I started cutting this year sometime near the end of May. It was supposed to be a "one time thing" but now I can't stop. I've tried to; the longest I've gone is 3 weeks or so, but for some reason I can't bring myself to. It's feels almost like a comfort thing?
I plan on seeing a therapist soon, but I probably won't open up about my cutting until after a few sessions. I'm scared of someone being able to take my comfort away because it feels like I can finally rely on something to make myself feel better.
There are reasons for me to stop, I just can't and I don't know how.
Thank you for even replying, ahah. Sorry in advance for my response being long.
Well the obvious is that I wouldn't be hurting myself anymore. But I guess another thing is that I'd be able to cope or express myself in a healthier way that isn't a whole trashy cycle of stress, desperation, guilt and regret repeated.
I feel the need to cut because I don't know how to express myself otherwise. It's like being able to see my pain in a physical form. I've been told things before along the lines of "it could have been worse" for example. It makes me feel like my trauma and emotions aren't valid in a way.
I'm not sure what else to do. I tried using rubber bands, but it only made me want to experience the full pain more and I ended up doing it again. I've heard about using washable markers, but part of it for me is the sting of the cuts before and after action. I'm not really sure what to do, ahah. It's like telling someone who's hyperventilating to slow down their breath. I get so caught up in what I'm feeling that I can't stop to slow down and think my actions through.
I get what you're saying there, yet people who are hyperventilating can focus and calm their breath!
I absolutely understand the fear of getting help and having a stranger tell you that you have to stop. I don't think that's something that will happen instantly and no one should expect it to happen that way if they understand self harm at all. It's hard to believe those reasons to stop yourself and even harder to hear it from someone else.
Tamo is right about taking it one moment at a time though. There are other things you can do instead of the elastic band thing. I've drawn on myself before and that helps to focus on something else. There's always giving yourself a countdown, like wait 5 minutes, don't do anything harmful, find a distraction of some sort whether that is drawing, mindfulness exercises, doing a bit of tidying, make your bed, etc... and then reassess after the 5 minute are up. If you still want to harm, then do the whole 5 minute thing again until hopefully the urge passes. And that can happen. It takes practice but you might find that the times get longer and the urges pass more quickly.
There's also the whole radical acceptance that self harm is a useful coping skill for you (for now), so you can look at it from a harm management perspective instead, if you don't actually feel ready or don't want to stop. Do you actually want to stop? Do you feel ready to stop? It's okay if the answer is no.
As usual the whole, this isn't saying go self harm it's okay etc.. Just changing the perspective on it so it isn't as much of a shame and guilt thing. It's just a thing that you sometimes do to cope.
So harm management (if you don't know) would be stuff like making sure you have proper first aid supplies, using clean tools, knowing signs of infection and when you need to seek emergency or other medical attention, etc.. Then maybe alongside it working on trying to find other ways to deal with the emotions and trying some of the tools like the others have suggested.
Have you tried something like ice or hot/cold packs? Or a hot/cold shower or face rinse? It sounds like tactile sensation is important for you, so looking for other alternatives that incorporate those senses might also be worth exploring.
Sure self harm is not an ideal way to cope. But it's been helpful to you, and it sounds like it still is helpful to you. You've done what you've needed to survive, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Unsure what country you are in so this may not apply. But you could also look for therapist humans who practise from a harm management perspective as well, instead of ones who are into the whole abstinence only.
Please do not give me virtual hugs unless you are only using the hug function on threads. Thanks.
You can't always keep it separate.
This is happening, this is part of you.
Thank you all of you just for taking the time to read my rambling, I appreciate it.
It's hard to just stop and I find myself breaking my time being clean every 2-3 days if not a week or two. And thank you for the suggestion about the 5 minute thing. I'll try it and see how it works, but the urges always stay like an itch in my brain.
I don't know what I want to do. I know the best thing to do would be stopping since it's not healthy physically or mentally. I don't know what to do, really. I don't want to stop. In some sick way, it feels so good, especially if my emotional state crumbles into mush. I want to stop but at the same time I don't. I know it's not a good thing to be doing to myself, but I also don't know how to cope otherwise.
Also, I do clean my cuts afterwards, usually, and put antibacterial and bandages on them. I monitor them closely and wash them whenever I get into the shower, too, until they heal over.
I haven't really tried anything like rinsing my face or taking showers with hot or cold water just because all I think of in the moment is my itch to cut. I've tried doing a less damaging alternative like scratching myself, but it hurt too bad since I have a low pain tolerance which sounds contradicting since I'm self harming ahah... I've tried drawing or writing, but I usually just ended up doing it anyways which defeats the whole purpose of everything.
And I hope you guys are taking care of yourselves as well. It's obviously hard to stop, otherwise there wouldn't be things like this available. I tend to care more about other people than myself, so from my standpoint, just try and take care of and be kind to yourselves, even if you're not the same. And again, thank you for even acknowledging me in a way. It means more than I can describe :D
I don't know if I have the self control to wait that long, but I could try different things out. I feel like I'd have to build up to an hour. I have a drawer with all my things in there and I put special things there to try and make myself think of someone close to me, but I just go mindless. A lot of the time I don't realize I've cut until after the fact.
I don't really know how to answer that. My self worth is so degraded and destroyed at this point that I don't think I deserve to even die because being in pain and seeing other people suffer would be more of a punishment. I had to deal with SA for 5 years of my life, so I can't even think of myself as a human, but more along the lines of a disgust or monster for letting it happen. But I guess to loosely answer that:
The thought: I deserve to be in pain
The lie: seemingly worthless
New thought: no one deserves it (pain), including me
I should clarify that I do have self control (I think), it's just that my desperation to feel something else and escape the sticky emotions grows too strong and so my mind goes numb. Though recently, I've been feeling physically sick after doing anything. It's usually in my stomach and feels like acid reflux or something. Just acidy in my stomach if that makes sense
You actually write a lot of stuff that makes a lot of sense to me, and probably others here too.
Offering distraction as a method to stop may sound silly and like it won't ever work but it can. Not always, no one's saying it's a quick fix, but I can tell you there have been times when I've been sat there all ready to go, holding a tool in my hand, and I have waited and waited and eventually put it away without doing anything. And I can also say that I have not liked those moments because I have wanted the thing I set out to do so badly but it did pass.
By the way, you are human - you feel, you hurt, you think deeply, you are human.
Well at least I'm making sense and not sounding strange or outlandish. Distractions and methods to stay clean will only work if I try. The urge to cut is like an itch in my brain and I just want to scratch it to relieve the irritation (like stress/bad emotions).
I know what I need to work on now. Well, I've always known it, but saying it solidifies it in a way.
I think it'll just take time as does anything. I feel like me reaching out for help and even finding RYL is a step in a right direction, or maybe I'm just trying to make myself feel better. But it's also nice to have people who can understand me and not be judgmental or lecture me on why doing what I'm doing is bad and whatnot.
But I know for change, there needs to be action and I need to change my habits and ways. Sigh. It'll take time.
Thank you, ahah. If you'd be willing to share the list, then sure.
I can't explain the feeling well. I know I'm alive and breathing and bleeding and all that, but I get so caught up in my thoughts. Sometimes I feel lifeless or numb. It's just that words like "monster, repulsive, disgusting, hideous, etc.," float in my mind and they gnaw at me. I'm used to being a hollow shell, I guess. I disconnected from myself during the abuse. It got to the point where I struggled to show emotions, I still struggle with that. I can't cry, no tears come and no noise comes from my throat, it only burns. I can't laugh, it's just silent, but I can feel something in my chest moving, maybe my diaphragm, I'm not sure. Smiling doesn't feel natural. I think it's just because of him. He broke me down, he bashed me and criticized me for my emotions but at the same time he made me cry. He made me feel like everything about me was unnatural, and so I guess I stopped. I just became a hollow shell that did whatever he wanted. The word that comes into mind is "doll."
I think I'll get better, I need to actually heal. Like I said before, I'm going to start therapy soon and I think that'll help support me further.
I have a body
I have free will
I have memories
I can understand things
I can make good decisions
I can make bad decisions
I can empathise
I feel pain
I can feel insulted
I want things to be better
That all makes sense and I suppose it's the same for me. I'm not sure what my point is, but thank you. I'll try and come up with my own list or a hybrid version of it.
Also as an update, and just to keep track for myself, it's now 3 days clean. I think. I'm not sure. Anyways, I've been alright the first 2 days and now I'm having the itch to do it again. I think it's mostly because of stress since the next school year is coming up. The yearbook and the people are what I'm most concerned about and I just realized that if a teacher sees any cuts on me, I'll probably get into trouble, but at least it's nearing fall. The urge might also be because I'm nauseous, but that's besides the point. I'll go distract myself or do something with my hands
Thank you, and yes, I am. The night was fine mostly because I was sleeping. I also don't like to do it when it's dark because I can't see and I wanna make sure I don't go too deep. Also because I was talking to someone.
My sleep schedule is wonderful. I've been going to bed (more so conking out) at 1-3am and waking up at noon. I keep waking up tired and my eyes feel heavy. Now I'm just kind of rambling.
I'm in the states up north. I'm not sure how the states are different from anywhere else. I really don't want to get into trouble with the school again, and for something that's an actual concern. If I wanted people to know, I'd tell them. I'm still petty about what the school did and this is going to turn into a rant. Long story short, me and another student had our picture taken and reported to the staff since we were holding hands (we're of the same gender). Biggest issue was the picture for me because it's slightly triggering, but maybe I'm just sensitive.
Anyways, yes, I'm fine and thank you. This turned into more of a rant than I anticipated.