Step One Self-Help
- Give yourself permission to get whatever help you need to face this crisis. Reaching out to a therapist, support group and family and friends means that you do not have to be alone anymore. Your ASCA support network and ASCA meetings can be invaluable at this time.
- Write some positive affirmations about the breakthrough crisis in your journal. For example, "I survived the abuse, I can survive this also," or "Out of crisis, there can be opportunity." Even if you don't feel that positive right now, try to write down whatever sentiments come to you about managing this crisis in a positive manner. Do whatever is necessary to give yourself the hope and strength you desperately need.
- Learn and practice this simple 7-part relaxation technique:
- Sit comfortably and close your eyes
- Imagine lying down at an ocean beach
- Listen to the waves build, crest and wash over the sand
- Feel your breathing
- Focus on your breathing by inhaling, holding your breath for 3 seconds and releasing
- Repeat the cycle of breathing and focusing on your breathing until the tension gradually washes away from your body and you feel relaxed from head to toes
- Continue the cycle, all the while attaining ever-deeper levels of relaxation
- During the time you work this step, relieve yourself of unnecessary pressures on yourself. If the disruption to your life is extreme, and if you can afford to do so, you may want to give yourself a sabbatical from work, school or normal domestic duties while you struggle with the breakthrough memories. Of course, you may actually prefer to work during this crisis as a way of coping. Judge for yourself how much time you will need for taking care of yourself during this period and adjust your schedule to the extent possible.
- Don't make any big decisions during this time. It may be hard to think clearly right now, and you don't want to complicate your predicament by acting impulsively. If you are suicidal or fear you might harm yourself or another, reach out to friends and empathetic family for help. If you are in therapy, call your therapist and schedule an emergency appointment. If your therapist is not available, call a suicide or crisis hotline. One day in the future when your life is better, you will be glad you did.
Survivor to Thriver, Page 62
© 2007 THE MORRIS CENTER, Revised 11/06