up two of my friends said they'd fight it with me!! It sounds silly...but it feels like we're beating it together. They're fabulous, I can ring them in the middle of the night. One of them literally checks my arm. It sounds a bit... radical and horrible, but its not! She just squeezes my hand when she says hello and gives me a hug and then runs her hand up and down, its really worked. And getting into bed...texting someone who knows and cares is a real relief. Letting myself cry works too, it releases all the stress. But mostly...its being held accountable to the two friends. I would tell them when it was bad, if I did it, and although they were angry it really motivates you!

Too Shy 27-06-2007 04:31 PM

I like to write everything down when I want to self-harm - just write a letter to myself (or someone else) saying all my feelings. Or if I'm angry, even just scribble all over a piece of paper. :)

surprising mystery 28-06-2007 02:21 PM

I have been known to shove my hands in cold water and screw my face up. It kinda works if I am angry or frustrated cos it releases tension.

The other night i shoved tubigrip on my arms so I didnt have to look at them, for some reason it made me even more tempted :S ps, it worked :)

and I love pointless funny things on the net :) like this 'spank the monkey' thing, so wrong yet so right.

lonelyinheaven 30-06-2007 12:24 AM

The thing that has helped me stay free the most was getting rid of whatever it was that I was using to harm myself. I'm lazy so by making it inconvient to harm myself I've been able to overcome it. I also agree with the calling/texting a friend, that's what I used to do when I first decided to stop.

watson 06-07-2007 06:53 AM

If my urge is @ night i just go to bed, when i get up the next morning I usually forget what i was so worked up about.

when i distract myself i need to re-visit my trigger and work through it in a reasonalbe mind to lessen future urges

DBT (Dialectical behavior therapy) Has saved my life

Ami 09-07-2007 09:12 AM

going to bed is a good one.. jus curling up and crying

also... coming on here and reading threads like this!

Maybe reward yourself when you get to a certain length of time .. eg after a month buy something you really want, like a little present to yourself such as a tattoo (well that would be mine!) or some shoes, or something!

crazykat 18-07-2007 03:31 PM


adamcieslicki 19-07-2007 12:00 PM

Go out and beat myself up on my bike, or just go training. Swimming is always nice. I have the problem that I need the acid burn before I really calm down, so its one of the reasons I almost never sit down unless I have absolutly no other choice.

rosemary 26-07-2007 04:11 AM

Three things:
1. Write. Write a letter to me, to my friends, or just write a blog [but i don't post it.]
2. This only works sometimes, but i take out my tools and look at them and it really makes me think hard about it. and scares me. But this could be triggering*
3. I rub my Vitamin E oil onto my scars. It reminds me of how much i want to wear a swimsuit again and not freakout about wearing short shorts.

nowhereman 26-07-2007 07:25 PM

I try to think of reasons I don't want to, ie not to upset my family, to wear short sleeves in the gym, Or I write in my journal or text my friend.

Doesnt_matter 26-07-2007 10:37 PM

Here are the things that work for me (and perhaps can work for you, too):

- singing: sing till you feel exhausted (and happy)

- cream your arms: you focus on your arms (or the part of your body that you want to cut/ hurt) and it isnīt destructive

- silly internet games and videos (donīt search for SI- videos)

- take your favourite stuffed aninmal, sit on a blanket, speak to your stuffed animal and watch your favourite movie from your childhood or listen to your children cassettes (but it sometimes makes me even more sad, so take care)

- take a bit of ice and press it to your arm and wait till it melts

black_vortex 30-07-2007 11:58 AM

Things that help me when i have urges:

Planning something (an outing or something)
Talking with friends (either ones who know and can help, or ones that dont and can distract)
Playing dress up
Video/computer games
Doing something i know im good at

adamcieslicki 30-07-2007 05:15 PM

there there is a very funny video of a drunk squirrel on youtube. Apparently it had been eating some fermented pumpkin, and got drunk in the process...

emo123 02-08-2007 01:03 AM

well wut i do is remember
"i am alone" and i say to myself" remember how logn u hav gone wihtout tht dum razor how proud u felt well u dotn havta stop feeling it just put teh razor down and read a book"
read a book go on teh internet and wen im sad beyond beleif i vent i just start a new document and write my herat out when im dun i delete it

tearsofgold 03-08-2007 03:36 PM

I found that it wasn't until i'd found a dam good reason inside my self to quit that i even thought about it properly. For me it was the fact that i was grieving for my baby, but then one day i realised that i was in no fit state to be a mother, and i had to pull myself together and make myself in to a mother my little girl could have been proud of. I then got in touch with our local plastic surgery unit, and they wont operate until you've been clean for two years, so i had a goal for my baby and a goal for myself.

charcoalchild 05-08-2007 05:47 AM

One thing that i found recently that worked for me is putting on a support bandage or an actual bandage (i did this b/cos i actually did strain my wrist) and b/cos it has tension it takes the edge off the need to cut. And it also created the impression that i had harmed and dressed it.

Slicing into a banana feels like c*tting skin *but may trigger*

15 minute game.. I'll do it in 15 minutes, then another.. till the urge is gone.

Do vigorous exercise such as kick boxing or gym

TheSuffererComplex 05-08-2007 06:26 AM

If you like screaming type music, scream along to your fav song, maybe into a pillow so no one rushes to see if something is wrong. [ like one of my favs to do this with is Tears Don't Fall by Bullet For My Valentine._

Also if you can't bare to throw your tools away, just get away from them. The further away you are, the more effort needed to reach them, or getting away from tools might put you in a postion where you feel you can't

pez_barbie 12-08-2007 01:21 AM

i have a friend who promised to and i quote "bitchslap your arse around the room" i dont think for a second he would but thats not the point. i geniune feel like i would let him down. plus lately im really working towards my 1 year completely free celebration. i made it 1 year free but with slip ups. this time i want one year copletely free and then im getting a tatoo. not only am i getting it but hopefully a good friend of mine will be doing it for me. so i really want this done and so im fighting to get to that. then once i have it i'll have a real reminder that i can do it once and can keep going.

Doesnt_matter 14-08-2007 09:09 PM

There is another thing that helps me to avoid SI but it is a way that could not be a solution for many people but perhaps there is at least one person who could try my new way for staying "sober".

During the last weeks, I have to go to my GP quite regularly because of typistīs cramp in both arms (well, that sucks) and because of acupuncture because of this problem and my depression. It helps me to know that I will have to go to my GP in some days again, so she would see if I cut myself again and I am afraid of the consequences AND I donīt want to disappoint them.

Perhaps there are some people who can find reason for visiting your GP regularly or perhaps you could make a deal with your therapist that she/ he will check your arms every time you see her/ him.

And still singing, creaming your arms, cuddle a stuffed animal, watching funny online videos, listening and watching to things from your childhood, doing online games,...

Take care,

Doesnt_matter 19-08-2007 11:49 PM

Iīm going to make red ice cubes with food colouring and I hope that will help me.
Ice cubes are O.K. but I guess that I miss the redness, so I hope that this will be better for me.

I would be thankful for more and easy tips especially tips that can help when there are others around you.
Sometimes others trigger me or a conversation is so difficult for me (with my parents, friends,...) that there is an urge rising in me.
I cannot sing, listen to music that helps me, fetch some ice cubes when I am at anotherīs house and there are people around me.
What can help me then?

sherlock holmes 25-08-2007 05:14 PM

Put your SI-ing tools into a box and tape it up really really well. That way, if you are tempted to open the box, it'll take you ages and hopefully the urge will pass before you get into the box.

Or have a good cry. Scream into a pillow. Write down how you're feeling then screw it up.

Phone someone to say you're struggling. Have a random conversation.

I like watching something that makes me laugh (black books!).

Dye your hair. Read a trashy magazine, or book. Listen to happy music. Take the dog for a walk.

Yume.No.Chikara 27-08-2007 11:36 AM

Reciet your times tables / a poem continuously so you can't think about anything but sh or whatever is making your head explode! It really does work and times tables are allways useful!!

Ami 28-08-2007 07:26 PM

Put your SI-ing tools into a box and tape it up really really well. That way, if you are tempted to open the box, it'll take you ages and hopefully the urge will pass before you get into the box.

I am so gonna do that! Thanks :)
When i get paid next week, i might buy some funny DVDs too

Doesnt_matter 28-08-2007 07:40 PM

Yesterday, I made red ice cubes with food colouring.
They really look like blood ice cubes :eek: .
But I can warn you: my whole kitchen and all my fingers were quite red after I made the ice cubes.
I guess that the ice cubes will leave red marks on your skin, so you will be able to see what youīve done with them (like wounds and scars).

Doesnt_matter 11-09-2007 01:22 AM

What I can recommend is getting some glazed tiles and a hammer and then, let your aggression out on them.
But please be careful with the hammer, the edges of the tilings and it is better to cover your eyes with plastic glasses because the tilings can "jump" really high when you hammer on them.

I read something on a homepage and I like the idea. If you feel like SI yourself, look at your scars and wounds and let them "speak" and write it down.
What do your scars want to say? To whom? How would you like the people to react?

Zephyr 12-09-2007 04:07 PM

It's been two months since I SI'd and here's what helped me get this far...

Getting rid of my tools first and foremost.

Distractions, Distractions, Distractions!

Getting out of the house and not staying cooped up by myself. I'd force myself to get out and do something, anything - I'd go to the park and read or just walk around town and not return home until I knew I was in a better place mentally and not as likely to SI.

Support - For years I didn't talk to anyone about the SI, but after I was admitted to the hospital everyone found out, and if I was in a bad place I'd call someone and they'd stay on the phone with me or come over. If you can find a support system, then do so!

Old Greg 12-09-2007 04:34 PM

Generally taking my mind off wanting to do it by watching a movie or playing a game helps.
But sometimes they don't work and if I desperately want to sh but know I shouldn't then I just sit there crying for ages.
May sound weird but it works.

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