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 Post subject: Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:49 pm 
power lies within
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Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:57 pm
Posts: 6396
Location: planting my garden
I was sure there was already a Recovery Tools thread for this but since I can't find it, here it is:

Somewhere along the way i got introduced to the idea of doing pros and cons... which is a super old idea but a surprisingly effective twist is to not just do the pros and cons of a thing, two categories, but the pros and cons of doing a thing, AND also the pros and cons of not doing the thing: 4 categories. With pen and paper i usually draw a cross and do it in quadrants, but on my computer i just list them. What's surprising is it really does turn up more answers than just the normal 2. It's effective as a way of grounding and getting in tune with yourself when you are feeling at risk of a behaviour, or find yourself considering a behaviour. It is validating because it's not just shutting yourself down - you have to look at how that behaviour is appealing to you, as well as re-engaging with why it is damaging.

This is a place to post those exercises, and get feedback and support on them I guess :)

Here's my example. I just did this... i didn't feel good about my lukewarm feeling when i told myself i will under no circumstances purge today. so, i wrote out, "I KNOW i don't want to purge tonight, under any circumstances. Let's just do a pro/con in case thinking gets muddy."

Here's what I came up with:

Pro of purging:

the belief I'm in control
protection from the unknown
a feeling of restitution
a feeling of possible escape

Cons of purging:

reinforcement and validation of feelings of possible escape, in a world where escape is not an option
discontinuity with the fact that I love life. And, among other things, BABIES.
negative effect on emotions - vagueness, duplicity, depression, fear, shame, anxiety, disconnectedness
it impacts my mental functions, i can't think as clearly, then i feel dumb, and am less well equipped to deal with many emotional POWs.
it impacts my physical state. This can make me feel disconnected but also tired - it affects my energy. I feel shitty and disinclined to do things that will make me feel better.
Less capacity to have a worthwhile conversation with the $130 lady
That shit, in a really real way, leads to scarier shit, things I don't want, for my own sake and for the sake of people I care about, and things that are important to me. I know I don't always believe that the one connects with the other, however, IT DOES. I have a serious litany of cascade effects to look back on in my experience and it is important to take that seriously, applying it to my present behaviours knowing they do influence my state and capacity and perspective in the future.

Pros of not purging:

Makes me feel powerful and badass and like myself
Prove that it's possible to change
Reduce future urges and physiological instinct to purge
Learn new techniques and facility for emotional overwhelm of various kinds.
Learn that I can handle a variety of situations without reverting to old behaviours
Learn things I can't even predict because they are brand new
Trusting my hunger cues and my body's signals because I don't just write them off as side effects of purging
Easier to make sure to eat normally, thus avoiding unplanned eating and bingeing and future triggers of purging
It will encourage me to just really appreciate and enjoy food while I'm eating it, knowing that I'm really eating it and not just eating with the intention of purging - eating for nourishment, enjoyment and satisfaction.
Howww fuckin' awesome will it be when 6, 7, 8, 9 months of not purging are under your belt? a year? Two years?? how great will it be when that is a thing of the past, that you CONQUERED. make it happen.

Cons of not purging

Having to experience uncomfortable emotions
Possibly having to ride out a panicked state and the inclination to dissociate
Possibly gaining weight, or at least believing that I am gaining weight
Having to engage and forget again how to think like purging is an option
It's hard to re-establish that norm

soooooo pretty much, not purging is a really terrific idea, and the drawback boils down to "it's hard". Well, I am much too badass for that. :orange:
I can re-connect with this tonight and even if my thinking starts to get cloudy or i try to minimise 'one little purge', I'll know I have already explored this while of sound mind, and the conclusion is that I must simply under no circumstances take that action, and must do absolutely everything to prevent it.

your turn. :)

“If I am not for me, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”
- Rabbi Hillel

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 Post subject: Re: Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 8:59 pm 
orange addict

Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:57 am
Posts: 200
Location: Homer, AK
I did the other night regarding an urge to self-injure. It was so helpful! I liked that it helped me look at the benefits and consequences of both behaviors. My therapist always says that the self-destructive coping skills that I have, I learned because there was a point in my life where they served a purpose. She says that they were very adaptive responses to a crazy-making set of circumstances. So when I did a pros/cons grid for the urge to self-injure, I could see and NAME and validate what benefits I saw coming from the behavior, while acknowledging that there are also consequences AND that there are other ways to cope with the urge.

"I am better than I was, I will be better than I am."

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 Post subject: Re: Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:10 am 
orange is hot

Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:26 pm
Posts: 109
Location: United States
you have to look at how that behaviour is appealing to you, as well as re-engaging with why it is damaging.

I was struggling to understand the pro's and cons' but this statement you made actually helps me put it into prosepctive. I think it's going to take me some time to actually break down the pro's and con's of my behaviors. I might put that in my journal that I have on here.

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