What To Do When You Don’t Have Destruction To Soothe You

It seems such a strange thing to say but my own self destruction has always calmed me. Maybe calm is the wrong word, but it it has always been easier for me to handle the issues that were about my own “lack of self control” that I could fix with discipline and grit than to think about the issues over which I have no power. If a relationship broke up, that was fine, because I could starve myself until I was thin enough to be loved again. Less than perfect grade? I would cut myself as a reminder to work harder the next time. If anything really went wrong, I could just blame it on one of my inherent flaws and then punish myself into fixing it so nothing bad would ever happen again.

Of course, I am now learning that life really isn’t like that. Unpleasant things happen without any just cause. You can be broke, you can be single, you can be stressed out and overwhelmed, your car is broken down, your bills are due, you hate your job or you have no job at all. Sometimes, unfortunately, there is not a single thing you can do to change this in the present moment. And its moments like these where I would turn on myself and start a tirade of verbal and physical abuse on myself. I’m not good enough, I make too many mistakes, I’m too fat, I’m too ugly, I’m too selfish, I’m too stubborn, I’m too anything under the sun that could possibly explain why I am in this predicament.

Now I have to deal with my problems in a healthy, grown-up fashion and I’m learning its a lot harder than it looks. Getting cut hours in work, not having as much money as I would like, getting ready for what is most likely going to be an emotionally trying nursing placement – these are all things that I can neither change nor blame on myself. They are just things that happen. I’m not overjoyed but I’m not going to kill myself either. I’m going to deal with my issues head on and just have the faith that things will work out. I have to believe that. If you’re in the same mindset, here are my tips for getting through.

What To Do When You Don’t Have Destruction To Soothe You

  1. Don’t Binge Away Your Problems – Drinking, smoking, drugging and overeating are not going to help you. They are going to make your head hurt and your pocket lighter. It is always tempting when things are sucky to fall back on a crutch but if you can, you will be better in the long run for going through this tough time cold turkey.
  2. Vent – Whether its your mom, your blog, or that guy trying to sell you long distance over the phone, feel free to take a moment to bitch, moan and vent about why your life is shit. And then move on and don’t dwell (because its not that shit, I promise.)
  3. Allow Yourself To Feel Sad – Sometimes I feel sad on the bus. I don’t really know why. But it has gotten to the point where if I feel sad, I don’t try to stop it. Being sad is lame but I’m going to feel a whole lot worse if I eat away the pain or do something else self destructive. So I’m sad. And I look for a hug and I make my peace with it.
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