An Almost Relapse

Tonight I made the *decision* to self harm. I thought I had decided without doubt that I was going to do it because the urges were so high and fighting them so effortful.

Then something noteworthy happened.

As soon as I let myself stop fighting the urges and allowed myself the potential of giving in to them, they lost their full power. It was like not being “allowed” to do it was making me want to do it more. Then when I gave myself the option of doing it, the intensity of the urges faded and something within me was liberated.

I had been dead set on it after the point I was triggered. I didn’t care that it would be a total relapse or how it would affect myself and potentially those around me because I was hurting so much. I had given in 99% of the way; and didn’t think I would be able to resist this time.

However, I did.

When I let go of the white-knuckling and desperate attempts to not give in to the urges, and let go of the fight I was in, the tension and impulse dissipated slightly. Yes it was only slight but it was enough to put some space between the urge and the action.

I don’t know exactly what that means as I haven’t had such high urges in a while but it kept me from giving in to them. It was like the skill of Mindfuless of Current Thoughts but with a twist. When I really noticed the urges as thoughts instead of as the visceral impulse they initially felt like, something in me shifted – and my *decision* to self harm was eventually reversed.

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8 thoughts on “An Almost Relapse

  1. I’ve been reading about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and a main aspect of it is to accept negative thoughts instead of struggling against them. It teaches a bunch of exercises for separating the thought from the feeling associated with it (thought defusion) and one that might be particularly helpful in this instance is from the category on disturbing images. At least, when I want to self-harm I am visualizing myself doing it.

    You take the image and superimpose it on other situations, such as a movie poster or a stamp on a letter or a banner trailing behind an airplane. Seeing it out of context that way really helps take away the power of the image.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, they are both mindfulness-based therapies. My therapist read an article about it and thought it might be helpful for me, so we’ve been trying some elements of it even though she’s not officially trained in this method.

        Oh, and I meant to say “Congratulations on not self-harming!” Not sure how long you’ve gone without doing it, but I know every time I slip up feels like a huge setback even if I haven’t accumulated much time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s been since May 1st so quite a while. Thank you so much. I am so relieved. Gosh my therapist would have killed me.
        It’s great you’re integrating that into your therapy also. I’m gonna look into it then educate mine haha

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  2. Hi! I have a quick thought; I think a lot of us give our fears and harmful behaviors a ton of power they shouldn’t have over us. Maybe when we start to realize what you did (and i’m so happy you did :)) the urges will be less difficult to fight! Don’t give them your power… YOU are the strong one. Not them. Anyway that’s all, I hope you have a good rest of the day!

    Liked by 1 person

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