Positive things, Self Injury, Therapy

Things to do instead of SI

Back in 2001 I spent roughly 8 months in a couple different psychiatric facilities. In fact, I flew back home the first day flights were allowed after the September 11th attacks. That didn’t get my anxiety up… not at all. But I digress.

While in the hospital, I came up with an extensive list of things I could do when the SI urges became too much to deal with. Not all of them work. And not all of them are applicable to my life any more. But I’ll throw them all out there for the readers. Maybe the list will give you some ideas of your own.

  • Count from 1000 to 1
  • 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 (it’s a method to ground yourself… pick an object in the room and give 5 words to describe it repeat with another object and 4 words… if things were really bad I started with 10 and worked down to 1)
  • Listen to music
  • Play my flute
  • Sing
  • Color
  • Crafts
  • Paint
  • Draw
  • Creative writing
  • Write a letter
  • Journal
  • Read a book
  • Learn 1 new thing
  • Do a word search
  • Play solitaire
  • Read the Bible
  • Pray
  • Say the Rosary
  • Deep breathing
  • 5 minute time-out (I don’t remember what I meant by this)
  • Positive self talk
  • Watch TV or a movie
  • Aimless web browsing
  • Work on my website (I swear I’m going to resurrect it just as soon as I can afford hosting)
  • Computer maintenance (scan disk, virus/adware scan, defrag)
  • Talk to a friend
  • Call a crisis line
  • Hug a stuffed animal
  • Pet an cat/dog/bunny/mouse…
  • Take a power nap
  • Change surroundings
  • Go for a drive
  • Window shop
  • People watch
  • Take a walk
  • Stretch
  • Go for a swim
  • Sit outside in nature
  • Take pictures
  • Cook
  • Clean
  • Organize the house
  • Rearrange a room
  • Take meds
  • Remember how far I’ve come from where I was
Child Abuse, Emotions, Self Injury, Therapy

Thinking about SI

My frustration level is rising higher and higher and higher. I’m doing all I can to hold myself together. But right now, SI seems like a really great idea.

It’s been over six years since I last cut. And although I’d like to keep it that way, I’m quickly approaching the limits. I made a promise to myself and I really want to keep it. But I just don’t know how much longer I can deal with things before I’ll explode.

So, I had a conversation with a friend a few weeks back about the whole SI thing. I realize it’s a hard thing to understand if it’s something you don’t do. Hell, I used to do it and deal with the urges and I don’t know that I understand. He (in his own way) challenged me to think about the reasons why I want to hurt myself. So after sitting on this for a while, I’ve decided to post it.

1. Part of it was because I felt it. I was so numb at times. I had a tendency to dissociate and lose track of where I was and when it was and to some extent who I was. The pain brought me back to reality.

2. Part of it was because I was punishing myself. I thought that (and to a large extent still do think that) what was done to me was my fault. I blame myself. I see the opportunities I had to tell someone about it and I failed to do so. I could have at least tried to stop it. There’s no guarantee that it would have worked. But I didn’t do anything. And I felt like I needed to be punished for that.

3. Part of it was the intense hatred I felt for myself. I felt like I deserved to be hurt. And instead of letting someone else hurt me, I did it. At least I could control it.

4. Part of it was an attempt to take the pain inside of me and bring it outside. If I could see the blood, at least that was real. It was physical. It was tangible. The pain I felt inside often times was nondescript. I couldn’t describe it with words or pictures or sounds. But I could do that with the cuts.

5. Part of it was it gave me something to focus on. I would get so caught up in the memories that the act of cutting brought me back outside of my head. I guess this is related to number 1.

6. Part of it was control. I didn’t feel like I could control the memories and emotions. But I could control the cutting. I got to choose when I did it. I got to choose when I stopped. I guess this is related to number 3.

So, you see, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. But then again, whoever said that taking a razor blade and slicing into flesh was a rational thing to do. And I’m not sure that I feel all that much better for posting this.

Child Abuse, Emotions, Family, Therapy

Trying to find closure

I talked with my therapist last week about moving to Korea. There’s a lot of feelings that go with it.

Part of me is scared that the reason I’m really going is because I’m running away from my life here. I don’t think that’s the reason. I’d really be more worried if I didn’t think that.

So she gave me something to think about over the next few weeks. She wants me to think about ways I could find some closure, or at least start to find it.

I have some ideas I’m kicking around. A letter is one of them. I’ve done it before, but not in the sense of closure. I’ve been sort of playing around with my pastels again. But nothing is coming to me. Poetry was my final idea. I’m suffering from a severe case of writers block.

I don’t know if the reason I’m having trouble is that maybe I’m really just not ready to do this. Or if I’m just not knowing how to do them. Or what?

I haven’t given up on it. I’m just going to take a brief break.

Child Abuse, Depression, Emotions, Inner Child

How does your inner child feel?

OK… So I swear I won’t do the BlogThings entries really often. I saw this one posted at After Silence. The only reason I post this one is it’s actually relevant to things I’ve been thinking about lately.

Your Inner Child Is Sad

You’re a very sensitive soul.
You haven’t grown that thick skin that most adults have.
Easily hurt, you tend to retreat to your comfort zone.
You don’t let many people in – unless you’ve trusted them for a long time.


How Is Your Inner Child?

I’ve been trying to get in touch with the little girl inside of me. One of these days I’ll post a short story (I mean like 10 sentences) that I wrote as part of an inner child therapy exercise.

Art Work, Interesting stuff, Positive things, Therapy

Me, Myself and I

I was checking the CrazyBoards forums the other day. I’ll just warn you now, it’s not your typical warm fuzzy type of mental health forum. But I digress. I came across a person working on an assignment from her therapist. I thought it was an interesting idea, so I decided to do it as well. Okay, I decided to steal it.

::looks around innocently::

The basic idea of the assignment was to make a pie chart depicting the different parts of yourself. I modified the basic assignment somewhat because I was feeling so down and negative yesterday. What I decided to do was to make a pie chart showing my positive qualities.

It was not an easy task for me at all. It took me the better part of two hours to come up with the list. I used OpenOffice (I’m trying to migrate away from MS Office) to create the pie chart. But to do so, I had to assign numbers to go along with the different parts of myself. To make things easy, I used percents. The whole me is 100 and each part got its own weight. So after I spent the two hours coming up with my list. I spent another hour fine tuning the weights. Nah… it wasn’t a bit of OCD coming out in me. Not at all.

::looks around innocently again::

So I came up with the following…



It was easy to start writing the bad things about myself and the parts of myself that I hate. It was a whole lot harder to focus on the good qualities I have. But it’s something that I think I’ve probably needed to do for a long time. And I’m not one to back down from a challenge.

All in all, this assignment really appealed to me. It speaks to my love of all things technological, numerical and statistical. So, I’ve also come up with a variant of on the theme of this assignment to do in the future.

I have a hard time sorting out what I’m feeling. Part of it stems from having a tough time just naming my feelings and emotions. But when I actually do come up with names, it’s hard to identify which are the most intense. It feels like a big old jumbled up mess. Maybe by being analytical and trying to give them a weight, it will help me sort things out. If nothing more, it will give me something external to focus on when it feels completely overwhelming.

I encourage my fellow bloggers and readers to try this out and post their results. It will probably give you some insight into yourself. But it will also give your readers insight into you. Feel free to modify the assignment as you need.

Anxiety, Depression, Emotions, Family, Fears, Self Injury, Sleep, Suicide

Thoughts of bridges

I’m not sure what happened in the last few hours. All of a sudden, really out of the blue, the suicidal thoughts started up again. They haven’t been completely silent these last few weeks, but extremely quiet. Tonight, they are loud and intense. And if the suicidal thoughts aren’t enough, I can’t seem to get cutting off my mind. I don’t think I’ll do it, but damn, I can’t stop thinking about it.

It was like something went snap a few hours ago. I can’t pin point it. A ton of pent up frustration? I don’t know. Does the why really matter? I just know I feel like absolute shit.

I certainly didn’t sleep well last night. The little time I did sleep was hardly restful. I know I had a terrible nightmare because I woke up drenched in sweat. But I’ll be damned if I can actually remember what the dream was about.

I’m starting to question whether I’ll ever actually find a job. I know I shouldn’t take the school rescinding the contract personally. But right now I feel like a complete failure.

I was told by my grandmother last night that she doesn’t want to be left alone at all anymore. So when I called my mother to ask her to come over for a few hours so I could do the grocery shopping I was told “She’ll just have to get over it!”. My grandmother is nearly 90 years old and has dementia. So the grocery shopping didn’t get done. I shouldn’t have to beg my mother to come sit with her mother.

A guy posted cryptic messages about a friend and I across a bunch of forums last night. Can we just say “paranoia overdrive”? I email the person the guy who posted was talking about and didn’t get a response (only because he didn’t want to answer anything that might have been work related). And that only got me more paranoid. Turns out I didn’t do anything. But somehow I still feel like I’ve done something wrong.

My computer is acting goofy again. Freezing for seconds at a time for no apparent reason and taking forever and a day to open programs. I’m going to buy a new computer just as soon as I have a signed contract in hand.

So here I sit trying to work out the jumble of feelings in my head. I sit here looking at the bottles of pills that I know I should flush, but can’t make myself get rid of them. I sit here wishing for physical pain instead of the mental pain. I sit here feeling stupid for posting this. And I sit here wishing the friend I’m talking to via IM would go to bed because appearing like I give a crap is exhausting.

Anxiety, Depression, Emotions


I posted briefly in a comment that I am going to be moving to South Korea. I spent a year there between July of 2005 and July of 2006 as an English Teacher. I really enjoyed the culture, the food, the people and my job. The more I’m home, the more I wish I had never left.

So Monday night, a school offered me a contract. I was very excited because it was in Busan, not too far from where I taught last year and the money was very good. The academic supervisor was eager to hire me.

I got an email from my recruiter this morning that basically said, the school’s director overturned the academic supervisor and they are withdrawing the offer.

My language would have made a sailor blush.

The part that peeves me is that (in most cases) the director is a business person and the academic supervisor is an educator. So who is probably a better judge of who would be a good teacher? Most likely not the director.

Oh well. There are a zillion schools there looking for teachers. I’m sure I’ll find another position.

I’m just bummed out because I was so excited to be going back. And I feel rejected. Like what the heck is wrong with me?

But I’m going to put it out of my mind the rest of the weekend. There’s nothing I can do until the recruiter gets in touch with me on Monday.

Interesting stuff, Positive things

Name that egg

As I posted a few days ago, I have a mourning dove that’s made her nest on the air conditioning unit in my window.

Two eggs

One of my dear readers, in the comments, started suggesting names for my bird grandchildren.

So, once I again, I’m turning to you to help me name the little ones. However, since I don’t want to be responsible for traumatizing the little ones (as Austin so cleverly pointed out), please give only gender neutral names. I don’t want to be peaking under their feathers to find out if they’re boys or girls and I don’t want them to grow up as boys with a girl’s name and vice versa.

Interesting stuff

What’s on your mind?

So it all started as a thread on the “Off Topic” Forum on WordPress.com. Chicablog began a thread entitled, “What are you thinking about today?” and then included it as a post in her blog.

So I thought it would be fun to start a running commentary here on this blog of what we’re thinking about. Feel free to join in on the forum thread too.


So what am I thinking about right now? At 2:00 AM, way too much.

  • I just accepted a job in Korea. So I’m thinking about visa applications and packing and finding teaching resources.
  • I’m thinking “Bug Manager” is a funny title for my new moderator type position.
  • I’m thinking that I have no idea how difficult (or time consuming) it’s going to be to move all those bug reports from one database to another.
  • I’m thinking about whether I want a PC or a MacBook to replace my dying P4 laptop.
  • I’m thinking that for some reason my futon/bed is especially triggering tonight.
  • I’m thinking I really need to clean the bathroom and the other bedroom.


Life would be easier if I could just turn my brain off sometimes.

Now I’m off to start moving bugs around and look at computers.