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Self Harm: I Want To Stop

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Cutting has been a problem ever since my parents divorced. I thought I had things under control for a while, but I'm back in the pit. I've been doing this to myself off and on for over a year. Its a rough cycle and I know I need help.

I feel the urge when I get upset, and its really hard to stop once I start.

Can anyone point me to any kind of source that has helped them, or someone else, overcome self-harm? I don't want to just overcome it, I want to know how to stay away from it.

Thank you for spending some time reading this, I just really need help.


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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Heyy missingthecure :wave:

    You already have the key to stopping, and that is wanting to stop. That's a good start, you have to want it before it really becomes possible. But once you do stop.. there is that void you need to fill, because you feel empty and alone. At least, that's how it was for me.

    There are a lot of things I could suggest that may fill the void, but they might not work for you. Really, you have to overcome the urge... find things to distracted yourself. When you get upset, if there anything else that cheers you up? Like, writing a poem, drawing, listening to music? Or, if you are out and about, you could carry a stress ball in your pocket and squeeze it when you get angry?

    There are loads of things, it's just about finding out what works. But I'd say, don't just go cold turkey. Ween yourself off self harm, maybe instead of cutting you flick a rubber band round your wrist?

    Also, here are some organisations that can help:
    http://www.childline.org.uk/Pages/Home.aspx (Under 18's in the UK)

    Another thing that helps a lot of people is sport, because it releases endorphins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorphin) so maybe think about joining some clubs if you haven't already.
    Good luck,
    B-A xx
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    when you feel the urge to harm yourself, do something indulgent or enjoyable - instead of inflicting punishment on yourself, do something nice. you need to gradually learn to treat yourself when you are upset, instead of damaging yourself.

    try to identify what triggers you, whether it's a feeling, a place or a situation, and make sure that when that trigger occurs you do something to counter it before you self-harm. try to be around someone else, or call someone. try to work through whatever distresses you instead of automatically hurting yourself.

    don't allow self-harm to be part of your routine. i don't know how it works for you but a lot of people self-harm at set times or before they go to bed. try as far as you can to leave it out of your routine until it becomes less of an automatic action.

    fill your life with more things that make you feel good, take up a sport, join a club, have a hobby. the more fulfilling you make your life and the more things you fill your life with, the less time and inclination you will have to self-harm.

    all the best :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thank you for the advice. Its just so difficult to take cutting out of my life after it took over who I was.

    Once people start to recover from self-harm, how do they stay on track? I haven't been very good sticking to a goal. Should I tell someone so they can help me keep at it? To me, that idea could easily be a mess. However, it could have a chance to help me.

    Can self-harm ever completely leave someone's life? I hate doing it, but it's my quickest option when I'm hurt or confused.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru

    Well... I stopped self harming. After 6 years of doing it nearly everyday, I've stopped. And there has only been one occassion, this week infact, where I've fallen (I punched a wall)

    Look at some of the links I sent you, they will be able to help. Also.. try some of the things I suggested :p They help too! We can't tell you what will work for you, you just have to try it. And if one thing doesn't work, you try another.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Its about finding out what works for you, trial and error
    You will find something that works
    Try things like going for walks, get a notebook and keep writing/drawing until the feeling fades, talk to someone, watch a film, listen to music
    You will find a way, there is no quick fix, but you will get there
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for the encouragement, I really hope I can do this. I guess you could call me a 'book worm', so I am probably going to look for some books recommended on this site. Is there any trigger-free self-harm books you know of? Like, seeing blood will kind of feed my urge... I just want to avoid some that might describe wounds or have pictures.

    I am planning on starting a recovery journal for those moments I get my urges, I am starting to feel a little hopeful for the first time in a long time, at the same time I am very tempted to fall back into cutting. Wish me luck.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When I SH it's usually at night time when I'm alone with my thoughts and whatever it is that's getting me down and generally feeling lonely. I found that keeping myself busy and tiring myself out so that by the time I got into bed I'd just fall asleep worked. Because then after a while it was no longer routine/habit. I went about 4 years without SH. You will probably crash every now and then but it's important to keep going and not beat yourself up too much when you do.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi missingthecure,

    You have been given some great advice and support on your thread. As has been said, you have already achieved what can be the hardest part - wanting to stop.

    These are your first posts on the discussion boards too so, welcome to the boards. They are a safe place to explore your feelings and get advice. Keep posting, about this, or any other subject - there's a board for just about anything.

    You may have already found all the fact / information sheets on Thesite. The self-harm section may be a place for you start? The ones specifically about distracting yourself and coping wth urges may be useful to look at?

    You also asked about telling someone. This again has to be right for you. If you decide to tell someone, like a friend or family member, choose someone you trust. You could also confide in a school / college counsellor or teacher. You could also talk to a health professional about how you feel - one place to start is your GP, they are mostly approachable and should listen to how you are feeling. You could also speak confidentially to someone at one of the helplines that has already been suggested to you.

    We do of course wish you lots of luck, let us know how you get on :)
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