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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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Cutting again because I wanted the scars back? - September 17th 2017, 12:05 AM

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1. im new here so sorry if i messed up something vital etc

So lets get to the point I stopped cutting a few months ago (it never got two bad never bled etc) but about 4 days ago I started up again for the usual reasons because of the high it gives you but another reason is because I wanted the marks again can someone help me understand why + for some reason I think it will be alot easier to stop cutting permanently if I leave a scar?
   
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Re: Cutting again because I wanted the scars back? - September 17th 2017, 04:16 AM

Hey,

I cannot really tell you why the scars appeal to you. I can tell you that one of the reasons that I had difficulty recovering was because I was really worried about not having new scars. I didn't really care about new cuts, per se, but I didn't want my arms to heal and not show signs of fresh scars. I think this might be common for a lot of people. I can also say, that for me personally, leaving scars didn't make recovery easier. In a way it made it a bit more difficult because those around me felt compelled to tell me how great my arms were looking because my scars had faded (they went from some being really purpl-y to now being a white-ish color). These comments used to trigger me quite a bit and it would sometimes get to the point where I wanted to cut just to make new scars. I did have to talk to the people that were making these comments and it was difficult because it's not something I understand completely and so it was really hard to explain to others that their comments were triggering me and upsetting me. There are still times when these same people will make comments about it but it definitely isn't as constant as it once was.

I am not 100% sure how you can go about dealing with this because, at least for me, the desire for new scars has never truly gone away. It definitely isn't as constant or as strong but there are times when I will look at my scars, knowing full well they will likely never fade completely due to how bad the self harm was, and I get really freaked out about their fading and I contemplate cutting again. The biggest reason I don't go back to self harm is because I don't want to fall into that hole again and go back to a place where I am harming myself every day or every other day and doing it to the point of needing stitches.

I think, that for you, you have to find that thing that will give you motivation to stop cutting. Initially, for me, that motivation was trying to avoid getting sent to a residential treatment where they could keep me for a relatively long time and upend my life. After I started recovering and the threat of residential wasn't as severe I did have to find new motivation. And, so I think, the same is going to apply for you. You have to find that thing that will give you the desire to stop self harming. It is really hard to do and in all honesty I don't know that I would have ever entered into recovery for self harm if I hadn't been threatened with residential etc.

I know this probably isn't all that helpful but I do believe that you can get through this. It just might take time. Be patient with yourself.


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Re: Cutting again because I wanted the scars back? - September 17th 2017, 07:01 AM

Hey welcome to TH.

I'm actually struggling with the same thing right now. Yes, there's some urge to cut and release the pain, but aside from that, I have this deep, unsettling love for the way scars look on my arm.
I don't know what kind of mental state you're in right now, so I'm not sure if I'd exactly advise you to do this as well as it could lead to cutting. But what I do when I want to see scars on my arm is I take fake blood, red paint, or a red marker and draw the cuts on my arm. Sometimes I'll even use the non-sharp side of the blade, the straight side, to put the paint or blood on. So it really does "feel" like I'm cutting, sometimes I even think I feel the pain. But there's no actual injury.

I wouldn't suggest this as an every day coping method, as sometimes it has left me wanting more. But it definitely does help when the urges get too strong. Plus, after awhile of putting the fake cuts on my arm, it feels more like just doing art and it really relaxes me. I think if you put all your focus into any coping mechanism, it'll eventually distract and relax you the same way cutting would.
The BEST part about this method is after I've relaxed and been able to calm down, therefore not having the urge to cut anymore, I'm able to wash off the "scars" and not have to deal with the pain and constant lies and making sure they're covered in public. It can make you super grateful to yourself for not giving in to the urges.

I don't know, it works for me so I figured I'd share.

As far as why you like having the marks there, I can't answer that. Just know that you're definitely not the only one who feels that way. Perhaps it's because so much emotion builds up for a person to have the urge to cut, that I guess a lot of emotion is put into cutting itself. In a way, we kind of have some deep attachment to our marks, because we know what happened to cause them. I think the term "battle wounds" is used too often to romanticize cutting, but in this case it's pretty accurate. There's an internal battle we had to fight against, and sometimes I think we want people to see we're fighting that battle because we don't want to keep fighting it alone, but we don't know how to ask for help. Self harm, in a way, shows the evidence of that internal battle, externally.

Maybe even look for some other way to cover your arm, without replicating the scars like I talked about above. Use your arm to jot down reminders, write quotes, positive words, etc. Draw something on your arm. Maybe even look for potential tattoo designs that could cover it up so you don't feel the urge as much.


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Re: Cutting again because I wanted the scars back? - September 17th 2017, 07:58 AM

I cant really do the writing on arm thing because I do it on my leg and that would be a bit odd seeing when I would need to write is in class and the tatoo I cant do it because im not 18 and am broke but I might try the fake cutting thing thanks for the advice
   
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Re: Cutting again because I wanted the scars back? - September 17th 2017, 12:33 PM

Definitely try whatever coping skill you can. Any coping skill is worth a shot.

You said you also cut for the high feeling. Cutting releases endorphins into the brain, and these are "feel good" chemicals that cause the feeling of relief a lot of people experience. There are other healthier ways of releasing endorphins that you can try such as exercising, eating a favorite food, or listening to music.


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Re: Cutting again because I wanted the scars back? - September 18th 2017, 03:19 AM

For the feel good chemicals, try something new that would give you that same rush. For the fake cutting, I like to draw lines on myself to help. I also write song lyrics, quotes, or simply decorate my skin.




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Re: Cutting again because I wanted the scars back? - September 20th 2017, 05:09 AM

I'm kind of in the same boat right now so I completely understand. It's hard to see scars/want more and not give into the urge. But I can say from experience that even when it does leave a permanent scar, it's not any easier to quit. It makes it harder for me actually because I always want more, it never feels like enough. And once they have healed you want new ones.

Self harm is an addiction so it always wants to creep into your life again. The reason it gives you a high is because it releases endorphins and they give you a rush. Like the others have said, find something that won't do harm but still gives you a similar feeling of endorphins. Some people exercise, others step out of their comfort zone and do things they normally wouldn't. Another way to get passed urges to want scars is to try delaying the urge, set a timer and say you won't do it within that time. If the urge is still there, set another timer. Keep doing this until the urge passes (which it will). While those timers are on, do something that fully immerses your attention. That's a skill that often really helps me.

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