When the urge to self-injure comes upon you, check the time, and tell yourself that you have felt the urge, but you are going to choose to hold off on any self-harming behaviour for 15 minutes; if after this period of 15 minutes, you still feel like self-injuring, then you can. It’s your choice; you have the power, the control – even if in the past it hasn’t felt that way. Choose to wait; choose to hurt – it’s a very strong lesson.
For the duration of this 15 minute ‘waiting period’ try to keep yourself occupied; go for a walk, flick through the TV without watching anything, or write down the cause of your distress, write a letter to yourself about your feelings. After 15 minutes, you can check how you feel, and how you feel about the urge. You could choose to hurt yourself now, or you could choose to wait another 15 minutes. You can keep playing this 15 minute game, and maybe the urge will pass, maybe not, but it’s your choice at every 15 minute step. If you get through the urge and manage not to hurt yourself, perhaps you can ring a friend and tell them, or perhaps you can tell me on Wedge@lifesigns.org.uk