It’s nearly 6 in the morning and I have been up all night as a result of the urges to self-harm which I think so many of us know so well.
If I am completely honest I hate these darned urges and I know all too well just how dangerous they can be.
I am also very familiar with different coping techniques that can be employed during such times and I thank the Lord that I am as they have helped greatly once again. Many of these can be found here by the way and if you struggle with self-harm can I encourage you to check them out.
Of course the fact of the matter is that you truly have to want to fight those urges and sometimes that just isn’t easy. But if you do want to fight them having the right approach is essential.
This is something that was recognized many years ago in respect of anti-drugs campaigns. You may well be familiar with the old campaigns that were entitled (and indeed had the core message) ‘JUST SAY NO!’.
What was soon learned was that this message and indeed tha approach just didn’t work. Why? Well primarily because it didn’t do anything to fill the void. In terms of abuse and addiction people didn’t do it just for the sheer heck of it they did it because of a need and because they perceived the drink or the drugs to be fulfilling that need or at very least to be providing something else in it’s place.
Those urges to self-harm are a sign of a need and whilst responding to the need by self-harming is a very unhealthy and unhelpful response in the long-term it gives the impression in the short-term that it works. Of course it really isn’t and is just feeding that need and complicating matters more BUT the fact remains that we have to recognize the core need that is there.
So tonight I didn’t JUST SAY NO. I said no and did something constructive in its place. Actually I did some computer work which needed to be done and which I had scheduled for later today. Afterall the fact that I have been up all night as a result of those urges would mean that I would have little concentration and energy later today and would need to rest. So doing some of today’s work whilst up last night seemed very sensible.
Additionally I did a load of housework – cleaning and re-arranging etc. This is an excellent thing to do as not only does it mean that your brain is actively engaged in stuff but it also mans that your body and more importantly your hands are occupied. Of course you have to be careful around certain objects and ever mindful of the temptations that are there but it really does help. On went the positive and upbeat music ( it is important to have that kind of music rather than silence or downbeat and negative music playing) and on I got with some chores.
And there is another very real benefit from doing this. You get to see the fruits of your labour and to take encouragement from the fact that it came about as a result of a victory.
By doing housework you have not only been productive and achieved something but you have turned a potentially harmful and negative thing into something very positive and beneficial.
This is a wonderful thing to do. Of course the dog thinks I am crazy and is wondering just what it going on but hey, I am sure he will cope and I am really pleased that I have coped!