I’ll never forget the time I sat in my therapist’s office and told her “I’ve been very self-destructy this week.”
She giggled and said “Self-destructy? I’ve never heard that term before.”
According to Google, a self-destructive behavior is defined by any behaviors that negatively impact our mind or body by the life choices we make. Most people are unaware of their self-destructive habits. Usually there is some problem with handling or expressing feelings. Self harm/mutilation is a pattern of intentional self injury not death.
Like Google says, sometimes it’s hard to tell when something you are doing is becoming self destructive, so I’m here to give some examples of when something enjoyable might be turning into something dangerous.
Are you going out with your friends on the weekend to have a few drinks and some laughs occasionally? Or, are you counting down the days every week until Friday hits, so you can drink in excess and forget about all the troubles the week brought on? Is it something you think about several times a day? Then it might be self destructive. Drinking isn’t the only thing this applies to, either.
Sex. Yes, it is taboo, and yes sex can be used to self destruct as well. I mentioned this in my blog post about sex and mental illness if you want to read more about it, but sex is a HUGE way to self destruct, if it’s not happening in a healthy way. If you are only having sex when you are drunk, or if you are sleeping with a lot of people who you don’t know as a form of numbing your feelings, this could be self destructive. HOWEVER, if you are choosing to sleep with as many partners as you are choosing to, keep doing you. If you are in a good head space and just want to get laid, do it! This is all about using things that could be positive in a negative way, but if you are happy, I’m all for it.
So, I can honestly say my ideal Friday night is sitting at home with my boyfriend and my cat, shutting off my phone, and the outside world along with it. But, for me, it’s really easy to slip into that a little too far and start isolating. Isolation can be a form of self-destruction because as much as us introverts hate to admit it; a social life is important for a healthy life. If you find yourself alone, not talking to anyone, not answering texts (especially from concerned friends) more often than not, you may be going down a very slippery (and very attractive/yet dangerous) hill. Isolation feels good sometimes, until it doesn’t, and when you notice it doesn’t feel good anymore, then it’s probably becoming self-destructive.
It might sound depressing, but almost anything can be turned into a self-destructive behavior. It’s all about how you cope with your stressors. If you don’t have a good self care routine or healthy coping strategies, you could easily fall into a self-destructive pattern. But it can be avoided. Here are some quick and easy self care activities to do when you are feeling “self-destructy”
-Eat a nourishing meal
-Turn the music up and dance!
-Sing like nobody can hear you
-Cuddle with your pet or partner
-Read a chapter of a book
-Take a bath with essential oils
-Smile until it’s not forced anymore. We’re all about faking it until you make it on this blog.
Self-destructive behaviors are so easy to fall into, that sometimes you can’t tell that they’re self-destructive, until one day, you wake up, and you can. The first step of kicking self-destruction is noticing self-destruction. And it can only go up from there.