This is a personal safety checklist from the Survivor to Thriver manual.
Answer “Yes” or “No” for each question (my answers are in bold):
- Do you have impulses to harm yourself? Yes
- Do you find yourself in unsafe situations? No
- Do you easily feel overwhelmed by feelings, thoughts, memories or bodily sensations? Yes
- Do you currently feel threatened by someone close to you? No
- Have you ever attempted suicide? Yes
- Have you ever “lost time” or lost sense of being yourself? Yes
- Do you use alcohol or drugs to excess? Yes
- Is there a firearm or other potentially dangerous weapon at your residence? No
- Have you been victimized by someone within the last three years? No
- Is someone close to you involved in illegal activities? No
Next, ask yourself how can you reduce these risks?
Here are my answers to these questions for my YES answers:
1. This is something that comes and goes for me. I only rarely feel this way, but when I do it is very powerful, and scares me. To reduce the risks involved with these powerful emotions, I have eradicated my home of certain items, such as large pill bottles and weapons. I once had a very, very large stash of prescription medications (comes with the territory of having gone through two back surgeries) that I flushed down the toilet one day, with a friends help.
3. Breathing exercises are very helpful for me, no matter how cheesy it feels at the time. Other things that help are talk therapy, talking with others, coming to a resolution, doing artwork and journaling.
5. This happened a long time ago, when I was barely a teenager. I do not feel there is much need to reduce this particular risk, except as noted in number 1 of course. I know if I continue on my road to recovery these urges will happen less and less.
6. Once again, this was a long time ago when I was a teenager, and had two parts. I was aware of “slow-time” where my actions had been slowed and sometimes stopped temporarily. I also blacked out for a whole class a few times. I think I was very overwhelmed and my brain just needed a break. The best ways to reduce the risk of this that seems to make sense to me is to handle problems as they arise, stay physically healthy, and once again, continue to recover.
7. Well, because of constant pain this is a hard topic for me. I feel I am unwilling to change my smoking habits at this time. I do not usually drink, but do have alcohol in my home (roommates and visiting family). Smoking has been a constant battle for me, and while I know many techniques to cut back and/or quit, they just do not work yet. I would have to guess that I am not ready.
Read Safety First Checklist Part 2 now.