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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
fallenpetals Offline
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Exclamation I can't do this to myself anymore... But I don't know how to stop - August 6th 2009, 06:52 AM

For the past 6 years, self-mutilation has been my only coping mechanism. At first it started with cutting, but as the years passed, I moved onto other forms of self-punishment. When the scars became too many to hide, I turned to starvation or puking. When people were around, I would secretly pinch and pull at my skin until the skin couldn't handle it anymore or I would scratch until I bled.
I do this because I feel the need to punish myself for everything that I find that I do wrong, for every friend lost, and for every hurtful criticism a person has ever said about me. I am so hard on myself that I secretly memorize everything a person has said about me and I constantly meditate everything that I think I need to improve on and I don't know how to stop.
I've tried to kill myself two times and one out of those two times have sent me rushed to a hospital in an ambulance. Though I've stayed in the psychiatric ward for a number of days, I began to hurt myself even more to the point where just the sight of a razor triggers the urge to cut even though my day and mood was fine.
Everyday my mind is constantly battling between two voices. One is the loud pounding of self-hatred. It tells me that all I do is hurt people and that I don't deserve anyone's love. It causes me to push away everyone who has ever cared for me and to constantly remind myself of all of my faults and imperfections. This voice tells me that I should just die and sometimes it sounds so convincing. The other voice is small and frail but it nevertheless pushes me to keep on living day-by-day and that things will get easier. But the more mistakes I make, the less frequent and audible that tiny voice becomes. I find that the only way I can make these two voices find peace is if I hurt myself because then, both are satisfied. I have finally punished myself for whatever unforgivable thing I've done and yet, I am still alive. But the liberating feeling never lasts too long. Soon enough, something else ruins my mood and then my low self-esteem takes the best of me once again.

Both my arms are covered to the elbow with deep scars that are so obvious that not even makeup can hide them even though its been months (and even years) since they were made. My legs and hips are becoming covered with cuts as well. People are starting to catch onto my peeling, pinching, picking and scratching. The more I skip a meal, the more people realize what I'm doing so of course, I eat more meals whenever I don't feel like it and then later puke it up when no one's around.
I really don't want to live like this anymore but I don't know how to stop. Six years of calming the battle in my head with only self-harm, I have never learned another coping mechanism... Every time I hurt myself, I just feel worse because my boyfriend and my parents gets hurt by it as well when they find out, and that just makes me want to hurt myself again and even more...
How do I break out of this cycle? How do I find the strength to break out of this mindset in which I constantly need to punish myself every time I do something wrong or something is said? How can I find peace when all I think about is how much I just want to die?
   
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: I can't do this to myself anymore... But I don't know how to stop - August 6th 2009, 11:25 AM

Hey,

Firstly welcome to Teenhelp I hope you like it here and are able to get the support you need. If you ever need anything at all then I am more than I am happy to listen. You don't have to be alone ever.

I am so sorry to hear about all of this. You have been through so much . You don't deserved to be punished. No matter what you have done you don't deserve to be punished. Everyone makes mistakes and does things they regret but you have to learn from these. I don't think there is any point in having regrets because these only hold you back and you can't change what is done but you can change the future. People that have said hurtful things are horrible and not worth it. Why should you believe them? You shouldn't because more than likely what they have said isn't true. I know it can be hard to let go when people have said some really hurtful things but what they have said probably isn't true.

I don't think all you do is hurt people. You do deserve love so don't listen to what these voices are telling you. Does anyone else know about the voices and everything you are going through? Have you got any professional help? If not then I strongly advise that you get some.

You don't have to live like this anymore. Once you get the help you need and deserve things can begin to change and you can begin to feel happier Have you tried looking at the alternatives thread? That has loads of things you can do instead of self harming.

You need to start believing that you don't deserve to be punished. We all do things wrong but it doesn't mean you should be punished for it. If people say hurtful things then that says more about them than you. Don't listen to them because it probably isn't true.

Stay strong and I am here if you need anything at all
   
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: I can't do this to myself anymore... But I don't know how to stop - August 8th 2009, 01:45 AM

Hey there,

I am so sorry you are struggling with this but I want you to know that you can overcome this. Cutting is a horrible thing to live with but you should never give up hope because in the end there is a way out.

I also wanted to say that you do not deserve to be punished for the mistakes you have made; like Jen said people make mistakes and that is okay because we learn from them and move on. Also, although it might seem like you are hurting people I am sure they still want you around and want you too be happy. People can't help that the feel sad and most of the time their friends and family realize that and just want them to feel better.

I think that finding someone to talk to about all of this could really help you start feeling better; maybe you could seek out counseling? I know that talking to people can be hard but in the end, if you find the right person, it can be worth it. I know counseling (once I found the right person) has helped me.

Another thing that might help is calling a hotline ( http://www.teenhelp.org/forums/f3-general/t22-hotlines/) The hotlines provide you with someone who is willing to listen to you and help you through the urges. The hotlines have helped me and they might help you as well.

Also, I don't know if you have tried the alternatives yet but if not please give those a try. The alternatives can be a good way to make it through an urge. (http://forums.teenhelp.org/f12-self-harm/t9418-alternatives-self-harm/) The one thing to remember about the alternatives is that they take time for your body to get used to because your body has gotten so used to using cutting as a release.

Please be safe and if you ever need someone to talk to feel free to pm me.

~Jenna~


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  (#4 (permalink)) Old
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Re: I can't do this to myself anymore... But I don't know how to stop - August 8th 2009, 02:46 AM

Firstly, welcome to TeenHelp.
Next, you need to start making sure that you know that not every little thing that goes wrong needs punishing. It's hard, I know. Trust me, I went through it too, except not for that long.
You also need to realize that it's not just going to be, like "Oh, I'm over it." It's going to take time. You're going to want to go back to it, but the more you stop yourself, the easier it's going to be not to go back to cutting and any other kind of self-harming.
As Jenna said, the alternatives could help you. (And she gave you a link to them.) I had found that a rubber band around my wrist and snapping it every time I got the urge, really hurt. The only issue with that is some people still consider it hurting yourself because you get that little shock of pain.
If you ever need to rant, or talk something out or just talk in general you can feel free to PM me. =] I understand you've been through a lot, and it helps to talk these kinds of things out, especially when you are going through the just getting over it times.
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  (#5 (permalink)) Old
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Re: I can't do this to myself anymore... But I don't know how to stop - August 8th 2009, 03:55 AM

Thank you guys. Your kindness is really awesome to hear. I'll definitely think about everything you've said and try out some alternatives. Thank you!
   
  (#6 (permalink)) Old
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Re: I can't do this to myself anymore... But I don't know how to stop - August 8th 2009, 12:50 PM

Hey there
I just read this, and i could completely sympathise. I identify with almost everything you said, so I know how hard it can be. I've been self harming for six and a bit years also, and I've got to the point where I want to stop.
But everybody is right, look at some of the alternatives - they can be quite good. Personally, I tend to run freezing cold water over my hands and feet.
You shouldn't be so hard on yourself. If someone insults you or criticises you for no reason, then it isn't because there's something wrong with you, it's because they are petty and have found nothing better to do. In short, there's something wrong with them because they enjoy hurting.
Hang in there and feel free to PM me any time
Take care
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