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Support
Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury (karma: 79)
By ballet_dancer_member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2340, member since Wed Oct 29, 2003
On Thu Nov 25, 2004 09:31 AM
Made sticky by MIClogger (28613) on 2004-11-26 13:01:34

Self-Injury has become an increasing problem among people, young and old, in todays society. I, myself, struggle with cutting, and I understand that it is a problem among many other members here on Dance.net.

After doing some reasearch, I have come up with a list of Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury. The list is a compilation of tips given to me by therapists, suggestions found online, as well as constructive activities to replace the act of self-harm.

- Take a rubber band or a hair elastic, and keep it around your wrist. When you feel the urge to cut or self injure, snap the rubber band or elastic against your wrist.

- Call a hotline, such as 1-800-DONT-CUT.

- Take a piece of paper, and rip it up into pieces.

- Go to the freezer, and take two ice cubes, holding one in each hand. Grasp each ice cube firmly in your fist, and do not let go. The cold will distract your mind from self harm, while the physical action of holding the ice will keep your hands busy. Repeat as many times as needed.

- Create a list of friends, family members, or trusted adults who you can contact during times of conflict. When you are feeling the urge to self harm, call someone on the list. You do not need to discuss self harm, but if you feel comfortable, go ahead.

- Count down from ten.

- Take a bath or a shower. If desired, use bubble bath or shower gel to add bubbles to your bath. A bath or shower will help you relax, especially if you use products with a lavendar fragrance, which are known to aid with relaxation.

- Do something physical. Dance, kick a soccer ball around outside, or toss a tennis ball around outside.

- If you are religious, take time to pray.

- Get Play-Doh or clay, and squeeze it in your fists. As silly as it may sound, the action itself has helped many people deal with the urge to self injure.

- Let yourself cry. Many people have the misunderstanding that it is not okay to cry, or that crying is a sign of weakness. None of these things are true. Crying, in fact, is a sign of strength, and being able to identify ones emotions. So go ahead-- let yourself cry.

- Hold a stuffed animal or doll.

- Turn on a favorite song, radio station, CD, or tape, and dance around. Release all of your emotions in your dance, or even choreograph a dance based on the emotions you may be experiencing. If the music is mellow, you may want to simply curl up in a chair or on a bed, and relax.

- Remove all harmful objects, or have someone hide them where you will be unable to find them.

- Focus on taking long, deep, breaths. For example, inhale for four counts, and exhale for four counts.

- As the saying goes,

Dance as though no one is watching.

Sing as though no one is listening.

Love like you've never been hurt.


So sing your heart out! Dance your heart out!

- Make repetative reality checks (It is November 2004, and I will be ok)

- Clean. Though it may not seem like the most desirable option, cleaning is often a meditative, relaxing activity. Think of a room in your home that may need cleaning, turn on some music, and start cleaning!

- Fill a bowl with ice cold water, and stick your hands in it. This technique is similar to the ice cube technique, mentioned above.

- Take a red magic marker or red food coloring, and use it to make "cuts" on your skin. This will give the illusion of blood, without actually drawing blood. Warning: Red food coloring may stain, so be careful as to what it comes in contact with.

- Write a letter, not to be sent. Perhaps write a letter to yourself, or a letter to whatever triggered the self injurious feelings. The letter does not have to be sent, and once you have finished, you may rip it up if you would like to.

- Pop in your favorite video, and watch it. Curl up with a bunch of blankets and pillows, and relax. A funny or comedic movie is always a plus.

- Stretch, or engage in light exercises. Exercising is known to help release endorphens in the mind, which help one to relax or calm down. But do not abuse this activity by exercising until it hurts, or to a point of harming yourself. If you feel that may happen, try to avoid exercising for that reason.

- Take a walk.

- Take a shoe box, or any box for that matter, and collect trinkets to fill it with. Make sure the trinkets are objects the bring back good memories, such as a shell from a fun trip to the beach, or a movie ticket from your first date. Decorate the box too, if you would like. If you feel the urge to self injure, return to the box and go through its contents to help you feel better.

- Replay comforting messages on your answering machine.

- Write. Don't edit, just write. Let your emotions pour out onto the paper, without worrying about grammatical errors and the like. Write poetry, a short story, a sonnet, whatever helps you cope.


If you find that the urge starts to get out of hand, call a hotline (such as 1-800-DONT-CUT) or, if you are seeing a therapist or psychiatrist, call him or her and explain to them your feelings. These feelings are serious, harmful, and damaging, not only physically, but emotionally, as well. If you do not already, I highly reccomend speaking to a therapist or psychiatrist. He or she will be able to give you professional, medical advice regarding your feelings, and will be able to help you personally.

Also, know that you are always welcome to PM me. I am always here for a shoulder to cry on, someone to vent to, or just as a helping hand. I would like to conclude with a quote from a song,

However much it hurts
However much it takes
Believe and all your dreams will all come true
However hard it gets
However much it aches
Always believe in me
As I believe in you

Dredd Song - The Cure




~ bd ~

64 Replies to Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury

re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12956, member since Wed Mar 17, 2004
On Thu Nov 25, 2004 09:34 AM
I don't cut, but I know so many people in real life and on DDN that do who will thank you so much for this post. Karma.
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By calypsomember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3453, member since Fri Aug 10, 2001
On Thu Nov 25, 2004 09:37 AM
This will be a great help to anyone with compulsive tendencies. Thanks SO much for taking the time to fill us in.

bg
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By rhythmic_nessa Comments: 1010, member since Sat Dec 06, 2003
On Thu Nov 25, 2004 11:31 PM
Great Post. It should be a sticky.
Thanx
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By hesitant_dancermember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 997, member since Thu Jul 01, 2004
On Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:29 AM
This is an awesome thread- some of them I've used before, but you've given me some new ideas. Thanks!! This should be a sticky!
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By Amyliamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4405, member since Fri Apr 11, 2003
On Fri Nov 26, 2004 08:30 AM
thank you :) I'm less than 100 days from a year without cutting, but it's still so hard. My friend Jasmine, when shes here and i get upset, she makes me give her all the sharp things in whatever room we're in, and she watches them to make sure i don't go near them.
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By ballet_dancer_member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2340, member since Wed Oct 29, 2003
On Fri Nov 26, 2004 01:48 PM
VmpireWlfareQn - I am so proud of you! Really, I am. It may sound hypocritical, however I, myself, and still struggling with cutting. You are so lucky to have a friend like Jasmine, and I am really glad to hear that she is supportive of you.


And thank you to everyone who helped into making this post a sticky, I appreciate that, and I hope I have done something to help other self-injurors out there.



~ bd ~
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By Emmamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6898, member since Mon Nov 29, 2004
On Wed Dec 01, 2004 02:36 PM
Congrats on this bein made a sticky!
I have never self-harmed. However I see why as I have often when I'm feeling down, gone for a walk, danced to a piece of music I know will make me feel better, written all my thoughts on why I feel bad down. I have also hurled objects against a wall when I know nothing will get damaged, (something heavier than a pillow - such as a teddy bear or plastic object) this releases the pent up feelings and has always made me feel so much better. but the object needs to be the right weight, too light and you won't feel better, Too heavy and you damage something. luv yas, xox ems. :C
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury (karma: 1)
By Dance_Kate Comments: 173, member since Mon Jul 12, 2004
On Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:48 AM
I'd just like to say-Thank you. Last night I was this close - to cutting but i thought WHY? Because I'd read your post I realised there were alternatives. So I cryed and wrote. I didnt really write Anything, but it helped so much. I thought I'd tell you, even if no-one else in the world changes, you have helped me and I am very grateful.

Kate
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By erinbooboo01member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 169, member since Mon Dec 13, 2004
On Mon Dec 13, 2004 08:58 PM
that was super great job and that should be a sticky
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury (karma: 4)
By ballet_dancer_member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2340, member since Wed Oct 29, 2003
On Tue Dec 14, 2004 05:02 AM
Dance_Kate, first of all, I want to give you a big hug.

*hug*

There. I am so proud of you overcoming the urge to self harm, and I am glad this post helped you. Honestly, I am so glad this post has been able to help others deal with self injury.

I have one more addition,

Take your self-injury utensils, and put them at the bottom of a box. On top, fill the box with meaninful items to you. For instance, I used old ticket stubs from movies with friends, printed out comforting emails, pictures of important people in my life, etc. This helps me to think about important, meaningful, and special moments and people in my life, before I cut, and gives me reason to stay away from the blades.




~ bd ~
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By abbymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2717, member since Fri Oct 04, 2002
On Wed Dec 15, 2004 06:41 PM
thank you so much for taking the time to type this out for all of us. it really was extremely thoughtful of you.
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By starlightmorning Comments: 228, member since Sun Aug 29, 2004
On Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:16 PM
thank you so much- i cant begin to say how important this is. thank you.
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By Agrippina Comments: 449, member since Tue Apr 08, 2003
On Fri Dec 24, 2004 06:11 PM
Thank you.
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By Shnaynaymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 9967, member since Sat Aug 03, 2002
On Sun Jan 02, 2005 08:13 AM
I just stummbled upon this board, without meaning to, and it looks fabulous! I think I'll stay a while.

Great post, by the way.

peace out
sh'naynay
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By KeeperoftheBats Comments: 93, member since Mon Apr 19, 2004
On Mon Jan 03, 2005 12:31 PM
personally- i think snapping a rubberband on your wrist can basically be just as bad.
ive had my wrist swell like crazy, welts, bleeding, etc.
how is that a healthy alternative?
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By Kayte Comments: 986, member since Mon Jul 19, 2004
On Mon Jan 03, 2005 04:32 PM
This post is great. I've cut for quite a while now, and heard a lot of what is said here many times.....but never done anything about it......i think it's time i did! I try writing now. It does actually work you just have to be patient. But the relief you feel a few hours later when you realise how you fought the urge is great, definitely a good feeling!!
Thanks again
K xx
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By dance_is_life_99member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1424, member since Sun May 19, 2002
On Wed Jan 05, 2005 12:33 AM
i wanna thank you for taking the time to make this post. as a cutter who's trying to stop it's really nice to know that theres someone out there who doesn't even know me who's trying to help. i mean friends try to help but they havent been through it. i'll try my best to do some of those things next time. i gave u karma, thanks alot alot alot.
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By pokomember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 9026, member since Sun Oct 31, 2004
On Thu Jan 06, 2005 04:24 AM
ballet_dancer_, your a life saver.

Much love to you.
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By calisthenical Comments: 76, member since Sat Nov 06, 2004
On Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:39 PM
there is a really good siet caleld secret shame

bttp://busmail.org/phpBB/index.php
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By ballet_dancer_member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2340, member since Wed Oct 29, 2003
On Sun Jan 09, 2005 01:56 PM
Thank you all for your wonderful comments, I am glad to have helped, and I am flattered.

KeeperoftheBats - In response to your comment, I can understand what you mean. Unfortunately, I cannot explain fully how this technicque is of healthy benefit to those who cut, but I can assure you that this has been suggested to me by multiple school counselors, therapists, and phsycologists alike. If welts, bleeding, and swelling have resulted because of this, I reccomend you chose an alternate method.

mad_4_disco - I am so glad you were able to find release in writing. Writing is such a wonderful form of release, and is a great way to express the emotions. I hope you continue writing, and I'm glad this has helped.

dance_is_life_99 - Honestly, that made me feel so good, just to read your post. I am so glad you could find help in this post, and I understand how you feel regarding friends who try to help. Hang in there, hon.

PokeyStar - Much love to you, too :)



Also, if you ever need to vent, or just to talk, feel free to PM me. This goes for anyone, whether you need help with cutting, or with another condition.


~ bd ~
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By alleycatmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 8306, member since Mon Apr 01, 2002
On Sun Jan 09, 2005 02:11 PM
This post is SO important, i wish i could give you a hundred karma for it. Alot of people forget that cutting CAN go wrong, and your post might actually have saved lives, and i can't thank you enough for it.

A good investment might be a boxing-beg. I'm a kickboxer myself, and there's just no relief like the one you get from punching and kicking like mad. With gloves and protection it's as safe as it gets, and get gets out frustration, stress, sadness and anger. Might be a tip for those who need a relief from the pain inside.

Another one i used when i stopped smoking, was to decide to just wait a little while. "i'll get that blade in 10 minutes, or that cigarette in 5 minutes". Knowing it's within limit is comforting, and after a while you might not need it as bad and possibly overcome it. One step at the time.

I hope everyone reads your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with others, - you must be a really conciderate person.
burning...
By LauraBora Comments: 179, member since Sat Oct 16, 2004
On Sun Jan 16, 2005 08:07 PM
Just wondering...but does burning yourself on like, a stove or a hot lamp or curling iron go under the same category as cutting? You're SOOOOO getting karma ballet_dancer_!

Much Love,

Laura
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By dancestarlet Comments: 54, member since Sun Dec 26, 2004
On Sun Jan 16, 2005 09:24 PM
A very informative and good post.

"You may be just somebody to the world, but you also may be the world to somebody"

Take care everybody, xxx
re: Safe Alternatives to Self-Injury
By Remeber_my_namemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1238, member since Thu Jul 15, 2004
On Thu Jan 20, 2005 03:34 PM
Thank you thank you thank you. iv just decided that once again i am goin to give up cutting, iv tried before, but it hasnt worked so this time im doin it differently.

my friend who iv confided in is going to take my blades that i use to cut with and hide them from me. so that will make the actual physical action of it difficult! hopefully this will help, but i know there are goin to be times when i think i cant handle it anymore and i want to cut. i may try the suggestions on here.

im determined to stop this time, so this is totally what i need. i cant thank you enough. not only is it providing me with alternatives to help me stop, but its kinda inspired me aswell, made me want to give up even more, its shown me that it can be done.

thank you SO much. karna for you.
naomi x
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