instinctual behaviors

by rantywoman

Jody Day’s recent post on self-care is a timely one:

I’m pretty good about taking care of myself in terms of exercising, eating well, and taking time for reading and hot baths. What I’ve been terrible about for decades is mentally turning stress and anger inward; whenever I’ve had those emotions I’ve visualized harming myself physically (although I’ve never actually done so). I can totally understand “cutting,” as I’ve often had those impulses.

In the last month or so, whenever I’ve had one those seemingly automatic visions of self harm, I’ve force myself to immediately follow it with one that involves self-care, such as tying soft ribbons around my wrist or putting on a beautiful necklace or having someone brush my hair. Silly, I know, but I will employ any vision that involves something soft and nurturing in order to mute the impact of the harmful ones.

And the thing is, it’s worked. The self-harming visions come less and less. I’m losing that instinct.