Are You Hurting Yourself?
Have you ever witnessed someone repeatedly causing harm to him or herself?
When I was first getting to know the world and community of caregivers for children with autism, I was very grateful that my son was not a self-injurious type. I heard stories of from other parents who had to put helmets on their kids, lock up the windows, and basically be with their child every single moment of the day. Some kids wound bang their heads to the point of bleeding! In contrast with other families, my kid was very mild.
Now, in the past few months, my son has started practicing new behaviours. At first it was a just a few drops onto his knees, but now we have knee pads on him at all times. He bangs his knees down hard as he is taking a walk on the cement, floor, grass, mud… wherever. He does this really rapidly too. “Up, up, up!” I order, but he keeps doing it. Day in and day out, he is banging his knees, bruising them, etc.
What is the cause of this behaviour? I don’t know. I can still ask the question, though. More importantly, how do I stop him from doing it? I don’t want him hurt and limping. And I especially do not want him to have any long term skeletal damage.
He does this everywhere. He does it with with everyone in any environment. In addition to dropping on his knees (a single one at a time as if lunging, but making a hard contact with the ground), he also falls backward onto his behind and spins clockwise. Sometimes he spins counterclockwise too.
It gets a little frustrating seeing someone constantly hurting himself and being at a loss on what to do to help mitigate the damage.
Now, I believe that my outside world is a reflection of what is inside of me. So, what is the Universe trying to tell me? What is the Universe trying to teach me via my son’s repeated actions? If I learn the lesson, then the thing (the dropping to the knees, falling backward and spinning) would not longer be necessary.
Thus, I posed the question: Is there something I’m doing that is obviously hurting or harming me? Am I repeated harming myself yet doing it? Is there something really obvious to someone on the outside that I am hurting myself?
This led me to look at myself and my eating habits. I have cleaned up my eating A LOT over the years, but one thing that I still did was overeat. There are certain foods that are not part of my diet; but often I would graze or stuff myself with the allowable foods too.
Now, as a coach, I know the process of habit change. I first identify the habit I want to change, know why I want to change it, and then find a way of breaking that habit.
Let’s see what happens. As of yesterday, I posted large short messages at certain locations in my house to remind me to stay on track. And to quench your curiosity, this is my eating criteria:
- OMAD (one meal a day) would be best, but two meals OK too if needed
- No dairy
- No carbs or sugar other than from ½-1 cup of berries, 90% or higher dark chocolate and vegetables (mostly leafy)
- No potatoes or sweet potatoes
- No grains
- 3-6 oz of protein source naturally with the fat included
- No fruit (other than the berries, lemon and lime)
- Aim for 4 hour eating window, aim to fast for 18 hours or longer each day
I’ll aim do this for a couple of weeks. I’ll track the results.
Okay, Universe. If it is what you wanted me to focus on, give me a sign.
I know I can’t control what my son does. I am sure he drops for a reason. I can still be curious and help him in whatever way I can. But, could it just be him reflecting back to me what I do to myself? If I “cure” myself of overeating, would he just spontaneously stop? I’m curious.
Let me go back to my opening question: Have you witnessed someone repeated causing harm to him or herself? If so, what’s the behaviour? What might you also be doing repeated that causes harm to you? Now that are you aware of it, what do you want to do?
I am curious, so please add your comment!
Until next time, be awesome!