I’m probably not in a good state of mind when I’m eating my morning cereal, and I randomly start to fantasize about slicing up my arm. Blood and milk don’t mix well.
I’ve lived with Depression long enough to recognize the severity of my thought patterns. When I’m lifting a healthy start to the morning in a spoon and I imagine a line of blood seeping out of my forearm, I’d classify that as pretty depressed. Now, it’s important to understand that pretty depressed is NOT suicidal. On top of that, cutting is about staying alive. It’s a means of coping. Although, I have lived through all the levels of depression.
With my cornucopia of experience, I’ve gotten very good at learning my triggers, and differentiating behaviors that promote or discourage depressive thoughts.
When depressed, locking yourself in a room by yourself classifies as a behavior promoting depressive thoughts (which I’ll abbreviate as PDT behavior), even if you get to read yuri manga all day or watch multiple episodes of a well-written TV show.
Depending on each individual depressive, you might either hit the comfort foods hard or avoid even the basics of nutrition. I’m a carbohydrate addict and tend to shove cookies in my face like do or die. This is also a PDT behavior. My recommendation is after a cookie marathon, stay away from the mirror, and the toilet if you get tempted that way.
My close college friend’s mom wrote a book. At first, I was opposed to reading it due to my insecurities as a writer and my lack of accomplishment in that department. But alas, I chose to forego that insecurity and read the first two sample chapters, and then the book, after I was impressed by her character development. This next part counts as both a trigger and a PDT behavior. The book is about a free-spirited woman who is diagnosed with untreatable cancer and has a few months left to live (something along those lines). She goes on a road trip with her best friend to say goodbye and come to terms with her past, which includes an abusive father, a sister who committed suicide because of the father…and other sad things. I only managed to read about 6 chapters of that Christmas present before it became another pile of assembled paper on my windowsill.
There are plenty of behaviors that help promote healthy thinking like spending time with friends I enjoy being with, planning things in advance to keep myself relatively busy, and even going to work can uplift my mood. The chronic depression I have will never go away, but it’s manageable (most of the time). For the record, I haven’t cut in years. I’ve been safe, just not always from the cookies.