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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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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Garyl Offline
What's next, little man?

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Triggering: Rant and Advice? - May 1st 2014, 12:38 AM

Before beginning, I wanted to note that there will be both (very) strong language in this post as well as triggering material regarding self-harm. This is part rant, part asking for advice. If either strong language or triggering material perturbs you, please do not read on.

For six years, I cut and burned myself, from the time I was fifteen until the time I was twenty-one. By the time I finally had enough the whole world knew what I have done to myself- there is no hiding my scars without a long-sleeve shirt and jeans. But I don't hide. Not because I am defiant, but because I am not ashamed of myself.

So many hospitals, so many stitches and staples, so many disappointed people and broken promises. "I won't do it again, I swear," I'd say over and over, already planning to punish myself later. For years, and years, until there was no one left standing by my side, until I was almost (literally) dead. Finally, finally, I've had enough, I said. Finally, finally, I will stop. And so I did.

Fifteen months later, I had trouble over something, I don't remember what. I cut again. The result was broken trust, five weeks of intensive outpatient therapy, and my longest, ugliest scar yet, bright purple even a year and a half later and a constant reminder of my broken promise to myself. "Never again," I said. "There is no excuse."

Today marks about two weeks of an intense swing into depression. I am on a medicine that is basically a sedative while we fix some of my other meds, but it only does so much. I feel nothing. Talking seems like too much effort. I don't want anyone to touch me. So I self-harmed, just to FEEL something. And I felt that rush...right before I felt a devastating crash. A year and a half, gone. Another promise, broken.

Don't try and make me feel better. Really, don't. I don't deserve condolences or pity. I KNOW all the coping skills. I KNOW all the choices I could have made, but didn't. I KNEW as I broke open an old fucking cell phone and tore it to pieces for something to cut with what I was doing. I Knew I could be drawing, or taking a hot bath, or going for a run, or calling someone, but I didn't. I made a choice to ignore YEARS of fucking therapy, my entire FUCKING college fund spent on residential treatment and cut. And you know what? It wasn't my usual level of devastation. It was one scratch, before I stopped. One. But the outcome is still the same. The level of guilt is still the same, maybe even greater.

I am scared for myself. I am scared because I know all the answers, have all the cheat codes; I could teach "healthy habits" to struggling SHers in my sleep. I have no excuse, because I know dozens of things I could have done, and I chose to self-harm. And how, how do you ever fucking stop? I am twenty-three goddamn years old, about to be twenty-four in a few month's time. Am I going to be doing this when I am thirty? Forty? Secluding myself in my room with a razor blade like some pathetic fucking junkie? That's not fucking acceptable to me. THIS, THIS stupid shit is not fucking acceptable to me.

I am not really sure what I am asking for. I am angry, very angry with myself for knowing better. I am angry for pulling friends and family into rescuing me. I am sad my new boyfriend, my first mature, controlled boyfriend, has to see this. I am scared at how I am feeling right now- I am medicated the fuck out, but I am so aggressive I feel like one word with set me off. And I feel ashamed. I am "supposedly" a mature person who handles emotions in a healthy way, and here I am, screaming my head off at a damn computer and harming myself in private. How do I handle this? How do I keep from going fucking nuts?

Let's eat some spectral oats!
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Spoons Offline
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Re: Triggering: Rant and Advice? - May 1st 2014, 01:19 AM

Hey there,

I know you said not to try and make you feel better but I just wanted to say that I don't think the year and a half was gone. It proves you can do it, really.

The addiction does really suck. I really think that if you're still working out the medications and that's why you're on the sedative-like one, maybe once the rest of them are worked out where they're supposed to be you'll at least feel somewhat better, but in the meantime maybe you can talk about how you feel nothing, since you did have a reason to self harm that I think a lot of people share.

But I also can understand why you are scared. Maybe you can try and keep something with your sharp objects to remind yourself that "No, this isn't good. Remember how I felt after I had a relapse." I know that may not be the most ideal, but sometimes we DO need that reminder to stop and think, and keeping a note or some other reminder with the objects you'd use to cut would give you that reminder.

And, while it's not good that you self harmed, you mentioned that at least it was one scratch before you stopped, vs going full-out, if that makes sense. I think that shows you're at least trying.

I don't think you'll be doing this in your thirties or forties either. You just have to remind yourself of why you shouldn't be doing it, why self harming, even if it's to feel something, doesn't really help because the feelings you get in the end are so much worse. You have to remind yourself there are other sensations you can get. Feel the burn of a good exercise, heck, you can even get the sensation of a cold shower as long as you are safe or splashing cold water on your face, and it may be a wake-up once you get the shock of the cold.

I think the first step is knowing that self harm isn't good and knowing that well, it's really not something you want to do, and that it's not acceptable. You have that. But you DO need to start using what was given to you in therapy. I don't think it was wasted since at least now you HAVE the skills available to you, but only you can really make the decision to actually use the methods put out.

But you're not a lost cause. You really aren't.


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Moyshi Offline
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Re: Triggering: Rant and Advice? - May 2nd 2014, 10:31 PM

Hey Jordan,

I read your thread and I just wanted to write and say that I understand where you're coming from. Even the best of us make mistakes sometimes. Recovery is not an easy process and there will be bumps along the way. As long as you address the hard times and relapses, you will always be able to keep moving forward with the recovery process.

From reading this thread, it's very apparent to me that you don't want to go back to a life where you're self harming. And THAT, is a very important thing to remember. You can know all the tips and healthy coping strategies but the motivation to use them has to be there. The next time you feel triggered, try to recall how you felt during a previous relapse and the consequences that followed it. Choosing to call someone, or go for a run, or distract yourself with another healthy coping skill may seem like the most difficult thing to do in comparison to giving in to self harm however if you think about how glad you may feel once the urge has passed, it's completely worth it.

This is your life, and you're right...you are in charge of the choices you make. You may have made a mistake this time, but that's human. Reflect on what has happened, think about how you can do things differently next time and how to actually follow through with it, and then just have some faith in yourself! You've put in a lot of hard work to get to where you are now.

Hopefully this helped a bit.
Take care. :]

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
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