(I did not come up with this, but I thought I would share it with all of you. I am currently doing it and it really does help. It also works with depression and any other method of self harm. If you just feel or think something depressing and want to harm yourself, just do this.)
The Butterfly Project:
The Rules are:
1. When you feel like you want to cut, take a marker, pen, or sharpies and draw a butterfly on your arm or hand.
2. Name the butterfly after a loved one, or someone that really wants you to get better.
3. You must let the butterfly fade naturally. NO scrubbing it off.
4. If you cut before the butterfly is gone, you’ve killed it. If you dont cut, it lives.
5. If you have more than one butterfly, cutting kills all of them.
6. Another person may draw them on you. These butterflies are extra special. Take good care of them.
7. Even if you don’t cut, feel free to draw a butterfly anyways, to show your support. If you do this, name it after someone you know that cuts or is suffering right now, and tell them. It could help.
The Butterfly Project has been created for self-harmers who feel they are ready to stop and need the motivation or support to do so. A member’s hypnotherapist, who found this idea on an online blog and felt that it was a good idea that should be promoted as a distraction, has recommended it.
The idea is simple. The self-harmer simply draws a butterfly on their place(s) of self-harm and, if the butterfly fades without them self-harming, it means it has lived and flown away, giving them a sense of achievement. Whereas if they do self-harm with the butterfly there; they will have to wash it off. If that does happen, they can start again by drawing a new one on.
We have thought of new ideas that could be used! A couple of people tried this and found out that pen washes off pretty quickly, so to make it last longer we have thought of starting with a caterpillar, when that washes off a cocoon, and then a butterfly!
Or for those of us who are just lazy and want to stick it on, we thought of tattoos, not just butterflies, but hearts, stars, and tribal designs for the boys and more. There have also been a couple of posts by members who write the names of their friends and family, so that when they feel the need to injure, they see the reminder that they are trying to stop not just for their loved ones, but for themselves. People also tried using song lyrics or quotes.