Saturday, December 13, 2008

In Sight, In Mind

I always had a plan. A plan that if wrote in one of my journals the list of things I could do if I felt the need to b/p. Problem was, when that feeling came, my mind had no room to even remember that list. Once out of the hospital, I realized this. I needed something more reliable. So, as a in my face type of approach, I posted a sign on the fridge:

-Get comfortable, read 30 mins
-Boil water, brew tea
-Cuddle with London (cat)
-Write/type out dialog going on in head
-Take hot bath with candles
-Call family member or friend
-New idea?*

*If I could think of something to do that was a positive stress reliever, that had specific directions, a process.

The other difference between this and my journal list, is it's more direct, giving me specific instructions. My journal list would go more like "read, drink tea, take bath." It wasn't very intriguing. With my sign its bold, outlined and red, and means business. It does make me stop and think about if I were to make that poor choice, how I would feel after, and then one of those things on my list starts to appeal to me. Also, it's on the fridge for all to see, so I'm more accountable of my actions. More reason not to hurt myself.

Nowadays, I don't really have to go to it. I'm naturally doing those things during the day-without a specific trigger, I'm doing them because I feel like it. It took a lot of work to get to this point. At the beginning it was b/p, or lay in bed and not get up. 

Do you have any tools you use that you find helpful?


  1. how long have you been in recovery? i ask, because i could see you speaking about where you are and your process to others who are still in the heart of the struggle.
    when i'm dissing the fridge, i blog. usually, i respond to everything i can find and write one of my own. my fingers tap furiously, and i find that noise very gratifying. i also look up stuff on the internet that i'm wondering about. this all can take hours, and i'm so engrossed. for some reason, i never eat when i blog. i just realized that.

  2. I've been in recovery since mid July this year. I followed recovery steps so closely, afraid that if I slipped it would be all over, that I wasn't meant to recover and I'd always fail. Afraid of that spiral of repetitive behaviors that I can't control. But I did slip, once, with laxatives a couple weeks back. I moved on though. It wasn't as scary or earth shattering I thought it would be. To move on from that slip and be okay, that was my epiphany. I learned that I am really in control, not my ed. I needed to let go, forgive, and not hold guilt. Holding guilt would only give me more reasons to continue the ed. (Therapy was a MAJOR part for me)

    Sorry I wrote so much!=P

  3. What about:

    "Get Mail" and "read mail"
    ROFLAPMP = ROFL+and peing my pants!

    Remember that! Now I guess we can see why she was always trying to stay in line so to speak. Probably part of the recovery process for her.

    Love ya sis!

  4. Like MelissaS said, I also use blogging when I'm upset. I'm also big on reading, baths, and kitties (seriously, are we all cut from the same cloth?). Sometimes, I catch up on emails, anything that takes my thoughts somewhere else. There are days when nothing seems to really "work," but the next day is usually better anyway (or that's what I'm starting to trust). It's good that you can self-soothe without too much effort these days. That's HUGE. <3

  5. I'm allergic to cats and don't have a bathtub, so I usually just cave in. Kidding.
    In all seriousness, I've been using a scarf my sister made me as a reminder to be strong. She spent months knitting it by hand, and it's covered in hearts. Even when it's not cold, I sleep with it next to my pillow, or keep it on my desk chair so I have visible, tactile evidence of the people that love me.
    I used to write notes on my wrist, usually pretty cryptic or even just a little picture that wouldn't look significant to other people but would remind me not to b/p. I've also used a ring in the same way.
    Now that I thin about it though, even though therapists have recommended having a list of alternative-activities, I don't remember actually doing this formally. I think I should. I think I will. ;-)

  6. Kim-I think we're all more alike than we can fathom haha.I find also if I feel the negative feelings coming on, I will do my best to not give them any attention what so ever(even disagreeing against the urge, that can actually trigger/stress me out more)

    Ramona-That is an awesome way to stay in touch with reasons to not b/p. I don't think I'd ever think of that on my own. Having a constant physical reminder on top of a alternative list is very empowering to stay recovered.

  7. In the words of my lovely pDoc:

    I made a choice.
    It was wrong.
    Now choose again.

    It's brought me a LONG way in the past couple of weeks with regard to getting back up on my feet and not choosing my ed yet one more time.