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  1. #1

    I always go back - why?

    ok, I honestly give up. It doesn't seem to matter how long I go without si or what else I accomplish, b/c I always end up going back to this. It doesn't matter if I can identify possible reasons why I do it or think of a trillion other coping mechanisms... I choose to si. Why would anyone do this to themselves?! I was looking in the mirror today and I started asking myself, almost yelling, why I thought that I was such a horrible person that I had to do this to myself, why I have to cut, why I have to starve and b&p...why???? Why would I do this to my own body??? It doesn't even bother me to see what I've done, it's like a movie playing out in front of me. It means nothing. It means so much and yet there's this empty space of nothingness. I used to count the days without si to set myself goals and it worked, until I slipped up.. but now, months go by, which should be a huge accomplishment but then I start again, as if I had never stopped.... what do I have to fear? no one will see it, no one will know. why should I stop? I can't make things go away, I can't get my life together, I just don't care. My body isn't my haven, it's my hell. Where do I go from here??? Why, why, why do I always go back???? It's the same w/ my ed... WHY do I always go back?????? Every time things get better, I know eventually, down the road, I will return.. b/c I've been through this a million times.

  2. #2

    I always go back - why?

    Hi Eunoia;
    Every habit has a positive intention. For example, I recently quit smoking. While it was a nasty habit, I was able to figure out what was appealing to me. It wasn't so much the cigarette itself (that was the bad part...lol), but the getting out of the office, taking time out, stepping outside into fresh air, getting away from the hustle, seeing people who's company I enjoyed...all those things were benefits gained when I took a smoke break. When I quit, I continued to go outside for a few minutes, I make it a point to see those I shared time with while smoking, I get away from office regularly. I found that as soon as I stepped out or away, the desire to smoke passed. So really, I just needed to get away for a bit and smoking was my "ticket" to do just that.

    Take time out to remember what was happening with you before you reverted back to old habits. What was taking place? What were you involved in, or whom with? What were your thoughts? When you SI, what are the good things that you feel you get? There has to be something otherwise it wouldn’t' have such a strong hold.

    More importantly, please...please try not to be too hard on yourself. Also, be careful not to set up and fulfill your own prophecies and expectations. Try a different thought next time things get better. Instead of saying "every time I get better, I will return", consider "every time I get better, I'm closer to my goal" or something like that. This line of thinking is much more forgiving and does not feed guilt should you experience a set back. Set backs are part of a normal process and go away with time, commitment, and persistence.

  3. #3

    I always go back - why?

    Yes, habits are hard to break and they're appealing in some way. Don't be too hard on yourself. Why do you think people have to quit smoking numerous times, or have relapses with other habits? I think the goal is to change your mindset, your paradigm for thinking. But, this is really hard. It can be done, but it's a process. You need to exercise new ways of thinking before you can change your prespective on things. It takes time. I believe that's what a mental health professional is supposed to help you do. I don't mean to badger you, but have you looked for someone yet? I still haven't called the pshychiatrist out here, so I'm not trying to be hypocritical. But, when you have a habit of doing something, sometimes it's not enough to just know it's harmful for you. People who smoke know it's not good for them, but they just do it habitually, not caring. I tried to quit smoking a few times. I finally succeeded I believe. I had to go beyond just thinking it wasn't good for me. The first week I quit, I went out on a Friday night and I was scratching the table and being so miserable over the fact that I wanted a cigarrette so badly. So, I almost had one. It was in my hand, and suddenly, it hit me. I said, "Why am I going so crazy, suffering, over a stupid little piece of paper?" I threw it down, and I crossed a line. And I don't smoke anymore.
    I know that si and ed's are probably much more complicated, but I think in the same way we're looking for that way of "seeing the light". When you realize something that truly makes you want to stop doing what you're doing. But, I know with anorexia, I've "seen the light - maybe small lights" many times. It helps, but it doesn't change my mindset completely. I know - why, why, why? But, at least you're questioning yourself. I kind of think that maybe you're ready to start getting some help - but I know it's hard. Maybe we both need to take another step further.

  4. #4

    I always go back - why?

    thanks you two. Being hard on myself sure is one thing I have mastered, lol. But I mean, after so many years, it all just seems kind of hopeless, pointless even.... to try to ever even imagine a life without this. I know it's possible, or so I'm hoping, but it just seems so so far away... apparently none of this will stop, if one the reasons why I si/have an ed are not removed, or if two, I don't find other coping mechanisms. In regards to the 1st one, doesn't seem like the context of my life is really going to be all that different and in regards to the 2nd one, I do use other coping mechanisms, but these things are just always part of my repertoire as well... I guess I have to want to not use them. The weirdest thing though, is that I just don't care a lot of the time. And if you don't care, then you can't really go anywhere from there.

    Diana- you're not badgering me. It's all good... it's probably what I need to hear. I'm trying... but again, I seem to be the one keeping myself back all this time, it's not about whether I can get help, it's about letting myself....

  5. #5

    I always go back - why?

    And if you don't care, then you can't really go anywhere from there.
    I can relate to that. I always go back to it too. I don't know why. I think the saddest thing is that no one else cares about me either. I repulse people.

  6. #6

    I always go back - why?

    Janet, we care. Abigail cares. Your sister cares. you're not repulsive. I don't know why someone would think that in their right mind.

    I don't know why we go back... I guess b/c we know we can and b/c it works for the time being. The times that I really was able to stop si for months at a time was when I had a reason, like it was summer and I didn't want to go through that or I had a job that I cared about and didn't want to risk people knowing... but now none of that seems to matter, you just have to "time" it right or find ways to get around those issues. As long as it works in some way that's all that you want, so you don't care after a while about what you're actually doing.. it's better than being left to face the pain & having no means to do so... I find it really difficult to describe to anyone what goes through your mind when you're in one of those moments, when si is constantly on your mind, when the pain and the emptiness are just too much. Is it possible to stop? Sure. But I know for myself I don't know how else to get through those moments & feelings (or lack thereof)... maybe it takes more willpower than I have? I honestly don't know how to let go of these things...

  7. #7
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    I always go back - why?

    Eunoia,

    I can completely relate. It's just so convenient, easy, and it works (for the time being, anyway).

    My only motivation right now to not SI is that my therapist will immediately terminate if I do. So that's all well and good but I'm not going to be in therapy forever, so hopefully at some point I'll get some skills to help me to not SI.

    It's frustrating for me because I don't think that forbidding the activity is the best way to get someone to quit something. Especially when it's not being actively worked on as well. Anyway, supposedly we're going to actively work on it and it's now a priority. I hope so. Part of the problem for me is that I just don't see any harm or problem in doing it. I mean, I know logically it's not a good thing to do, and if someone came to me and told me they do it, I wouldn't sit back and go "oh yeah don't worry lots of us do"...I would tell them the "proper" things to say...but for me...I don't know....it's "different"...and I *like* the scars, which makes it even harder...so I can completely understand why someone would go back to it time and time again.
    ~ Allow yourself to be the light that the world so desperately needs. ~ Unknown

  8. #8

    I always go back - why?

    I'm quite sure that you potentially have the willpower. It's just that your mind literally has to be trained to have a different perspective and then act on new beliefs. Then, not only will your willpower increase, but it will become less of a matter of willpower - just sensible. I think this anyway. Sometimes we don't need help with that. For example, some people actually pull themselves out of ed's with no professional help. Some people quit smoking without medical treatment or counselling. But, I think you and I both know that for us as individuals we must/have had to reach out for help from others when it comes to ed's. And, I think for you the si. And, that's OK. This world is based on interractions and you help people and should allow yourself to recieve help. I know that money is too often an issue, but I hope that you can find something soon that will meet your needs. But, don't be down on yourself. Tell yourself that it's not right, but not that you're not right as a person. You just need some extra help - think of it as tutoring!

  9. #9

    I always go back - why?

    When we’re exposed to something on regular basis and it becomes a large part of our lifestyle, we settle…we get comfortable (even in uncomfortable settings). Going back to old habits is really going back to that “comfort zone” where we know what to expect, and how to cope with what comes our way during those times. It’s like those old shoes that we really should toss away but we don’t….because they’re comfortable.

    There was a radio show a while back where a therapist was telling a story about a woman and her husband attending couples therapy. She always cried and complained that he didn’t help her, didn’t support her, didn’t care about her, and so on. As the therapist worked with the couple, they found that as the husband improved, she was getting worse, and even hostile (ironically, more hostile towards the therapist). Then it dawned on them: she didn’t know how to cope with the new and improved husband. She was so used to his old persona, that the new one completely misplaced her. She didn’t know what to do with her self or him for that matter. Her life, as she knew it, was over. And in that, she (inadvertently) did all she could to make him go back to his old ways because she knew that life, she had a place was comfortable in it despite the problems.

    I did the same thing in my past. I kept going back to a person that hurt me (my mother), defended her, made excuses for her…because I knew what it looked like, sounded like, felt like, and I was an experienced survivor. I knew how to survive…what I didn’t know was how to strive. Same pattern can be seen in other people that have experienced and lived in an abusive relationship. As odd as it seems, the comfort of knowledge of the beast is hard to beat when compared with not knowing what will happen next should we break away.

    For this reason, it is important to identify and understand what specifically gives you that comfort and try to recreate it, without the harmful people or habits. It’s a lot of hard work, but it is worth it.

  10. #10

    I always go back - why?

    Wow Lana! I really agree with everything you said. It makes so much sense. Self injuring, starving, or binging and purging etc., make you very uncomfortable, but in a sense there is a comfort there. You know exactly what you are doing and you are familiar with it. This gives you a certain amount of control and it's a coping mechanism that you know you can use. However, we all know that these things might give us satisfaction or pleasure short-termly, but in the long run they interfere with our happiness. That's why these things are triggered so easily I think. You could be on the path to recovery and feeling good about yourself. Then, you find yourself in a stressful situation. You don't know how to deal with it, so you go back to the way you knew how to deal with everything else before. For example, there have been times in my life where a change has occurred - a new boyfriend, a new place, whatever - where I've let myself go and just tried different foods and pushed beyond my comfort zone. But, then as time goes on and things become "regular" again I restrict. Then, when things aren't going too well for whatever reason I also fall back into old habits of counting calories, etc.
    Eunioa, I think almost all self-destructive behaviour follows this pattern. But, it doesn't have to. You can break out of it. There are times when we don't want to break out of it - it can be really scary. It feels like something is being taken away from us that is ours and only ours. But, is this behaviour making us happy? I know that we push that question and idea aside on a daily basis, but we know that something is not right.
    The strange thing is, I'm quite good at adapting. I'm so happy that I came to live in another country. It's only with eating that I can't get out of my comfort zone. Anyway, I wish I could tell you that I'm past all of this and exactly what to do, but I can't. All I can say is to do as much learning about it as you can and to accept the fact that you need help from someone.

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