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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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Struggling to Find an Alternative - February 7th 2014, 02:36 AM

I've been having a really stressful month or two and the urge has been coming back hard. I've identified my trigger to be over-stress/frustration. (I think) I've basically gone through the entire sensations list and a lot of the anger list, but I have a lot of complications that prevent me from using some of the alternatives. My parents found out about my old habit by reading my diary which I had hidden in the wrong place. Both of them are psychologists, so talking to them just feels like being another case. Not to mention they've finally sort of forgotten, so I don't want to bring it back to their immediate attention. Plus, I have a little sister with a big mouth who doesn't know and can't know. Thus, a lot of the screaming/destruction of things release methods can't be done with either my parents or sister in the house, which is basically all of the time. I would try talking to my friends, but I don't have any classes with them, none of them live near by, and, frankly, I'm not very close with any of them. I've gone through the sensations list and the best alternative was the rubber band, but I kept over-doing it. I've also tried doing a lot of the "writing your feelings out" stuff, but I always get afraid my parents will find it again, and it just doesn't help that way. I used to also read this story (it's actually a fan-fic) about self-harm that ended happily, but it hasn't been working lately because it just makes me want to SH more. Maybe I'm being too restrictive, but does anyone have any ideas for alternatives that could fit in these constraints. I've been clean a long time and want to be, but I don't think I can handle it much longer. Anything you can suggest, I'll try to give it a shot. Thank you all, I really appreciate any advice!
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Re: Struggling to Find an Alternative - February 7th 2014, 02:49 AM

Hey there,

Maybe as far as the "writing it out" goes, you can do it on a computer rather than physically? I know that on your computer, a lot of word processing programs have the option of letting you password protect a certain document so that to open it, you would need the password. I think that with something like Google Docs, even, all you'd need to have is an account, which again, they'd have to log into. That may help you protect some of your documents so they won't be able to find it.

You can also do art or listen to some music that relates to what you're feeling so you can get out your feelings. The art doesn't have to be "good" but what it would do is get out your inner feelings. Depending on what you do for art your parents may not even make the connection, or you can say you did it based off of something you heard.

Since you mentioned you're stressed, I think it can also help to find ways to relax, at least for a little while. Maybe you can take a warm bath or shower then curl up with a good book or movie, eat your favorite goodies, treat yourself to going to the park, paint your nails, or use a nice lotion, for instanec. If there is anything else you can think of that may be relaxing or just a good way to care for yourself, you can do that too.

Exercise is also a really good way to release stress, so even taking a jog or riding a bike when you are feeling stressed and frustrated can really help.

I know you mentioned not wanting to talk to your parents because of how they'd treat you, but maybe you can let them know you want them to support you as their CHILD, not just like another case they'd see in the office. You may need to give examples of what you mean when you say that and what you want from them.

I think finding ways to release some of your stress can really be useful.


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Re: Struggling to Find an Alternative - February 8th 2014, 04:28 PM

Hey there,

If writing your feelings out is something that proved helpful in the past then you should consider doing it again. If you don't feel comfortable writing it up on your computer you could always write it down on a piece of paper and once you have finished writing you can rip it up and throw it away. That way you will have gotten your feelings out but you won't have to worry about your parents finding it.

Sometimes it can be really hard to find the right alternative and so you have to try the same ones a few times. Sometimes your body gets so used to self harm that it doesn't want to give it up so it fights you when you are trying to recover.

I know you feel like your parents treat you like another case but I think it would be good for you to talk to them about everything and get their support. Maybe you could try telling them that you don't want them to treat you like another case you want them to treat you like their child. The thing is, I am sure they would want to know what is going on with you so they can help you work on getting to another place.

You said that stress is a big factor in your desire to self harm so I think the best thing you can do is try and work on relieving that stress.Try and find activities that are relaxing to you. I know when I am stressed I will take a long hot shower and I start to feel a tad bit better. Maybe a shower or a bath would help you?

Do you have any pets? If so go hang out with them when you are having an urge. Animals have a healing ability to them and so it is possible that if you were to hang out with an animal you would start to feel better.

As Dez stated, exercise is really good for you. It helps relieve stress and it also helps with things like depression.Take 30 minutes out of your day to exercise and you might notice a difference in your mood and your stress level.

Finding alternatives is all about using what is around you to distract yourself. Be creative and you never know what you will find to distract yourself.

I hope this helped and if you ever want to chat please feel free to message me.

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