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AngelL
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17 Sep 2021, 12:17 pm

Hi people. I had two main ways that I stim. Both have varying degrees of problematic consequences. I stopped the main one - which was the more unhealthy of the two on August 3rd - so, about six and a half weeks ago. Since then, my remaining stimming method is occurring right about 24/7/365. I practice mindfulness and I can apply that mindfulness to the stimming behavior but, in doing so, it requires such focus that I can't do anything else.

Normally, I wouldn't worry about too much about it, but it is exacerbating an auto-immune disorder I have resulting in significant levels of pain, and I am aware that if this continues for too long, I'll also do permanent physical damage. An added concern is that if I do stop this one as well, or even curtail it significantly - let's say back to pre-August 3rd levels, that I'' be inviting some other somatic manifestation.

Has anyone gone through something similar and can share any useful take-aways? Or, alternatively, if anyone has a suggestion whether or not you've gone through something similar or not, I would be grateful.



Ade C
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19 Sep 2021, 10:50 am

You don't say what the remaining behaviour is but I'd suggest as you've already managed to stop the previous one you can do it again. Can you modify it so it's not causing any physical harm?



AngelL
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20 Sep 2021, 6:32 am

Ade C wrote:
You don't say what the remaining behaviour is but I'd suggest as you've already managed to stop the previous one you can do it again. Can you modify it so it's not causing any physical harm?


Thanks for weighing in. I know I've managed to stop one behavior, but I'm getting the distinct impression that it's not as easy as 'just repeat the process on this other one'. I'm seeing/experiencing it kind of like this: Let's say I ate nothing but steak, potatoes, and broccoli - every day of my life. Let's say 1200 calories of steak, 600 calories of potatoes, and 200 calories of broccoli for a 2000 calorie a day diet. One day I quit eating steak - let's say I become a vegetarian. If I don't add any new food to my diet, I'm going to have to eat a lot more broccoli and potatoes or I'm going to waste away. It would be impossible to simply stop eating broccoli and potatoes too, the same way I quit eating steak because I require sustenance to continue living.

Apparently, I need to self-regulate too. Taking one away means that I'm leaning more heavily on the other one so that the total harm of all self-regulation hasn't actually decreased since I've given up the first one. Let's say that before, the first method caused "8 units" of harm and the second method caused "2 units" of harm. Now what's happening is that the first method is causing "0 units" of harm but the second has gone from causing "2 units" of harm to "10 units" of harm.

As for mitigation efforts to reduce harm - yeah, somewhat...but it's real limited. As a child, I'd get punished for stimming so I discovered/created ways that couldn't easily be identified by others. The way that I have left - the one causing the problem now, is I chatter my teeth. With my mouth closed, and doing so quietly, no one can ever tell. But like I said, it's pretty much 24/7 now - and before it might have been perhaps an hour a day cumulatively. Because of the auto-immune, my jaw is always extremely sore and it's been experiencing muscle spasms regularly. Just a head up - a muscle spasm in your jaw is more painful than one in your leg. Too, this is going to quickly become a dental issue. Anyway, I've been biting down gently on a pencil that I place horizontally in my mouth. That stops it but makes it impossible to wear a mask so I can't do it when I leave the house, or when I have to talk, or when I'm sleeping, or...



League_Girl
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20 Sep 2021, 11:00 am

Our bodies become numb and painful if we stopped stimming all together. If you stop one stim, another stim will just replace it.


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AngelL
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20 Sep 2021, 2:49 pm

League_Girl wrote:
Our bodies become numb and painful if we stopped stimming all together. If you stop one stim, another stim will just replace it.


Right, that has been my concern. I'm okay with stimming - I'm just not okay with destructive ones any longer. Can we consciously choose one, do you know? I mean if I start a behavior that helps and consciously do that - do you think it'll 'take' and become a habit, or do you think that if I try to manage or control how I'm going to stim, that method is just going to be rejected subconsciously and one will just manifest on its own?



The_Znof
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14 Dec 2021, 10:42 am

I think we should protest against this anti stimming fanatacism.

I think its fine to try to modify stimming if we are wreacking our teeth or something. Mine are just chipped and sharp AF.

But to outlaw hand flapping and stuff is just barbaric.

ps OP, what was your stim that you replaced with pencil munching? Are you chipping your teeth?



AngelL
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14 Dec 2021, 11:40 am

The_Znof wrote:

ps OP, what was your stim that you replaced with pencil munching? Are you chipping your teeth?


I was trying to replace the 24/7 teeth chattering. Though it's not chipping teeth, it will eventually wear them down. The big problem with it is that I have a muscular auto-immune and repetitive motions cause tremendous pain after a while and it keeps getting worse the more I use those particular muscles.

The other stim, the one I got rid started as me biting my fingernails but quickly evolved (as a child, so fifty years of this) into tearing off the dry or cracked skin around the fingernails. It got so all the skin surrounding the nails - the whole tips of my fingers would become very thickly callused and I'd just keep gnawing on these till I would bite them off - often making them bleed when I bit too deeply. When I stopped, one of the issues I had was that I could no longer use my cell phone. Because the calluses were so thick, tapping my phone stopped working because the phone registers your body heat and there isn't any in a callus. I've been filing them down daily since the beginning of August, using lotion, etc. but it's not fixed yet.



naturalplastic
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14 Dec 2021, 1:26 pm

Have you tried replacing teeth chattering with picking your teeth, or flossing your teeth?



AngelL
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14 Dec 2021, 3:08 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Have you tried replacing teeth chattering with picking your teeth, or flossing your teeth?


I have not. I am on my way to the store right now but will take a couple of those floss picks with me and see if that works. Thank you for the idea.