I had stopped for a long time and I found writing everything I felt but found I couldn't always say for fear of being mean or hurting someone. Also, trying to talk to myself as if the me that was struggling was another person, a child that I could tell it's okay to feel like this and it's okay to want to curl up with a blanket and do childish things. Taking the pressure of and admitting to myself what I was doing helped. I also carry around a ribbon that I almost always am fiddling with in my fingers, it distracts and calms me because it gives you a sensation on your skin and keeps you distracted.
It actually has helped for me to realize I DO like to cut. When I told myself it made me feel awful but I just had this need to do it, it kept on making me feel powerless, like I can't stop and have no control. I realize now I do it because I like it. That makes me realize it's not "a part of me" but something I like to do, so I feel it's controlable. Do I even make sense?
The less I talk about it, the less likely I am to engage in it. Not counting the days helps. Telling myself that I don't have to replapse! A huge one. My mistake was saying relapses are part of recovery. While there's truth in that, I kept letting that slide me into relapsing. When I get stressed I have the tendancy like everybody else to cut or something, and I think that there's no way I can handle the stress, I have no control, and I just relapse. I have noticed by telling myself I will NOT allow a relapse and actually meaning it, and that it's not an addiction but a choice and I have all control to quit when it gets tough is eliminating strong urges. I still get urges but I don't feel like it's a must as bad as I did before.
Leaving the house and going somewhere helps obviously if the option is available.
Remembering the urge will pass. I play tricks on myself to feel as if I need self injury or I'm going to die. But I don't need it, it will go away.
I'm not recovered but after four years of doing it and three of trying to quit this is the most confident I've felt since two years ago when I made it 5 months, in fact more so then. My last one that left more noticable wounds was probably september, and the last one I did that wasn't serious (another tip I found... don't allow yourself to hit or scratch yourself because it's less worse... pushes you to do something worse and is honestly the same) was october. But I'm trying like everybody else.
Retrosimplicity - YES, you make sense. I feel like I need to start thinking more like you. Feeling like you're in control of it (at least for me) is important. And remembering it will pass is great too. :)
For me, I just try to keep my hands busy until the urge passes. I write, paint, draw, and the biggest one lately, I've gotten really into making handmade jewelry. I've made so much that I've started selling it online, and I find that really helps me...it makes me feel so much better about myself that I can manage to run a small business online, and when I want to self-harm, I remind myself of that, and make more jewelry, and it helps me feel better....productive. It's 5:30am and I have noooo idea if I'm making any sense at all.
I've just bought a candle, and I guess I'm using the same approach as the butterfly technique. It's a massive candle and I'm telling myself I won't self harm until it's all gone. Obviously then I hope I shall be buying another candle! I really love it because it's a gorgeous smell, beautiful to look at and quite soothing.
I recently relapsed so I don't have many tips for not doing it but for the two years I didn't do it I read alot since I love reading and it always took my mind off of things and relaxed me. Also what helped me alot during those two years was my growing passion for music I would stay up all night finding new bands or singers and listen to anything I could get my hands on and when I can afford a guitar I plan on learning how to play. Music really helped me through alot and is such a constant in my life these days I don't know what I would do without it.
“I didn't want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep.
And that's really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare,
like when you wake up from a nightmare you're so relieved.
I woke up into a nightmare.”
― Ned Vizzini
I'm currently one week free, and I found that going out with friends helped me a lot. I laughed, I did crazy things and I had some fun. I really helped to beat the urges and it also made me feel better :)
Also, making soup. It really helps, because you feel relief and confort while peeling the vegetables. It feels like your cutting your skin, so you get the same feeling as when you're sh-ing. It's amazing, it really makes the urges disappear.
I also find drawing in my arms really helpful. Some days ago, I drew butterflies around my scars, and I went to sleep. When I woke up the next morning, the urges were gone.
I had made a nice star-tattoo a bit more than month ago.
I've always had this weird relationship with stars. Like when i feel totally bad or angry or sth i just think myself to the sky and in some way im with stars. So yeahh... They have good influence on me. They can make me calm down. And now i have one on my wrist for rest of my life. And as this is on my wrist i just don't want to hurt it (the star). Even when i have the urge i just wach it and i just can't do harm on It.
Sorry if the English isn't the best but hope you guys get the idea :)
I find that NOT thinking about it, or even thinking about recovering helps a lot.
Don't think about what you're distracting yourself for, don't count the days, don't think about it as much as you can, because by doing that, you're ultimately thinking of SH and reminding yourself that you're different. Try to avoid talking about it (unless you have an urge and need help, or want to vent) or doing things that will remind you of it, just remove yourself completely from it, mentally and physically. :)
When I completely forget it's there, I don't even think about doing it! :)
When I'm triggered, I find that by reminding that you're distracting yourself, you're thinking of SH, so that doesn't help. I just mentally say 'No.', talk to someone, and forget all about it! (So the butterfly project hinders more than helps me, but everyone is different!)
And if all else fails and you can't get it off your mind:
When I don't have anybody to vent to, a nice cry to get my feelings out, then taking a nap relaxes me and I feel great when I wake up. ^^
I'm a week and a half free at the moment after relapsing after my longest free period (almost 5 months). I was never really sure how to actually quit, which is probably why I kept on relapsing, but this site has really helped me. I've been trying the butterfly project, writing, and drawing, which all help me. Also, I found a huge amount of multi-colored bracelets in my room. I looked up the different colors for various things, like orange for SI. I picked out all the colors that have significance to my life, and I have been wearing them. Whenever I get depressed or upset, somehow the bracelets make me remember all I have been through, and all I have to look forward too. Also, it is fun to play with them as a distraction :)
I'd say find something you love doing (e.g: playing an instrument, sport or socialising) and just spend every spare, waking moment doing it. I play guitar and skate. Every time I go to the skatepark, I try and learn something new and I go home feeling like I've achieved something. Or when I learn a new song that at first I thought was reallyreallyreally hard, it makes me feel good. Hobbies are definately a good distraction technique.
'Love is an emotional thing, and whatever is emotional is opposed to that true cold reason which I place above all things.'
I try not to keep count regularly, but I still celebrate the anniversary of when I stopped every month. It gives me something I can look forward to. I have also found putting henna designs over where I SI helps (make sure if you do this to look up how to do it without harming newer injuries.) It distracts me from wanting to and it allows me to sometimes forget that my scars are even there. Not to mention it is really fun and inexpensive to do. Here is a good website to show how henna works on scars http://www.hennapage.com/henna/encyclopedia/skin/scars/
Over all it is just good to stay busy and positive! <3
Finding something I love doing that I couldn't do if I was currently self harming, or that would be effected badly if I did.
I've found that self harm was such a good (although maladaptive) coping mechanism for me that it worked nearly every time, instantly and the amount I needed it. It meant I was very reluctant when in distress to try something new as other mechanisms took more work, were less instant, weren't guarenteed to work, so I'd often not take the gamble.
I enjoy running/ exercise, I also love my job which is quite physical, I can't do either well when I'm anemic or have stitches. Having those things in my life I don't want to lose makes me think twice before harming.
Remembering that you aren't alone, that no matter how bad and how urgent that urge is, it does and will eventually pass, scars may tell a story, but living a life where scars, and blood, and covering up are just part of your past, is much more fulfilling.
The world is full of opportunities, and hurting yourself only makes things worse.
~Beauty without intellence, is a materpiece painted on a napkin.~
I call my partner, or if she's there I cuddle with her and/or we sleep together (not sexually).
I think about what self-harming would actually accomplish, why damaging my body is really such a good idea (or not). I think about the guilt, having to hide the wounds. How I have much better ways to perform self-care now.
My name is Matt, and I am a boy. Feel free to PM me :)
I have learned that the world is not a safe place. Not at all. But there are so many people who love me and want to keep me safe. And that is enough.