toolkit tutorials

Self-Harm Reduction | Sober October

Hot springs flows away from the camera. Edged by plants then loose dirt and sand. Hills in the distance.
Hot springs flows away from the camera. Edged by plants then loose dirt and sand. Hills in the distance.

Beautiful Beings, Bienvenido!

Moon Phase: Waning Moon
Sun Phase: after Autumnal Equinox
Prayer: May you explore the depths of yourself.

Thank you so much for journeying with me. As some of you know, I am tracking my emotions and deepening into sadness. Check out my Seed Pod Giving Tree, Patreon 2.0 for more on that. Here I want to offer you tools to reduce harm in your life.

What is harm reduction? Designed to lessen the negative social, mental, spiritual and/or physical consequences associated with various human behaviors and relationships.

We uplift harm reduction instead of sobriety. Mainly because I do not want to give up anything entirely. I want to focus on nourished, balanced relationships with my vices. Vices are anything you interact with especially in a compulsive way. My top vices are scratching, alcohol, shopping, t.h.c. marijuana, suicide/self harm, television, and romantic relationships. Since 2021, I been slowly evaluating each vice and remedying our relationship.

First identify your vices. Then evaluate each one based on your current relationship. Also noticing the evolution of the relationship. Be clear about your intentions for the new relationship you are cultivating.

Sacred Bodies in yellow is surrounded by 5 community members
Sacred Bodies in yellow is surrounded by 5 community members

Evaluation: experiment, use, dependency, addiction, Substantial withdrawal

Most relationships start with some type of experimentation. Learning about the vice and how it interacts with your unique body, mind, spirit. For me at this moment is blooming house plants and making beeswax candles. Which may become use. You find out the vice benefits you. For me this meditation, peeing outside and making vegetable stock. This can be fairly new vices or things you pick up and drop depending our your mood. The next stage is dependency. The benefits are so lush you add it to your routine. For me this is herbal medicine and lighting candles. This is where the harm may form with addiction. A compulsion may form, or a need based on a root issue you are avoiding. For me this is apparent in all the vices I initially listed. I have since engaged in therapy to unravel my trauma. Bah! Who am I kidding. I am currently in therapy working on scratching and television. The most severe relationship with vices is when we can not end the relationship without substantial withdrawal. Which for me might be television. I have gone about 5 years without cinema in my 20s. So I hope for the best although I have to be real. It is the last vice I will tackle and most likely the most difficult to harm reduce.

After you figure out your vices and you evaluate your relationship to each one you can track your vices based on the aspects below. The tracking system is what you will use to figure out why you indulge and what needs to be addressed to restructure your interactions.

the word Pause, A person with a hair bun, stretches. One leg is up and bent held by one hand.
the word Pause, A person with a hair bun, stretches. One leg is up and bent held by one hand.

Tracking areas for each vice: Fears, Grieving, Secrets, Needs, Expressing(ion), Trauma, Triggers, Patterns, Messages.

How I engage with the tracking system. Before I interact with my vice, I log one thing that is coming up for me in my trackable areas. After about 10 engagements I have a well-rounded sense of what is going on in my relationship with each vice. What my fears are, what I am grieving, what I need, what secrets are being held, what wants to be expressed, past traumas I am medicating, what is being triggered, what patterns show up and what messages are being expressed. I always allow myself to partake in my vices when I want, although before I do I write at least one word on my tracking system. Sometimes it is generational or my parents perspectives or societal or my internal thoughts.

A line of herbal medicine mainly ointments on a table
A line of herbal medicine mainly ointments on a table

Once I have some areas filled in I work with a therapist. You can also work with a journal, self-reflection, Nature, Spirit Realm, family and friends to address your relationships with each vice. I started with the easy ones and now I am working through the more difficult ones. For the more difficult ones I started where I was at. With big, over arching concepts. I have not even gotten to dealing with my relationship to television. I do have a few things logged. Trauma- racism, Triggers – pale folks, Patterns – trash shows and my mood, Messages – Espanol shows and quality shows only. I tracked these about 2 years ago. When I am ready I will get more clear in each area. For now the broadness allows me to self-reflect and notice until I am ready to dive deep.

I am currently in therapy working on scratching. Which is something I do compulsively and want to be in more control of. Scratching, for me, is linked to generational trauma and curses. A vice I have had since I was born. For most of my life I put on gloves and other symptom relief. Now I am finally dealing with the root causes and exploring the issues. It is intense.

I will leave you with some positivity. With the above tools I now have balanced and nourishing relationships with shopping, suicide/self harm, alcohol and t.h.c. marijuana! I learned these tools from an Addiction Coach although we did not vibe so I had to drop them. I did, however, bring these tools to my therapist and we continue to remedy my relationships to my vices. You may be wondering about my relationship to romantic relationships. Hah! Well it is mixed in with some of my other vices.

A fat, long haired being makes a T with their arms and bends one knee out to the side. Thrive!
A fat, long haired being makes a T with their arms and bends one knee out to the side. Thrive!

This Moon cycle challenge yourself to identify your vices and begin tracking them. You deserve healthy relationships!

Junto Siempre!

The background is a Full yellow Moon. In the foreground a community gathers under a large tree. Invest in Community Care
The background is a Full yellow Moon. In the foreground a community gathers under a large tree. Invest in Community Care

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