I haven't visited RYL since like, forever. I used to be pretty active here until a couple of years ago (6-8 I think). I'm a recovered self-harmer, now married, have a 1-year-old daughter and am in the process of completing my PhD. I don't think about SH much as there is no time. My kid keeps me busy, so does work. I'm generally pretty happy.
What I wanted to ask you vets is this - when I DO think about SH, it's a very strange feeling. It feels like a monster lurking somewhere in the background. I suppose if I encouraged it, I could sink back into it, so I just don't think about it. I block it out somehow. But. Is this healthy? Would it be better if I just dealt with it? (Not sure how, though.) I stopped SH cold turkey all those years ago, so it's possible (well, I'm pretty sure about it, actually) there are still unresolved issues. Not sure what to think about it. I suppose being a SH is a lot like being a drug addict - you remain one forever.
Great to hear that you're doing well.
I think you're right that ones a SH-er always one. But, I'm not sure that urges to SI/SH is connected to issues. I think that cutting (that's what I do) in itself is such a powerful act that I can crave for it anytime. It doesn't matter if my life is perfect - it's always there. My advise is to keep it there, don't deal with it. To my knowledge ones you've started to think about it - you're lost.
Is it doing you emotional harm to ignore it? Do you think you still struggle with your issues?
It sounds like you're doing really well in life without SH. I think you summed it up though by saying "I suppose if I encouraged it, I could sink back into it" - that doesn't sound like someone who needs to do it or wants to do it.
I don't think people remain self harmers forever but self harm itself can remain with us forever because of the permanent reminders it leaves on our skin. Coping methods are habit forming so even after years of not doing it if something goes wrong it can still be an automatic reaction to want to do it again. It's whether you do it or not that determines whether that monster is still in control or not.
No, I think I outgrew my issues (and physically removed myself from them). However, I do sometimes worry about the fact that I've never properly dealt with them. I just buried them and moved on. But then, if it works, why change it?
Yes, I'm doing fine in life. I don't need to SH. Maybe it's just the presence of "the monster" that scares me sometimes (even though it's under control). That's why I can't help but wonder if properly dealing with all the buried issues would help get rid of the monster.
Are buried issues still issues if they don't really bother me anymore? I suppose not! Maybe I am at last an issue-free person. :D
If you think it's something you might still want to talk about with someone then it might not be a bad thing, as long as it doesn't bring up all the old issues to the forefront again.
I'm glad you're doing ok and the issues are not affecting your life any more! I suppose issues never really go away because they play a part in making us who we are... but I think they should only be considered issues if they're causing a problem in the here and now.
I can relate to that. It does get pushed around, sometime it comes closer, but never reaches the surface. I think it's because I changed and I changed simply because I got older and experienced more things in life. Shame I can't kick the suicidal ideation. Good on you though.
I sometimes feel like talking about my past, but I never pluck up the courage to do it. I mean, my husband knows about it but other than that I've never really told anybody (well I told another friend years ago but he was i SHer himself and I had to end our friendship when I stopped SH). And then there's the thing about having a pretty good life at the moment. I should just be happy with how things are going and shut up, right?
I think you're right in saying it's like being an addict. All these things whether something you ingest or something you do are addictions and the danger probably does remain even if we put them back in their boxes and lock the lid. Age and stage of life can help us overcome them (maybe) but they will remain there in the background and we must remain alert to anything that is likely to re-awaken them. Does that make sense?
Yes, it makes a lot of sense to me, I can totally relate. My SH is mostly related to my primary family, so the monster isn't as hard to control as I've distanced myself from them a bit, literally speaking - there's 100 kilometers between us. We visit of course but I don't get emotionally involved as much. Plus we seem to get along better now we don't live under the same roof anymore.
When things get stressful I usually don't think about SH. I can confide in my husband and that's enough. However, he's a bit reserved with SH related stuff so we don't talk much about that. For him, my SH is a part of the past. I don't really want to bring it up as it's not a real issue. At least not at the moment.
Distancing myself from the source helped me more than anything. And than realizing I was putting my relationship in jeopardy if I were to continue. So I just stopped. It was hard at times but I had a goal in mind - a happy life with the love of my life - and I just kept thinking about that. That's all there is really. Oh and the disappointment of a friendship I mentioned a few posts earlier. That helped me to decide and stop as well.
Last edited by Angel_Girl : 21-03-2018 at 07:02 PM.
Reason: Added a sentence at the end.
You are basically describing my life. I'm being offered CBT to cope with underlying issues of my MH problems, but like you, I don't know if it's best to leave it alone and keep ignoring and looking to the present rather than the past or future, or to talk and potential resolve some things that could impact me positively.
It's hard isn't it? Risk disrupting recovery by delving back into that place again, or take the chance that resolving things may improve your life even more than you've managed to do yourself.
What do you think the pros and cons of each are? Would you have your husband and courses support if you did some therapy? Would you be able to find a therapist that is aware of addiction and self harm and is able to support stability whilst working on the issues (this is important)? What can you think could get better if you had some resolutions?
I'll follow this thread if that's ok. I'll try and help best I can, but I'm not on 'the other side' yet either.
My thoughts exactly, Jodie - is it worth the risk? I'm not sure.
The reason why I started thinking about it in the first place is the fact that sometimes I'm scared I might be dragging some extra baggage from my primary family with me. My sweet little girl is 15 months and is a typical toddler - her behavior drives me crazy sometimes. I've noticed how sometimes angry impulses just catch me by surprise and I feel the need to just... I don't know, hurt her to "discipline" her, I think. I'm usually a calm person; since I've stopped SH, aggression hasn't really been a part of my life. I don't like to argue and prefer a calm conversation (luckily my husband is the same). So these impulses are really scary for me. They are only impulses as I can restrain myself of course. But they're still scary. They remind me of the past.
I think my husband would be supportive. As for the therapist I can't really afford to be too picky. But I have a rough idea where to turn to.
Last edited by Angel_Girl : 22-03-2018 at 01:00 PM.
Reason: Small change.
I get it. For ages if something or someone made .e angry, I'd want to hit it. Like if.my cat does something he shouldn't, the first thought of how to discipline is to smack him (not hard). Obviously I'd never do that, but it's still the thought.
It could be good to talk things through if you have support in place whilst you do it.
I just want to butt in and mention that I also have moments of sudden anger/violent urges... It IS very upsetting and hard to understand where it comes from as I am not a violent person at all. I think a lot of it is frustration for me but for things entirely separate from the thing that sets it off. Just want to say I understand.
Maybe it would be worth talking about it with someone because clearly your past is still affecting the present in an upsetting way. And they aren't the sort of impulses that you should be having especially with your daughter (not saying you'd ever hurt her, but she just might pick up on it).