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Self Harm If you or someone you know is struggling with self harm and needs advice or alternatives, we're here to help.

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Exclamation Advice and closure - July 21st 2013, 07:46 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of self harm, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I have what I think is a rather unusual set of circumstances around my SH. I haven't been able to tell anyone and even though the actual events are over a year old, they still keep me up at night on a regular basis. I thought maybe getting your advice would help me put a rest to this?
The story is I had this friend, we'll call her X, in 8th grade. She used to SH, which is not uncommon among my friends, and one day, I caught her in the act. Naturally, I lectured her and told her I was going to tell someone about her habit since she was dangerously close to her wrists. Instead of promising though, she offered a deal. If I kept her secret, she'd let me use her knife. And for whatever reason, I agreed to her idea. So, for the next month or two she and I snuck off to the bathroom almost every day at lunch and cut ourselves with her knife. At first I was so scared of getting caught, but she egged me on and soon enough I got addicted.
However, as time went on, my other friends started to dislike X and told me she was a bad influence on me. Of course, X and I just laughed and snuck of to SH. Over time, X started encouraging me to go just a little lower on my arm, that it felt better that way, stuff like that. Our relationship grew worse and would have totally deteriorated if I didn't need her friendship to keep cutting. After a while, she figured it out and threatened to not let me use her knife or to tell on me to an adult of I didn't help her out at school. She started beating me up too if I didn't do everything she wanted.
After a while, she cut me off from the knife and our friendship ended. Only then did I go to my friend and tell her about my SH problem. She was so enraged about X encouraging my SH (I didn't tell her about what happened after) that she went to the counselor and told her that X had a knife at school.
X thought I had told on her and stopped trying to regain my "friendship." However, she now came back to school and shows up everywhere. She's not interested in me, but seeing her brings back tons of memories. Worse, I'm dying to go back to SH but am simply terrified of getting caught. Things have gotten so bad that I've spent hours fantasizing about SH. I know it's messed up, but I don't know what to do with myself. Help?
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Re: Advice and closure - July 21st 2013, 09:01 PM

Hey there,

I think it can be really difficult when you participate in self harm activities with a friend. I have heard of people doing this before but I myself have never personally done this. I want you to know that you can move forward and get to a better place.

Now, firstly, you need to know that you did nothing wrong; X manipulated you and used her friendship with you to hurt you. I am glad you were able to get away from this friendship when you did. You do not deserve to have people in your life who are going to hurt you like she did.

It is normal for you to be having the urges like you. Self harm becomes an addiction and as time goes on you need it more. You start using it to cope with all the things that are going on in your life. So, the key is working on finding healthier coping skills to deal with the things going on in your life. Here is a link to the alternatives to self harm. I think you should look at that list and whenever you are feeling an urge to harm yourself try some of the things on the list. It might take time for your body to adjust to the things on the list but if you turn to the things on the list instead of self harm it can adjust.

Do you know what your triggers are? It is important that you work on figuring out what your triggers are. If you can figure out what your triggers are then you can work on trying to resolve those issues and getting to a better place. What are some of the things that caused you to want to self harm in the first place? What are some of the things that cause you to continue to self harm? It can take time to work on figuring out what your triggers are but it is possible. One thing that can help you to identify your triggers is writing. Whenever you feel the urge to harm yourself you can write down what you are feeling and you might slowly start identifying your triggers.

Do you have anyone that you can talk to about your feelings? What about the friend you told about your self harm? It is really important that you work on expressing yourself. It can be hard to open up to people but in the end it can be really beneficial and it seems like your one friend really cares about you and would probably be willing to listen to you and support you.

Lastly, would you ever consider looking into counseling? I think counseling is a great tool in overcoming self harm. It gives you a safe place to go and talk about all the things that are bothering and gives you a safe place to slowly work on resolving all the issues.

I hope this helped and I am wishing you the best of luck.

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Re: Advice and closure - July 22nd 2013, 03:16 AM

It's really not all that "messed up" that you've been fantasizing about SH. As you've experienced, self harm is an addiction. It's natural that now you're not doing it you're going to think about it and want to go back to cutting. But you deserve better than that. What X did was wrong on so many levels. But now that you've distanced yourself from her you can focus on getting better. There are too many negatives that come along with SH. The longer you do it the more severe and frequent the damage becomes (because you're body adjusts you need deeper cuts in order to feel the same rush) and the more likely someone will find out. And really, you don't want to be covered in scars. If you can, go see a therapist. I think that would really help. If you ever feel like you're about to cave and self harm, please feel free to pm me anytime. I suffer from self harm too. I'll listen without judging you. Stay strong.

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Out of the ashes I'm burning like a fire. You can save your apologies, you're nothing but a liar. I've got shame, I've got scars that I will never show. I'm a survivor in more ways than you know. 'Cause all the pain and the truth, I wear like a battle wound. So ashamed, so confused, I was broken and bruised. Now I'm a warrior.
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