• Quote of the Day
    "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
    Nelson Mandela, posted by Daniel
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But I also don't want to stop. :(

This is so much a part of me. In some ways I think it is me. I look at myself as just being ugly scars, inside and out. But I really want to be better too. I want to not feel so badly about myself. I want to look at myself in the mirror and not feel so disgusted.

I'm just wondering will I not be able to stop until I feel better about myself or will I have to stop in order to feel better? Which comes first?

My therapist says sometimes you have to take action when you don't really want to. You have to do something you don't feel like doing. I don't feel like stopping, but I am not sure I can heal unless I do stop first.

I think I'm talking around and around in circles. I am sick and tired of this being the first thing I think of doing when I am under stress or when I feel an emotion, any emotion, even joy and happiness. Like I don't deserve to feel good so I want to punish myself for feeling happy.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I really want to make some kind of commitment to stop this, but it's scary. I don't know how I'll deal with my emotions. I'm not really asking anything, just rambling. Just wishing I'd never started this, but since that isn't realistic, just looking for some way to stop.

Maybe I'm going to have to start with replacing it with something productive like exercise which I really don't feel up to, but that would be better.

I've thought of rewarding myself for NOT doing it, but then I feel guilty if I reward myself with something fun and the cycle starts all over.

I don't know how to being sorting all of this out. I know it's a symptom of underlying issues, but it's a big problem in itself.

Maybe I do have a question. Should I make a commitment to stop now? Or should I wait until I'm more stable and further into therapy and deal with the underlying issues? I'm worried that it will look like manipulation if I don't stop. But on the other hand I don't really know how to ask for help either.

It means so much to me, this self-injury. I wish it didn't.

I feel sad. :(
 
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hi janet, i've never self-injured so i do not know if this will be helpful, but here are some thoughts. i think when the urge comes to hurt yourself, maybe you can make a deal that you will hold off for 5 minutes, and decide then how you feel. when the 5 minutes are up, repeat that. keep doing that til it passes.

the other thing i think is a good idea that you mentioned is the exercise. if you want to harm yourself, if instead you exercise to get that negative energy out of your system it might help. it may take your mind off your feelings. you could even just exercise for 5 minutes and see what happens.
 

ThatLady

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I think ladybug has some good suggestions. I also think you might discuss these feelings very truthfully with your therapist. Perhaps, he will have some ideas of things you can try when you get these feelings.

If you do make a committment, I think it's important to remember that there may be slip-ups from time to time. That doesn't negate the committment. It only means you've made a mistake. We all make those. We just need to re-commit and go on. :hug:
 

just mary

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Hi Janet,

First off, I'm sorry you feel sad. And I do hope you start to feel better.

One statement from your thread that struck me was the following:

I'm worried that it will look like manipulation if I don't stop.

I don't self-injure but I do drink too much and for the wrong reasons. I remember having a similar thought with my drinking behaviour and I ended up trying to stop drinking for my therapist's approval, to show him that I was making progress, etc. He caught on pretty quickly and told me some things that made me think.

He said something to the effect that you have to do it in your own time, that I shouldn't stop for him. He said he didn't care about my drinking, but not in a bad way - he wasn't being harsh. I think he was saying he wasn't that easily manipulated, he has an idea of what's going on.

I think it would be hard to make a committment to stop forever, but maybe just try to make a committment to stop for the next day, hour, minute or second - short-term committments.

Take care,

jm
 

Cheyenne

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Sorry you're feeling bad, I hope you start feeling better soon.

I think it would be hard to make a committment to stop forever, but maybe just try to make a committment to stop for the next day, hour, minute or second - short-term committments.

I definately agree with this suggested by Mary and Ladybug, it's a lot easier to say something like, "I'm not going to self-injure today" and follow through with it than it is to say something like, "I'm never going to self-injure again" and follow through with it. That's helped me. Also what ThatLady said is a very good point, slip ups may happen, it's a mistake, it's insignificant, just keep trying.
Also, if exercise isn't really for you, maybe just walking down the street and back or just going outside and sitting out there for a while when feelings come up.

Something that may help decided whether you're ready to quit or not is to make up a chart with two sections - On one side list all the reasons you want to stop, on the other side all the reasons you don't want to and maybe add things you're unsure about in the middle or off to the side. Then compare each side to see which has the most long-term appealing argument. Just a thought that may be helpful if you're willing to try it.

I hope you feel better soon :hug:
 
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Thanks. :)

I think the suggestions you all have given are really good. I am thankful I have a therapist I can discuss this with. I need to stop worrying about what he thinks and just try to be honest.

Ladybug, I have found that putting it off is one of the best ways to get through it, telling myself I'll do it later and then by the time "later" gets here the urge is gone. I've not been putting it off lately. I think exercising will be helpful, even if it is just 5 or 10 minutes at a time. My therapist suggested that too.

Also the idea that having a slip-up is not the end of the world is something I need to embrace. I guess I look at things in all or nothing thinking, but I need to try to change that and FORGIVE myself. I don't forgive myself now. :(

JM, I think the point you brought up is so important. I am so worried about what my therapist thinks about this that I am almost afraid to tell the truth. He is very accepting and does not judge me and I need to believe that and trust him. I'm not hurting myself more than I was before so it isn't manipulation. It's scary trying to give it up and believing him that I am worth more than I think I am.

Cheyenne, I like the chart idea. I think I will try that and I also like what you said about slipping up being insignificant. I need to look at the bigger picture and realize that I am TRYING so hard to get well.

So break things down into small steps, forgive myself, move on if I slip up, trust my therapist and keep trying. I guess.
 
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So break things down into small steps, forgive myself, move on if I slip up, trust my therapist and keep trying.
i think you've got it nailed, janet. this is exactly what you need to do. i am so glad you've been able to come to these conclusions.

everyone here has given you great suggestions, and it gave me another idea. maybe for each time that you delay and end up not harming yourself you could make a note of it. this is to give you a tally of number of times that you didn't give in. it might give you some strength to see on paper that you've delayed once, twice, three times.. etc.
 
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This is so hard. I keep telling myself these things: I DON'T have to hurt myself to be ok. It doesn't FIX anything. It doesn't make anything better. Punishing myself does NO good whatsoever. It doesn't protect anyone, or keep anyone safe. I don't need to hurt myself more than anyone else does. That makes no sense.

I am struggling with this very much right now. This monster thing inside me. This fear, this panic, this pain, this urge. :(

I feel like such a freak. I really do. This thing seems to separate me from the rest of the world and I don't like that. I feel all alone. It feels so bad.

Today, this moment, I have such a strong desire to stop this behavior/habit, whatever it is. It's just so hard to fight, but tonight I am choosing to fight against it.
 

ThatLady

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This is so hard. I keep telling myself these things: I DON'T have to hurt myself to be ok. It doesn't FIX anything. It doesn't make anything better. Punishing myself does NO good whatsoever. It doesn't protect anyone, or keep anyone safe. I don't need to hurt myself more than anyone else does. That makes no sense.

I am struggling with this very much right now. This monster thing inside me. This fear, this panic, this pain, this urge. :(

I feel like such a freak. I really do. This thing seems to separate me from the rest of the world and I don't like that. I feel all alone. It feels so bad.

Today, this moment, I have such a strong desire to stop this behavior/habit, whatever it is. It's just so hard to fight, but tonight I am choosing to fight against it.

Good choice, Janet! :yahoo:

All the things you say are correct. Yet, I understand how difficult it must be to keep telling yourself these things. Just know this: You're not a freak! There are others here who struggle with these same urges. You're just a person trying to fight back in a very tough situation. That takes guts, girl! Remember, you're not alone. We're all right here with you. :hug:
 
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It IS hard. :( Resisting it feels very wrong and bad. But sometimes we have to do things that feel wrong because they are the right things to do. :( :(

I just wanted to clarify something. I do not think anyone else who struggles with this is a freak. I think I am. I repulse people. I've seen it. I understand why they feel that way. I just feel sad about it tonight.
 

ThatLady

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I'm curious, Janet. You're obviously such a delightful person. What is it that you interpret in others that gives you to believe they're repulsed by you? What do they do or say, and who are the "they" that do and say these things?
 
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I guess it's how people look at the scars if anyone does see them. And I deserve those looks. I did it to myself. It's just how it is.
 

ThatLady

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Hmmm. Let's think about that for a moment...

First, those are scars. They aren't you. The essence of each of us isn't visible. It lives inside us. You must come to know us to really "see" it.

Second, people are rarely repulsed, in the way you're using the word, by scars. Think of the person who's been burned horribly. They're scarred, too. I'll bet you wouldn't think they were repulsive, even if they'd caused the scars by something they did. I know I wouldn't think they were repulsive. I'd just be sorry they had those scars. In my experience, that's how most people feel.

Third, we all have scars. Some of them are outside, and some are inside. We can see the ones that are outside. When I see my daughter, I see the scars left by her depression. Notice, I didn't say I see the scars she put on herself. That's because that's not what I see. I see the scars of her disease. They're no more repulsive than scars left by breast surgery for cancer, or the removal of the limb of a diabetic, or the scars left by a severe skin disease. They're not repulsive at all. They're the result of disease and disease, while pretty darned awful, isn't repulsive. It's just sad that people have to be sick.

You're working hard to get beyond this disease, Janet. That's what I see about you. I see bravery, and honesty, and integrity, and someone who cares very deeply. I see someone who has suffered, but who is willing to put out the effort to move beyond that. I "see" Janet, and I love the Janet I "see". :hug:
 
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Second, people are rarely repulsed, in the way you're using the word, by scars. Think of the person who's been burned horribly. They're scarred, too. I'll bet you wouldn't think they were repulsive, even if they'd caused the scars by something they did. I know I wouldn't think they were repulsive. I'd just be sorry they had those scars. In my experience, that's how most people feel.

That has just not been my experience I guess. I wish it were.

Thanks for your kind words. :) They mean a lot to me. I just have to accept this is how things are. I did this to myself and I have to accept the consequences.
 

ThatLady

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I think a lot depends on who the "people" you're talking about are. Are these people who know you, or strangers? Are they adults, or children?

I work with a lot of sick people; people who have gone through their lifetimes with various illnesses. Sometimes, illnesses run in families, so I'll have more than one person in the family with the same illness. Some of these illnesses result in scars. I've had patients say: "Everybody just looks at my missing leg with disgust!" Actually, once we sit down and talk about it, it turns out the person wasn't looking at the loss of the leg with disgust, at all. It might have looked like disgust because facial expressions are often misread. What it usually is is just an inability to cope with the situation. The person feels they should say something, but they don't know what to say. Their confusion and disconcertion is often mistaken for disgust. It's anything but.

Now, if the people who are looking at you in this way are close to you, there may be some manipulation of your feelings involved. You have to give that some thought, since you're the only one who knows. :hug:
 
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The person feels they should say something, but they don't know what to say. Their confusion and disconcertion is often mistaken for disgust. It's anything but.

That could be the case, but to me that is worse. I'd rather it be disgust than that. That thought is extremely distressing to me. :( :( :(

I know I've been told by some people it is disgusting and it really is disgusting. It is. I have to learn to be ok with that. It's going to take some time I suppose.
 
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it's not disgusting janet. scars are scars. people who tell you they are disgusting are judging you. who are they to judge you and make you feel badly?

if i saw someone with scars i would feel concern, and probably yes, i might not know what to say, but only because i wouldn't want to hurt their feelings or make them feel badly for whatever they perceive my reaction to be.

your scars are the physical representation of your pain. pain is not disgusting. pain just hurts. i would so much like to help take the hurt away, janet. you are a very caring and compassionate person with so much love to give the world. you don't deserve to suffer the way you are. you don't deserve to be punishing yourself. love yourself for who you are, janet, because the janet i know is so worthy of that love.
 

ThatLady

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What's disgusting is anyone who would even think to tell another person that their scars (or their pain) are disgusting!
 

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