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Unhappy Relapse? - September 22nd 2015, 04:07 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.

So I've been struggling with self harm for about 4 years now and honestly it's been a really tough road. But I was so happy because for the summer and a few months I was clean and I felt like I didn't need to do it anymore, it amazing since I haven't felt like that in years. But now I'm sitting here again and I'm getting so scared because since the summer there have a few bad days where I broke and the weird thing is that when I get ready and sit there, staring at my "Pandora box" (where I keep all my sharp objects and depression journal) my brain screams no and I hate doing it because it doesn't give me a release anymore...but I'm at a point where I need relief and I have tried doing everything, exercising, drawing, etc. It's like my heart hates me and feels guilty for not doing it but my mind doesn't want to anymore... It hurts, I hate having to hide it, but everything in my being screams "You deserve it" and even though I can't find relief anymore, I still continue....I've tried to see a counselor but it never works out....I'm just not sure what to do anymore, the cycle keeps repeating over and over...
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Re: Relapse? - September 22nd 2015, 04:27 AM

The thing about self-harm, or any addiction, really, is that you will struggle with it for the rest of your life. Even when you're recovered and you don't think about it very often, it will be in the back of your head because it's something that hits home with you. That's not to say you won't recover; I believe in you and I know you have a lot of strength. You will improve and over time, urges won't be as bad or as frequent as they were before.

Do you keep your box of tools in a particular place? Maybe you can move them somewhere else. Consider moving them to a high shelf in your closet or to a different room so you'll find some distractions when you're looking for your tools later on. Maybe you can take your journal from that box and put it somewhere easily accessible so you can vent about what you're going through when you need to.

Did the alternatives you've tried work for a little while? Sometimes you get too used to alternatives and it might just be that you need to find some different ones that work for you. Consider what you self-harm for. Maybe it's the sight, or the feeling. Choose alternatives that express what you look for in self-harm. If you like the feeling, try holding an ice cube. If you want the sight of it, draw something in red ink on the area you'd usually cut.

Consider talking back to the negative voices in your head. You can do this out loud, in front of a mirror, in your head, or on paper. Instead of saying "I deserve to self-harm" say "I deserve to treat my body nicely." I know this can be hard to stick to but it can really help once you've done it for a while.

As for counseling, I highly suggest looking for more counselors. It can take a while to find a counselor you click with but when you do find a counselor you like, it's well worth the wait. I went through several therapists before I found my current one and I'm so glad I stuck to therapy.

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Re: Relapse? - September 22nd 2015, 04:34 AM

Hey there.

I'm sorry you're struggling with this. From what you've described, it sounds like you're having a really hard time with the urges. Although, I want to point out that the progress you've made so far is something you should be proud of. Regardless of whether or not you relapse from here on, it doesn't erase your past progress. All the urges you made it through and the days you spent happy, self-harm free are still there as proof that you can do so again.

Can I ask why you tell yourself that you're deserving of self-harming? You don't deserve to be hurting yourself and I think that is an important thing to tackle for you to recover. Can you try to challenge those thoughts by writing down reasons why you deserve to recover and remind yourself of your good qualities? Even small, simple things like making someone close to you smile or random acts of kindness. All of those things matter and I bet you bring a lot of happiness to those close to you and help them out even if you aren't aware. I know it's easier said than done, but try not to be so hard on yourself, alright? Challenge those thoughts gradually.

You mentioned that you've been doing a lot of things to try to resist the urges such as exercising and drawing? That's really great and you're doing good by simply trying out things. I was wondering if you've tried any of the things listed on the self-harm alternatives list? It has a pretty big list of things you can do when you have urges and/or are dealing with difficult feelings. Maybe you could make it a goal to try all of the things on the list if possible until you find a few that work for you? Along with alternatives, are there any hobbies you enjoy or even time-consuming things you can do such as a jigsaw puzzle or maybe color until the urges aren't so intense?

The fact that you're trying to see a counselor is great because reaching out is never easy so you should be proud of that. Is it okay if I ask why it never works out, though? Seeing a counselor is definitely something I recommend, but how about personal support? Having support from family and friends can be really helpful as well just to simply be able to talk about your feelings and to have people to lean on when the urges get rough.

Not sure if this helped any but I hope it did. Stay strong!
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Re: Relapse? - September 22nd 2015, 05:59 AM

Thank you two for the response! As for the questions:
I do keep my box in a certain place and I think I'm going to try and hide it so that I don't have to see it every time I walk into the room.
Drawing did work for awhile but some people saw my drawings by accident and got freaked out so now whenever I try to, it doesn't seem to work. ;^;
I think I've done a lot of horrible things deserving of harm to myself but I just don't know...
I haven't seen that list, I will definitely check it out, thank you!
I do have hobbies and those do help a little while unless something triggers me which then it seems to be out of my control.
I don't think it ever works out because no matter what I do I can never talk about myself...like I hate telling them I'm depressed, that I just want to die, I don't want them thinking I'm just looking for attention and I feel bad, I don't want to whine....I'm also scared they would tell my parents or call the police because I have to lie when they ask me if I self harm and if I want to die so I guess it just doesn't work out because I'm not honest and they think I'm fine, and my first counselor who I actually opened up to didn't really understand so it was hard... For personal support my parents are already focused on my sister and they are always stressed so them knowing I still have depression and panic attacks would probably break them and they would blame themselves. We also don't really have money to have me see a counselor because our insurance is being a butt.

Thank you guys so much, you both did really help and I will check out the list, thank you!!
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