Coping Mechanisms for SI

For those of you who SI (self-injure) like I used to here are a few tips I learned over the years that helped me cope with the overwhelming urges.

Ice. Whenever I felt like I wanted to SI I would press ice to my wrist until I couldn’t stand it anymore. Most of the time, this would help at least a little.

Rubber band. Keep a rubber band, or several around your wrist(s) at ALL times. You never know when an urge may hit, if you are prepared at all times, you will be less likely to give into them. Snap yourself with the rubber band to imitate the feeling of SI.

Red marker or pen. Draw on yourself with a red marker or pen, this approach helps some people to stay away from SI.

Butterflies. Ask someone you love to draw a butterfly on your skin. It helps even more if the person knows of this method. If they draw the butterfly and tell you it symbolizes their love for you and their wishes for you to be free of SI it will help you to think twice before harming yourself, therefore the butterfly.

Journal. Write about the feelings, and if it helps, tear up the paper afterwards and throw it away, symbolizing throwing the bad feelings away.

Pray. Talk to your higher power about your feelings and ask for strength, resources, etc.

Talk to a loved one who understands SI. Make sure that the person you go to truly understands SI and won’t misunderstand you or tell you to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”. It can be harmful to go to someone for help and instead only feel worse after talking with them. It is often also a good idea to enlist the help of a trained therapist who you work well with (“Therapist shopping” can take a little time, but it is well worth it to find one who you work well with instead of just settling for one because they are nearby).

Call for help. There are many national help lines for people who are afraid they may harm themselves or worse. Please call them if you need help! Here are some numbers I found from www.google.com 1-800-366-8288 (help for people who SI), 1-800-273-8255 (Suicide hotline).

Websites that can offer help and support. Some of my favorite websites are www.fortrefuge.com , http://selfmutilatorsanonymous.webs.com/ (which offers online meetings set up like a 12 step program. I have attended a few and they are helpful for short term relief). Also there is the widely known “To write love on her arms” their web address is http://www.twloha.com/index.php .

Also…Do NOT listen to sad music! Music is amazing, but don’t ever allow yourself to listen to sad music when you are already hurting, especially if you struggle with SI or have in the past. I don’t care what band or genre it is, stay away from it while you are vulnerable! Instead try to listen to something upbeat that will help you shake off the negativity.

I really hope that this has helped someone out there, When I was in the deepest of my depression and SI’ing had me bad I felt alone but I slowly started to realize that there are people who love you deeply and care about you being here even if they don’t know you personally. There is always hope and suicide is never a true option. That really is the tragedy of suicide, that the person wanting to commit it believes that they are doing their loved ones (and sometimes themselves) a favor. The depression, anxiety and anger has them trapped in a delusion that suicide is the most selfless thing they could do when in fact it is a lie. Suicide never solves anything. Please take it from someone who tasted death and was brought back. Living is the most wonderful feeling, but sometimes, especially for people who have had a rough life it can seem horrible. If you truly want to be happy and have faith that you will be delivered from your pain and misery you can and will take your life back. You have a say, it’s your life after all! Take the reins and start taking your life back! One last thing I just remembered. I remembering hearing this a few years ago. A great deal of people who attempt suicide admit that on the brink of their suicide attempt working they suddenly realized that they desperately didn’t want to die, they just wanted the pain to stop. From experience, I can tell you this is true for me. I desperately want to live every day for the rest of my LONG life. And I pray you do too. I love you all!

Please, again, feel free to comment with your coping mechanisms that have helped you here or on the Facebook page!

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