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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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I relapsed and now I feel like a huge pressure has been lifted - January 17th 2018, 03:18 PM

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.

Last night I relapsed and cut myself on my arm and legs. I was feeling like I couldn't hold it in anymore. I actually used the metaphor of having to pee really badly and being in a place without a bathroom for many hours and then finally finding a bathroom. That's how good it felt to have a relief. Sadly but truthfully.

What can I do? Is recovery worth going through awful "withdrawal" symptoms for not having cut for a few weeks?
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Re: I relapsed and now I feel like a huge pressure has been lifted - January 17th 2018, 05:58 PM

As bad as it may sound (and I never SH to that point, assuming you mean what I think you mean) it does sound like it can be a relief. We'll use the metaphor of urinating. Holding your pee in can be stressful, especially if you're trying to avoid certain things (for whatever reason, but for metaphor's sake) but then you go. The sense (vision and feel) is certainly a relief; but you're right, it can be a bad thing (ignoring metaphors and all that) to give into that urge for the relief.

There are plenty of alternatives to self-harm. Snapping your wrists with an elastic, this also helps when you are feeling angry. I know when I feel angry, I get that exact same sensation of having to pee. I feel like I have to let it out, verbally and physically. Snapping an elastic band around your wrist, for any reason, can be one way to get the relief and combat the urge to SH (or anything, really). Another alternative is placing an ice chip on your wrist, or any location you feel like SH. Do it until you feel the urge going away (but if it's more than ten seconds, wrap it in a baggie or towel!) and then wait a minute.

I know you like to blog and write. I think that would also be an excellent outlet, it unjumbles our brain from the chaos, negative thinking, any anything else that might be clogging up our thinking process. Plus, you also write long blog entries but delete them. Perhaps don't do so, and use that as a reminder of how you've felt at a certain given time, when you need to go back to it later when you feel the same way?

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Re: I relapsed and now I feel like a huge pressure has been lifted - January 18th 2018, 12:14 AM

Hey there,

So I am not sure how long you had gone with out cutting before you relapsed but whatever the time length is just know you can get to that point again.

As far as feeling the pressure disappear I think a lot of people will feel that way. I know when I feel a really strong urge to cut, it is like I cannot breathe and once I do it I can finally breathe again, so I totally understand the metaphor you are using.

I know it is really hard to think about alternatives when you have things bubbling inside of you and they get bigger and bigger. I would suggest looking at the alternative thread and seeing if any of those things might help. Try a lot of them because different ones will help with different feelings. I will say this about the suggestions that were give above. Snapping the rubber band on your wrist can be helpful if you only snap it once or twice, but a lot of people tend to snap it so much that it turn into a forum of SH and it can bruise you or even cut you. Most of my therapist have told me that they do not like there clients using the rubber band because it can get out of hand real quick. For the ice trick you usually take a piece of ice and squeeze it in your hand until it is melted because it give you the same stinging feeling. If you want to feel this sensation even if you hold it against the place you want to cut, I wouldn't wrap it up in a towel or anything because that will cause the cold to not feel as intense and wont have the same effect. My therapist also told me you can dye the water red so when it melts it looks like blood. Another thing is to put your face into ice water for about five second and that changes your mood and creates the dive effect.

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Re: I relapsed and now I feel like a huge pressure has been lifted - January 18th 2018, 12:25 AM

Hey there,

I can only answer this from my own personal experience. I hope that is okay.

Back around 2013 or so I was cutting a lot and it was an addiction. It was something that I needed to get through life. I wouldn't necessarily cut every day but I would cut enough to get me through until I had to cut again. Anyway, I had a really bad self harm incident and I was told by my psychologist that I was in such a bad place that if I fell back into self harm she would have to send me to a residential treatment center. This worried me for a number of reasons so I did what I could to overcome my self harm.

The first year was hell. I thought about it all day every day. I was constantly having to distract myself which is why I started spending more time in the chat room and spending more time doing other things. After that year though, the urges did become less extreme and a bit more bearable. I still got the urges but they weren't occurring all day every day.

I did relapse in 2015 and the fact is that relapse is always something one might face but I can say that my urges to cut are no where near as extreme as they used to. The first year that I was in recovery I had that pressure you mentioned, constantly, I felt like I couldn't breath, I would get really anxious and now that pressure has died down to a point where it's a lot easier to cope with when it does happen. For me, that made that year worth it because it helped get me to a point where I can better manage.

I don't know how long you'd been self harm free AND it is important to note that each persons experience is going to be different. But, I do believe that recovery/avoiding self harm can be worth it in the long run. Not even just because the urges die down but because you aren't harming yourself and you don't have any new scars.

What you might want to try is looking into the alternatives. I know, for me, the things that worked were getting out of the house when I felt a huge urge because I never cut in public places. I used the chat room and teenhelp as a constant distraction and I would take showers a lot since I found that to be soothing. I don't know if these will work for you which is why it might help to find the alternatives that work best for you but these might be worth trying as well.

I hope this helped in some way and I am here if you need anything.

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