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I'm hurting myself, I need to break the habit...


Dewdrop    

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This post has been flagged with warnings, as follows: Blood/Graphic Description

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I'm not sure if this falls in trigger catagory, but I'll put a warning just in case.

Technically I'm harming myself, but I don't think I'm self-harming. I hate hurting myself, but I do it out of boredom, or stress, or tiredness, or habit. It's a horrible cycle, I need to break it... I want my smooth, clear, unharmed skin back.

What are some ways I could distract myself or break the habit? Lotion really helps the healing process, but then I just hurt myself again, and it's back to scabbing and bleeding and scarring and I hate it. It's really embarassing when someone points it out, it makes me feel self-concious. I want to heal!!!

 

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  • Ditch the Label Staff

Hey there, I’m Blondie - one of the support mentors.

I’m glad you’ve opened up to us as I know how hard that can feel sometimes.

This article lists some useful alternatives but as I’m sure you know, we need to work on the underlying issues to truly break the cycle. Can I ask if you’re current getting any support for this?

 

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Hi Blondie, 

Thanks so much for reaching out to help. I really appreciate it.

I just read the article, and I think I will try some of the things listed, especially #4, #6, and #8. I just spent the last 5-10 minutes harming myself again, not as bad as usually, but it feels so bad and I put lotion on it but it hurts and I don't like it and I regret it and feel guilty. 

I'm not sure if I'm getting the right support. At the beginning, my mom was very patient and helpful, but now she snaps and yells a little at me when my skin is red again. She sighs exasperatedly and just says that I'm in control of my body, which makes me feel ashamed. But sometimes it feels like I'm not in control of my body. Once, I was eating dinner and my mom grabbed the sleeve of my shirt and pulled it up to check for scabbed skin. She didn't ask before she did this, and it made me feel really violated and mad and embarrassed, because I'm self-conscious about my hurt skin. I don't like to admit to her any more when I'm hurting myself, so I find myself lying about it, and I hate that, too.

My dad says something like "hey" when he sees me reaching for my skin, which I know is supposed to be helpful, but it makes me feel exposed and angry. And then because of my PDA, I want to hurt myself just because he gave me a warning that I shouldn't.

I talked to my therapist about it for a little bit, but I'm too embarassed to bring it up in our sessions. When I did, she would just look sad and say, "Oh, Dewdrop..." But my actual name instead of Dewdrop of course. That made me feel guilty and regretful. 

I just want to stop, I'm ready to stop, but it's so hard to stop, why can't I stop?

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Update: Since last posting I've been able to resist two urges, but it probably won't last long, I'll probably be back to harming in the morning. It never lasts long when I try to stop. I feel like I should be proud that I didn't hurt myself two times when I wanted to, or really didn't want to, but just felt like I wanted to, but should I really be proud if I'm harming myself in the first place?

A few minutes ago my dad asked to look, and I let him, he said that if I wasn't going to try to stop then he was willing to just let the chips fall. But I am trying, so hard. I feel like dad should understand because he told me he had the exact same problem when he was young, but not to the same extent as me.

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6 hours ago, Dewdrop said:

Update: Since last posting I've been able to resist two urges, but it probably won't last long, I'll probably be back to harming in the morning. It never lasts long when I try to stop. I feel like I should be proud that I didn't hurt myself two times when I wanted to, or really didn't want to, but just felt like I wanted to, but should I really be proud if I'm harming myself in the first place?

A few minutes ago my dad asked to look, and I let him, he said that if I wasn't going to try to stop then he was willing to just let the chips fall. But I am trying, so hard. I feel like dad should understand because he told me he had the exact same problem when he was young, but not to the same extent as me.

Hey, as you probably know, self-harm isn’t something you can just ‘stop’ - you need the right support and it’s vital to work on the underlying issues. Someone once explained it to me as it’s like taking away a life raft from someone who can’t swim.

I’m sure they’re simply worried but the methods being used by your parents aren’t going to help as they add shame and pressure which isn’t helpful.

You don’t have to share with me what led to self-harm but is this something that you’re aware of?

Focussing on that and processing that in a supportive environment is usually key.

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I'm not sure what led me to hurting myself, it seems like I've been doing it for forever but I know that's not true. 

Today I was able to resist. I really wanted to when I was in a public bathroom at the store. I usually do it in bathrooms, I'm not really sure why, but I guess it's because I know nobody goes in the bathroom and also when I'm there I'm usually bored. I would have tried some of the tactics on the list, except I didn't have a pen, or an orange, and I didn't want to tear up toilet paper and make a mess. So I tried to make some oragami with the toilet paper, except it was really flimsy and it wouldn't hold its shape. I tried to twist it into a rope, and that worked. 

In a few minutes, I have to take a shower, and I'm worried about it. Mostly so far I've pulled through by not looking at the hurt areas on my body (it's harder than it sounds to get dressed with your eyes closed), but it's hard to avoid looking at yourself in the shower. I'm not sure what I should do to keep myself away from harming again in the shower.

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55 minutes ago, Dewdrop said:

I'm not sure what led me to hurting myself, it seems like I've been doing it for forever but I know that's not true. 

Today I was able to resist. I really wanted to when I was in a public bathroom at the store. I usually do it in bathrooms, I'm not really sure why, but I guess it's because I know nobody goes in the bathroom and also when I'm there I'm usually bored. I would have tried some of the tactics on the list, except I didn't have a pen, or an orange, and I didn't want to tear up toilet paper and make a mess. So I tried to make some oragami with the toilet paper, except it was really flimsy and it wouldn't hold its shape. I tried to twist it into a rope, and that worked. 

In a few minutes, I have to take a shower, and I'm worried about it. Mostly so far I've pulled through by not looking at the hurt areas on my body (it's harder than it sounds to get dressed with your eyes closed), but it's hard to avoid looking at yourself in the shower. I'm not sure what I should do to keep myself away from harming again in the shower.

Unfortunately, I had to take my shower before I recieved comments. 
Fortunately, it went great! 

I was able to keep from looking at any harmed parts of me, which was a little weird, but I did it! I slipped up once and accidentally glanced at my arm, but it was just for a second and I don't remember what it looks like.  The day is almost over and I haven't hurt myself today!!! However, it is more difficult to keep that streak going. Maybe I'll be back at it by Wednesday, maybe not.

Opening up on DTL has made it so much easier, I think. I'm recieving the right support and it is way more motivational than having someone yell at me, be upset with me, glare at me, or sigh at me. Thank you.

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8 hours ago, Dewdrop said:

Unfortunately, I had to take my shower before I recieved comments. 
Fortunately, it went great! 

I was able to keep from looking at any harmed parts of me, which was a little weird, but I did it! I slipped up once and accidentally glanced at my arm, but it was just for a second and I don't remember what it looks like.  The day is almost over and I haven't hurt myself today!!! However, it is more difficult to keep that streak going. Maybe I'll be back at it by Wednesday, maybe not.

Opening up on DTL has made it so much easier, I think. I'm recieving the right support and it is way more motivational than having someone yell at me, be upset with me, glare at me, or sigh at me. Thank you.

Hey there,

I'm glad to hear that you are feeling like you're getting the right support - that is what we are here for :)

As Blondie said, it's really important to address whatever it is that is leading you to harm yourself. I'm sorry that you didn't like the way your therapist responded, but could it be that you suggest a better way of replying in that moment so that you can explore it together? What do you think?

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Okay, I'll be able to talk to her tomorrow. The main problem is that I still want to avoid looking at certain areas of my body, because that's working pretty well for me. However, it's not that hard to close my eyes.

I'm not really sure what led me to harming, but after much searching of memories, I have concluded that it started sometime around the beginning of the school year. This makes sense because there was a big change in routine, anxieties about being reunited with my friends, more anxieties about classes, anxieties about teachers, etc. Now I think the harming is mostly habit.

Also: Why. Must. The. Healing. Process. Be. So. Darn. ITCHY!!! 😫 It's driving me insane and a half!

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Hey there,

Yeah, I definitely think it would be really good to talk with her. Would you like to let us know how it goes once you’ve done that? 
 

Also, yeah, I completely get that not looking at your body is helpful for now, but I’m wondering, can you avoid that forever? Do you think this is a short term or long term strategy? 

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  • 3 months later...

You go girl

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