Made rebloggable by request :)
Start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. On New Years Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year.
Recovery Distraction Tool: FreeRice.com
This is a website where you can play games about geography, language, chemistry, SAT prep, Anatomy, and more.
For every answer you get right, they donate to the World Hunger Programme.
It’s a great cause and can provide a healthy distraction when you’re trying to avoid using behaviors.
"i have bulimia, depression, & GAD. i "recovered" 4 yrs ago w/o support (drs didnt care bc i was 14) but i've always struggled & had a full-on relapse in dec 2011 and lately just dont see the point in anything. all i can think abt is my hopeless future. in 3 wks i turn 18 and can start new meds bt that feels like yrs away and idk if theyll even help anyway. i've been trying to list reasons to stay but it's getting so hard and holding on is so tiring :( im sorry to bother you but idk what to do :(" With love, Anonymous.
It sounds like you’re in a lot of pain right now and feeling concerned that this feeling might not go away. There are so many reasons to hold on, but it can be hard to find them when you’re struggling. I want you to know that there are so many options for treatment out there that may not have been available when you were first “treated.” It sounds like you’re very interested in perusing these options as soon as possible. Perhaps you could start taking steps right now to arrange treatment when you turn 18. You could research psychiatrists in your area and set up appointments, look into free support groups, and investigate various therapeutic options like DBT, CBT, biofeedback, and alternative therapies like music, dance, movement, massage acupuncture, etc. This might help you feel like the 3 weeks won’t be just spent waiting; you will be moving forward towards your goals.
If you ever feel unsafe, please don’t hesitate to call or message one of the crisis hotlines. They can be really great to talk to, even if you just need a place to talk.
I’ve personally spoken to people who work for the Samaritans hotline.
You might also want to check out reasonstobealive
Much love and feel free to send another message if you need anything. <3
Monday September 10th
Mental Filter: Am I only noticing the bad stuff? Am I filtering out the positives?
Mind Reading: Am I assuming I know what others are thinking? What’s the evidence? Are those are my own thoughts, not theirs?
Prediction: Am I thinking that I can predict the future? How likely is it that that might really happen? Am I predicting the worst-case scenario?
Compare and Despair: Am I comparing myself to other people? Am I comparing my “bloopers” to their “highlight reel”?
Critical Self : Would most people who really know me say that about me? Is this something that I am totally responsible for? Would I say these things to a friend in the same situation?
Shoulds and Musnts: Am I putting more pressure on myself, setting up expectations of myself that are almost impossible? What would be more realistic?
Judgments: I’m making an evaluation about the situation or person. It’s how I make sense of the world, but that doesn’t mean my judgments are always right or helpful. Is there another perspective?
Emotional Reasoning: Just because it feels bad, doesn’t necessary mean it is bad. My feelings are just a reaction to my thoughts – and thoughts are just automatic brain reflexes.
Mountains and Molehills: Am I exaggerating the good aspects of others, and putting myself down? Am I exaggerating the negative and minimizing the positives? What’s the bigger picture?
Catastrophizing: OK, thinking that the worst possible thing will definitely happen isn’t really helpful right now. What’s most likely to happen?
Black and White Thinking: Things aren’t either totally white or totally black – there are shades of grey. Where is this on the spectrum?
Memories: This is just a reminder of the past. That was then, and this is now. Even though this memory makes me feel upset, it’s not actually happening again right now.
(adapted from www.dbtselfhelp.com/FindingAlternativeThoughts.pdf)
How to make sensory salt:
- pour some fine salt into a zip-loc bag
- add a few drops of liquid food colouring (or gel colouring mixed with a few drops of water)
- shake it up and mix with fingers through the bag until all colour is combined
- add glitter and a few drops of essential oil and shake again
- Store in an airtight container indefinitely
You are OK, exactly as you are, in this moment, with a food hangover, bloated stomach, feelings of insecurity, fear, loneliness, doubt, sadness, and disappointment. In fact, you are more than OK. This place you are in is exactly where you are right now, which is exactly where you need to be in your journey. You can’t force yourself to be anywhere else because you have to go through all the twists and turns along the way in order to find the true path. No one can do that work for you and there are no shortcuts. But, each time you stumble through the thick fog, you find yourself further in the direction you want to head – the direction toward healing and self-love.
You are on the most important path of your life – the path to discover what self-love and forgiveness are all about. Today you are at a crossroads. This binge is an opportunity to commit yourself to no longer purge, to no longer punish yourself, but instead to practice forgiveness and unconditional love. Instead of ignoring the wound and just putting a band-aid over it and going on like it never happened, you have the chance to look directly into the cuts, scrapes and bruises.
It isn’t easy to look so directly at this raw pain, but as soon as you do, you’ll realize that it’s not ugly. In fact, you can see your wounds going through stages. Different colors of bruises and scabs in different phases of healing are all your body’s efforts to heal itself. And, since you are allowing the process to unfold instead of trying to force it to heal more quickly or ignoring it all together, you are learning what to avoid in the future so you don’t fall and hurt yourself as much.
Remember, just because you have some insight doesn’t mean you won’t fall again. You will inevitably fall again. This is a part of life. So the first thing is to let go of your expectations that you should be perfect – that you should never make any mistakes – never binge again. Everyone makes mistakes. There’s no difference between you and everyone around you. Everyone you see on the street is struggling with their own fears, addictions, and sadness.
You don’t have to HIDE yourself today and PUNISH yourself for trying to take care of your emotions in the only way you knew how to in the moment. The binge was you trying to be compassionate to yourself. You wanted to numb the scary emotions because they overwhelmed you. You were so afraid to feel imperfect and so overcome with doubt about yourself that you tried to wrap yourself in a blanket of food. And because you did this, you can now learn from it. If you hadn’t binged, you wouldn’t have known what was really going on inside of you. So, you can be grateful for this binge – it’s a great teacher.
You now see that you’re putting too much pressure on yourself – that you’re still imposing rules about how you “should” be – making expectations so high that you’ll never reach them and inevitably feel bad about yourself because of it. But today, you see this. Clearly. Now you can compassionately lower the standards and say to yourself, “__, you are exactly where you are right now and you don’t have to change anything to be OK.”
Yes, you are ENOUGH.
So, the only thing you need to focus on today is repeating that phrase over and over. “I am enough.” When a voice comes into your head and tries to get you to feel bad and disgusted about binging, just remember that without the binge, you wouldn’t have learned this valuable lesson of needing to lower your expectations of yourself.
So go slowly today – take some time just for yourself – spend this time breathing and allowing yourself to reconnect with the world around you. Remember, no matter how scary the feelings are, no feeling or thought is permanent. They all come and go, like ocean waves. Just let yourself observe them.
And be honest with people. Tell them about your struggle. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s profoundly healing to open yourself up and talk about your recovery. Don’t be afraid to do this.
A big hug to a beautiful person,
This is a method I use most often, in Dialectic Behavioral Therapy or DBT it’s called Self-Soothing and so far I’ve found it is the only alternative that works for me when I am out. I think one of the hardest things is being in public and feeling the urge to cut. I would usually find a bathroom or somewhere secluded and try and deal with it myself, but most of the time I wouldn’t leave the house because of it. So instead I learnt that if you carry with you something scented, like a little lavender bag or perfume, and use it when you recognize an urge, you’ll eventually associate that smell with the need to self harm and it triggers the sensation of release. But I always think it looks a bit odd if you’re sitting on the tube with a friend and suddenly pull out a bag of lavender to start smelling. So, instead, I use hand-cream which is the same method, albeit a bit better; I smooth it over some of my scars at the same time which connects the area you would cut with the smell and feel of something lovely, almost like a paradox.