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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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How do I stick with the skills? - July 9th 2019, 03:06 AM

It's not letting me add a trigger warning, so: trigger warning for self-harm.

A few months ago I was self-harming a lot. Nothing was helping and it looked like I'd need residential, but I needed an operation (not related to a self-harm injury) and couldn't go. Then I burned myself last month. I don't need a skin graft as of yet, but it's not healing well. I really thought the fact I'm in so much pain from the burn would keep me from self-harming, but today I cut myself. I was having trouble feeling my emotions and I wanted to feel something so I cut. It was only a little bit but I still self-harmed. I'm not sure how I feel about it now.

The thing is, I DID use skills tonight before I broke down and cut. I became aware there was a tool I could use. I know I should have thrown it away but there was progress because before I would've just done it, whereas tonight I took the time to watch some TV to distract myself. It still got super overwhelming and I did it, but I am proud I used the skill!

I've done DBT a LOT over the years, and I know the skills. Yet I never understand why I break down and don't use them. I know they don't FEEL as good as self-harm, but why do I use them sometimes and not others? How do I make SURE I use them always? Do I just need to find new ones? I don't know.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you.


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Re: How do I stick with the skills? - July 12th 2019, 11:50 PM

Hey Jordan, sorry you haven't received a reply yet. I'm sorry to hear your the skills you've learnt through DBT are not helping you and stopping you from the self-harm. I think it's a good thing you are acknowledging it and the fact that it doesn't work for you. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong. Remember, what works for one person or group of people may not work for others. I don't know what happens in DBT, if they give you a strict list of coping skills to utilize or what; but it's more than ok to come up with your own that they don't recommend to the group when the session is taking place.

How have you been these past few days?


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Re: How do I stick with the skills? - July 13th 2019, 03:19 PM

Hey,

I meant to respond to this but got distracted. I apologize. I don't know if what I'll say will be helpful. I hope you start feeling better.

You and I both have a lot of skills when it comes to self harm but like you, in the past, I would refrain from using them at times. It took a long time to figure out that the reason I used them sometimes and not others was because I had a block. The times I used it I truly wanted to not self harm. Maybe it was because I was worried about the damage I would do or because I had something coming up and didn't want to have cuts. However, the times I didn't use them was due to not wanting to use them so I wouldn't push myself into using them instead I would push myself into not using them. Do you think that could be what's going on with you?

I know once I identified why I wasn't always able to utilize my skills I got to a place where I was able to push myself a little harder to use them. Once that subconscious block was known to me I could fight it, you know?

It's also possible that the skills aren't working for you so you don't gravitate towards them. I know over the past few years, especially this past year, my old skills have stopped working and I had to find new skills. While it sucks that the old ones don't work it can be fun to work on finding newer ones to try.

I am not sure if this helped. I hope you are doing okay.


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Re: How do I stick with the skills? - July 19th 2019, 08:17 PM

I think I'm confused because most of my skills that worked in the past are ones based on avoiding or distracting or physical stuff. I mean yeah, there's the whole "hold ice" thing but it never really works for me; I am uncomfortable with the feeling of holding frozen things for long periods of time and it deters me from doing it. I think that's the point of it, but still, it doesn't work for me. That's the only really intense physical skill I know because I can't do intense exercise anymore due to physical limitations. As for avoiding and distracting, I have people telling me I can't just always leave the house every time I want to SH. Sometimes it doesn't work because I've been known to SH in public places in extreme cases. And for distracting people just tell me I need other things. But what other things are there? These are the skills I like and I already have trouble with them.

Jenna I think you're right about the block thing. When I really want to, I just do it, and nothing is going to stop me from doing so. The times I do use skills I think all or part of me doesn't want to SH. And having consequences doesn't work for me, like my mom used to put in place, because inevitably when I fuck up I just hurt myself more because I already fucked up enough to cause bad consequences. It's just like doubling down. I don't see the point in trying anymore.

Basically I don't know how to find the will to always use skills and how to make it work.


Love joins
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Eternal as time
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