After Radical Acceptance comes Distraction!
The first exercise is identifying ways that I would be willing to distract myself. The book listed 10 possibilities and chose to try 7 of them.
- Write on yourself with a red marker, red pain, red nail polish (have done in the past).
- Draw faces of people you hate on balloons and then pop them.
- Write letters to people you hate or to people who have hurt you.
- Throw foam balls, socks or pillows against a wall as hard as you can.
- Scream into a pillow (have done in the past).
- Stick pins in a voodoo doll or other soft object.
- Cry (have done in the past…obviously).
I tried writing a letter yesterday when I was angry but I ended up writing how I can’t change anything because the person won’t change so we may forever be in this cycle and I just became more upset…..
I did not pick any Distractions that require pain. I don’t care if the damage isn’t permanent, I want to begin to train my brain to not respond to pain as a stress reliever. I’ve done the ice cube and hated how all I could think about was hopefully causing permanent damage by freezing something. I’ve tried digging my nails into my skin and just ended up drawing blood. The worst is the rubber band. Fine, the bruises go away but I hate having to look at the welts and the purple of my skin that still take a few days to go away. The pain tactics need to STOP!
I’m not one to gradually go off of something. I need to stop a behaviour right away. I quit smoking cold turkey and took the shit that came with nicotine withdrawal and I didn’t die so not having pain wont kill me either even though it feels like it.
I can’t believe I’ve trained my brain to associate relief with pain. How did that happen? I’ve been thinking lately about how stupid it is that we need to feel hurt and sometimes almost die to feel like we’re alive. Sounds like a contradiction….needing death to feel alive. I guess it’s a reminder but still.
Anyways, this is the skill that I will really need to practice.