Less than Numb: Overcoming Self-Destructive Urges


Photo courtesy of Google

Trigger Warning: This post is about self-harm. A blogger friend of mine recently had a relapse with self-injury and is now in the hospital.

Thinking about taking a wrong step. Thinking about feeling a little less than numb. Thinking about what it would feel like to cut myself again. I haven’t cut in years. Also thinking about having a glass of wine after 16 years not drinking. Sure, I could pull one drink off? Having all kinds of destructive urges like cutting and drinking/toking.

What I do when these thoughts occur…

I try to feel them like a wave breathing deeply, just feeling them pass.

If this doesn’t work, I put some loud music on my iPhone, music that represents the urge or music that represents the time or place I am trying to get back to. I allow myself 5 minutes to think about performing the urge and what it was like back then. Ususally, this does not trigger more longing. Usually, I begin to remember the consequences of the urge and I move on to something else unrelated.

If the music, however, triggers the urge more, try this…

Mentally place yourself in the present with the urge. Imagine yourself doing the urge on your body. Once you have acheived satesfaction, stop. Reflect on how it felt in a journal. This is called visual and verbal masturbation of the mind.

If all this doesn’t work, Get a Tattoo. Just make sure it has some word or phrase that will positively remind you of your worth and creates positive mental health.

Disclaimer: I do not advocate for tattoos but if you are the type to like ink, it might be an option. And, no I’m not the tattoo type.

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