A few days I go I decided to start eating again after starving myself…. I have been starving myself for a while or eating a little bit and purging… Now I’m eating, but very little, and I’m not purging… I have a problem with self-injury as well and in a way my eating problems are related to that…. When I’m not eating I SI less. I’ve been through this “pattern” before and when I start eating again I have more stronger urges to physically harm my body… At the moment I am at home and that helps as I don’t want my kids to walk in on me… so right now I’m trying to keep myself busy… You might see quite a few post on here that are not really about anything but one of the “strategies” I’ve used in the past is to write the urges away… sometimes it works and sometimes they don’t…

This is a list of alternatives originally posted at a forum I’m a member of… and I’m posting it here sort of like a note to myself… or a reminder. I know I do have choices but sometimes I loose touch with reality and forget…
-Use washable red markers to “cut” on your skin
-Use colored pens to draw on your skin, simulating the feel of cutting, but much more safe.
-Place your hands in freezing cold water
-Listen to music/relaxation tapes
-Make a mourning wreath (start with black flowers and replace with colored flowers)
-Repetitive reality checking (It’s April 1997, and I’m going to be ok)
-Negotiate with yourself
-Get to know others
-Recognize and acknowledge the choices you have NOW
-Offer options
-Carry tokens to remind you of peaceful comforting things/people
-Create and use mental safe places (beach, cabin in the woods, peaceful mountain)
-Get out on your own, get away from the stress
-Help someone around you (reach out on a bb, newsgroup, phone list etc.)
-Pay attention to the changes needed to make you feel safe
-Count yourself down (10…9…8…7…)
-Take a different perspective (different vantage point)
-“I’m aware” Repeat 5 things you see, smell, touch, taste in your present surroundings to help ground you in the present
-Pay attention to your breathing (breath slowly, in through your nose and out through your mouth)
-Pay attention to the rhythmic motions of your body (walking, stretching, etc.)
-Move to music
-Ask yourself inside, what YOU need
-Make affirmation tapes inside you that are good, kind, gentle (Sometimes you can do this by writing down the negative thoughts and then physically re-writing them into positive messages)
-Keep a journal
-Touch Something familiar/safe
-Put your feet firmly on the floor
-Make something (craft, needlework, etc.)
-Accept a gift from a friend
-Make a phone list of people you can call for support. Allow yourself to use it
-Learn HALT signals (hungry, angry, lonely, tired)
-Identify what is causing you pain (other than food)
-Accept where you are in the process. Beating yourself up, only makes it worse.
-Do something FUN!!!
-Take a break from mental processing
-Take a SAFE risk
-Tear up paper (old phonebooks, newspapers, etc.)
-Honor your present anger
-Throw ice cubes at the bathtub wall, Give yourself permission to…. (Keep it safe)
-Lose the “should-could-have to” words. Try… “What if”
-Choose your way of thinking, try to resist following old thinking patterns
-Put memories in air tight containers with air tight lids
-Notice black and white thinking
-Connect with others around you. Call a therapist or friend.
-Notice “choices” versus “dilemmas”
-Keep in touch with others who are fighting the same fight
-Check in with yourself and others frequently (try not to isolate)
-Make yourself as comfortable as possible (Without using food)
-Take a bath or a shower
-Color in coloring books
-Hold a stuffed animal
-Write a poem
-Leave the room
-Leave the premises
-Write a letter, NOT mailed, to the person or problem upsetting you
-Play a musical instrument
-Plan regular activities for your most difficult time of day
-Call a hotline or support group
-Listen to a comedy tape or video
-Reality check old messages (Those you supply and those you hear others tell you)
-Clean the house
-Get out a fine tooth comb and vigorously brush the fur of a stuffed animal (but use gentle vigor )
-Pull weeds in a garden
-Plant flowers

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