(a chapter from Telling Ed No! by Cheryl Kerrigan©)

550px-Find-Other-Ways-Instead-of-Cutting-Yourself-Step-3Often, during my days in recovery, I would be plagued by thoughts that would drive me towards one negative behavior after another. Ed wanted me back and he was not happy that I was committed to recovery and listening to my treatment team. I felt like there was a constant, exhausting battle going on in my head.

At times these thoughts put me into a trance like state, caught in the middle of the battle between “Ed” and “Recovery.” Ed would say, “Cheryl, I know what’s best, listen to me and you will be fine, I promise.” Then Recovery would say something similar, “Cheryl, listen to me, I am here to help you. You can trust me.” When back-and-forth conversations like this happened, my head would tilt and my eyes would become wide and still as I just stared straight ahead, concentrating on this fight in my head.

I discovered that being in this kind of trance was a setup for disaster. In fact, the longer I was in it, the greater the chance that I would participate in a negative behavior versus a healthy one. Snapping my mind back to the here and now was extremely hard, but crucial.

So I decided to work off the word “snap” and put it to literal use. I took a rubber band and put it around my wrist like a bracelet. Having it there didn’t look funny or draw attention to me in any way, so I was comfortable with it. When a negative thought came to mind and I began to be pulled down that road, I would “snap” the rubber band against my wrist to shock me back into reality. This gave me just enough of a jolt that my eyes would flicker, my head would lift up, and my mind would return to the present moment. Then I could think clearly and choose correctly—which meant choosing recovery.

REFLECTIONS

During the day do you find yourself in a trance while listening to Ed and Recovery fight for you? Wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it when you find yourself in a trance. Or list three positive steps you can take to snap you back to the reality of here and now so you can make the healthy choice.

With health, hope and strength,

Cheryl