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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
Stephz98 Offline
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Unhappy Wondering if recovery is worth it - March 13th 2015, 09:27 AM

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'm Steph. I've been self harming for six years, it started small but it's gotten worse. I need stitches whenever I cut now. I'm trying to stop and have been clean for a while but the urges are extremely strong and are never leaving me. The coping mechanisms rarely work on me. I've been digging my fingernails into my skin but I still really want to cut.
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Re: Wondering if recovery is worth it - March 13th 2015, 11:20 AM

Hi, I'm sorrry that you're going through that. Here are some tips that I hope will help you:

deep breathing

relaxation techniques

call a friend, your therapist or a crisis line

try not be be alone (visit a friend, go shopping, etc.)

take a hot bath

listen to music

go for a walk

write in a journal

some people find it helpful to draw red lines on themselves with washable markers instead of cutting themselves

hold ice cubes in your hands - the cold causes pain in your hands, but it is not dangerous or harmful (some people find it relieves the urge to harm themselves for that moment)

punching a bed or a pillow (when nothing but a physical outlet for your anger and frustration will work).

scratch draw a picture on a thick piece of wood or use a screw driver and stab at the piece of wood. (can be another physical way to release your emotions without harming yourself.)

avoid temptation (i.e. avoiding the area in CVS where the razor blades are kept, etc.)

try to find your own creative ways as outlets for emotions.

learn to confront others/making your own feelings known instead of keeping them inside

go outside and scream and yell

take up a sport (a form of exercise can help you release tension, etc.)

work with paint, clay, play-doo, etc. (the person who suggested this mentioned that they would make a big sculpture and do whatever they wanted to it. They said it was helpful to calm the urge to self-injure, plus it gave them some idea of what might be underlying the pain.

draw a picture of what or who is making you angry
instead of harming yourself, try massaging the area you want to harm with massage oils or creams, reminding yourself that you are special and you deserve to treat yourself and your body with love and respect

go to church or your place of worship
wear a pipe cleaner or something that will fit on the places that you injure.

break the object that you use to self-injure as a way to show that you have control over it.

write a letter to the person(s) that have hurt you and express how they made you feel. Theses letters do not have to be in perfect form and you do not have to please anyone but yourself. You do not have to give these letters to the people, but it is a great way to release the feelings that you are carrying within. After you write the letters, you can decide then what to do with them. Some people find destroying the letters help (i.e. tear them up, throw them in a lake, etc.)

do some household chores (i.e. cleaning)

do some cooking

try some sewing, crossstitch, etc.

recite a poem, prayer or anything else familiar the comforts you multiple times

write down all your positive points and why you do not deserve to be hurt

write in your journal why you want to hurt yourself and if you have hurt yourself, write down what caused it to happen so in the future you can prevent it from happenings - or find out what your triggers were

Play some kind of musical instrument. Even if you don't really know how to play, picking out tunes is a way to concentrate and help get rid of the urge to harm yourself.


allow yourself to cry. Getting the tears out can make you feel better. It allows the inside to release, as opposed to self abuse. Picture your "ickies" pouring out as you cry.

Take a shower

write down a word best associated with what you are feeling (i.e. horrible, sad, lonely, angry) and continue to write it down, over and over. Sometimes when you do that, the words looks silly etc., and it puts humor or a smile in your life.

sing a song on what you are feeling. It's another way to get it outside. Shout if you are made, etc. Let the words just come to you.

Scribble on paper. Clutch the pen in your fist. It's a way to diffuse it on to paper. (Get a few sheets so they don't tear.)

Take item you are self injurying with and use it against something else. For example, if you are using a razor blade, rip it across a towel. Sometimes seeing what "can" be done to an object can make a person think twice about using it on themselves. Can also give the feeling of "doing it"...the tangible aspect.

Make a list of reasons why you are going to stop cutting. Every time you get the urge, read the list to remind yourself why you shouldn't. Also remember to put on that list that you do not deserve to hurt yourself. You are important and special and you do not deserve to be hurt.

Concentrate on your breathing - take slow, deep breaths, in through your nose, out through your mouth

Take a bubble bath

Take a shower

Massage your body, put body glitter / fake tattoos / jewellery / henna on your skin. Remind yourself your body is special.

Go for a walk

Listen / dance / sing to positive music

Pay attention to your body - think about how you are moving

Watch some mindless tv / read a book

Do something creative - eg draw, write poetry, play with playdough, practise a musical instrument, sing, do some gardening, write in a diary

Make something (craft, needlework, etc.)

Make a compliation tape. Start with music that expresses your emotion *now*, and work gradually through neutral to positive and upbeat music.

Do something FUN!!!

Make yourself as comfortable as possible - curl up in a chair with soft toys

Touch something familiar/safe

Carry tokens to remind you of peaceful comforting things/people

Create and use mental safe places (beach, cabin in the woods, peaceful mountain)

Repetitive reality checking (It's March 2015, and I'm going to be ok)

Ask yourself how you feel, think about why you feel like that, and write it down

Notice and avoid black and white thinking

Allow yourself to cry

Allow yourself to ask for help and express your feelings.

Use washable red markers to "cut" on your skin

Place your hands in freezing cold water, or hold / suck ice cubes

Wear an elastic band around wrist and snap it when you have the urge to harm yourself

Tear up paper (old phonebooks, newspapers, etc.)

Alternative between cuddling and punching something soft, the bed or a pillow

Plan regular activities for your most difficult time of day

Clean the house

Leave the room

Talk to someone safe - via email, phone, in person - try not to isolate yourself.

Help someone around you (reach out on a bulletin board, newsgroup, phone list etc.)

Go to church or your place of worship; pray or meditate.

I hope this can help. Also, you can PM if you ever need to talk!

Don't get too close, it's dark inside. It's where my demons hide, it's where my demons hide.
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Re: Wondering if recovery is worth it - March 14th 2015, 04:27 PM

I'm sorry ur having to through this alone. If you wanna rant, complain, want advise or just wanna talk, PLEASE talk to me. Anytime. One of my issues is loneliness so i would be very happy to have someone to talk to.

I cut myself too sometimes, but i cant say i know how it feels to be you. Think of it this way, okay? - Life is challenging you.. Can you resist the temptations? Are you strong enough? Or will you succumb to your fears? Stay Strong! I'm with you.

Personally i find these methods work for me..( You have to find. Your own tho) ----

1) Screaming out lyrics to a song I'm listening to until dad comes and says "Shut up! Youre killing me!"

2) Holding ice on sensitive parts of my skin really long without any remorse. Until I cant feel that area.

3) Bathe in really cold or really hot water. Whichever you DONT like.

4) Doing something you hate (like homework) N saying to yourself "Yeah you deserve this.. Go ahead, suffer N get bored! Hate homework? Do more.. Complete this damn assignment. You deserve to die of boredom."

yeah i find some of them comical at other times but when i wanna cut, they work really well.

Hopefully you'll find something which will work out for u. Good Luck! PM me, please!
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Re: Wondering if recovery is worth it - March 14th 2015, 11:47 PM

Hi there.

Think of a life with out self harm and destructive behaviours and where you can be happy and not have all these so intense thoughts about self harm. Are you telling me that wouldn't be worth it? Because I certainly think it would be. A life without all that would be so much better and would even be a life worth living. It would be lovely and so encouraging.

Have you tried things like using glow bands? What I do is snap a glow band when I have urges and then Im not allowed to self harm until it has stopped glowing which is normally 12ish hours later and by that time the urges have normally gone or at least settled down to the point where I am in control.

And the typical things like reading, writing, singing, dancing, watching tv/films, talking to people, shopping, running, going online, going to a gig, etc. The talking to people one is a good one because it can really feel like a weight lifted and I definitely think thats a good thing.

I hope this helps a little. Just remember that you can get through this and recovery is possible and you can do it and it is worth it.


"Only in the dark, can you see the stars..."
Josie 12/3/2014, always in my heart. Sue 19/2/2016; Peter, Ellie, Hannah, Andy, Kirtsie RIP.

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