Let’s Talk About Self Abuse

“Hey,” you might say, “that doesn’t pertain to me at all! It’s not like I cut myself or I’m anorexic.” Well, maybe you don’t and you’re not (if you do or you are – go here and here), but that doesn’t mean the potential to harm yourself doesn’t lurk right below the surface. Let’s take a look at some of the forms that self abuse can take and then we’ll see, shall we?


Sure, sure, you work out. You park farther away instead of fighting for that spot by the entrance to the store. You make a point of doing aerobic activity, strength training and flexibility exercises on a regular basis (we are not talking annually, by the way). Right now though, you are sitting in front of a computer screen like me and maybe we’re not nearly as active as we should be. Plus, my posture was just horrible a second ago!

Disrespecting Yourself

“I’m so dumb, ugly, lazy, fat, useless, fill in the blank _______!” We often describe ourselves with negative terms. It’s a form of self-talk. It may be repeating things we heard about ourselves from others as we grew up or labels we have applied as we realize our inadequacies, but it is verbal abuse, plain and simple. It can lead to accepting the same abuse from others, forgoing our aspirations, repressing our feelings, or even engaging in things like risky and untested plastic surgical procedures. Label the behavior, not yourself. Trust me; you are an amazing and valuable person.


The day is rushing by, you have so much to do, lack of sleep is catching up with you, nobody understands how you feel and now you have more work to do. Well we’ve all been there, so take heart. There are things we can do to help ourselves. As we tell our children, “Just Say No!” It’s okay to not take on every little thing. Delegate, take care of your physical and emotional needs and take the time to relax. Mild amounts of stress may improve our performance; overstress is like over inflating your tires. Sooner or later something’s going to blow.


There are just two words that sum up all that is wrong with my diet. They are the words “junk food”. Why, why, why do I fill my body with this crap when it needs whole and healthy foods to run at its efficient best? I’ll tell you why. It’s fast and it tastes good. If I really thought about what is in most of it though, I would run in the other direction screaming things like, “Get that poison away from me!” And then there’s debt and the acquisition of possessions. I’m learning that giving stuff away and shopping for used items is a healthy way for me to recycle, reduce consumption and banish debt. It really works.

The Classics

Now it’s time for the fun ones – *oops* I mean the ones we all know are bad for us. Here’s the list: Drugs, Alcohol, Cigarettes, Caffeine (my personal favorite), Gambling and Unsafe Sex. Some of these things have a benefit when used moderately, although obviously not the last one, but abusing them only hurts us. Even an overuse of herbal remedies has been known to kill folks. There’s a saying that is appropriate to repeat here, “The body may be a temple, but most people treat it as an amusement park.” I think that says it all.

One Last Note

One of the ways I’ve found to help me become a positive person (who tries her best to care for herself) is to do positive things. Volunteering, utilizing my skills, voting and being an advocate for those who need it are among the things I find work for me. These next two links contain mature subject matter, as they point out horrific forms of mutilation that are perpetuated on both young girls and infants. Please help me to spread the word and educate people about what they can do to help.

You may want to join Think. Think, by MTV, is a new network of people and organizations who believe in social activism. However you do it, I encourage you to support the causes that are important to you. Knowledge is powerful. You can make a difference!