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goldskittle

Any other adult cutters out there?

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Sanity, that does shine a different light on the smoking versus SI topic. I've heard others say that, but I've always been puzzled by it. I watched my father die for a decade of lung disease, so even when I was doing self-harm regularly I didn't see it as anywhere close to that. I do kind of see it now, though.

I tend to agree.  From what I've heard, lung cancer is a horrible way to die.

It is. My great-grandpa died of it and now my grandpa (his son) has it, stage 4. I really do need to quit, because it runs in my family, but... :/ Yeah.

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Sanity, that does shine a different light on the smoking versus SI topic. I've heard others say that, but I've always been puzzled by it. I watched my father die for a decade of lung disease, so even when I was doing self-harm regularly I didn't see it as anywhere close to that. I do kind of see it now, though.

I tend to agree.  From what I've heard, lung cancer is a horrible way to die.

It is. My great-grandpa died of it and now my grandpa (his son) has it, stage 4. I really do need to quit, because it runs in my family, but... :/ Yeah.

Eep.  For what's it worth, I smoked for almost 20 years before I quit.  I took Chantix which pretty much quashed my desire to smoke.  I haven't had any cravings in years and years.

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I've read a study somewhere that the first two days of quitting smoking are physical. After that your body is "weaned" from "needing" to smoke and after that it's all a mental game. Food for thought?

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Well, I think the two days thing more or less refers to the nicotine withdrawal.

 

There's a whole bunch of "behavioral association" stuff that I had to work on... to the point that I had to quit drinking alcohol and coffee in order to successfully quit smoking. 

 

And then there's the "retooling" of how to cope with stress.

 

For me it sure seemed like some of it was physical in the sense that I had to retrain my body to accept different types of stimuli instead of just smoking.

 

But a lot of people would probably classify that as "just a mind game".

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Being a mind game doesn't make it any easier. IME, it can be harder.

Cutting was really, really hard for me to quit. I can still get urges. It's rare but it happens.

I had some brief cutting SH attempts between 11 and 13, really started at 14, and did not manage to actually stop until I was 17. I had one relapse incident some... five/six years ago, for something I couldn't place at the time but years later would realise was rooted in my gender dysphoria being triggered, in fact I think that was around the time the lid blew off on my dissociation from my transgender-related body dysmorphia.

Anyway. Then, at 26, when I was new to CB, I went batshit and into a mixed episode. I cut myself a lot to try and dissociate from my intense and overwhelming emotions (this is typically why I SH) but it didn't work like it used to (probably thanks to the mood episode, epic life drama, and going off Lexapro too fast.)

I stopped, briefly, but quit smoking weed and had a gender dysphoria flare (it's always there but it can be worse at times than others) and went right back to it. Aaaaaand then Depakote saved my, uh, skin. I've fended off urges that arise during unintentional med-non-compliance time periods.

Okay so, as a teen, it took me years to learn how to change my thought patterns around quitting SH and actually manage to employ them. Aaand I think I self medicated a lot of SH triggers with weed for years. So. All in my head? You bet! Easy to quit? Oh fuck no.

Cigarettes, same conclusion. Physical addiction? Not easy, but short and relatively simple. Staying off the smokes? Hardest part of quitting, hands-down, for me. Changing/being aware of habitual asssociations, like Woo said, was huge for me.

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It's ironic that self harm is perceived as a teenage thing for attention, when it often runs into adulthood and most self injurers that I know are very private. For many people here, self harm is a way of making sure that their pain is dealt with in isolation. People cut so they don't show how bad they feel to the people around them.

 

I love this!  It's nice to find out that I'm not the only one that kicked the habit for many years (I cut in high school and quit cold turkey when I went to college.)  Now, 25 years later, something happened and I'm in a place in my life where I feel like this is the only way I can deal with it.  It's much better now, much more controlled.  Little tiny cuts in places people (esp my husband) can't see and question.  Mostly the bottoms of my feet.  I only let myself cut one time each time I feel the urge, even though I think about it a lot.  I find that setting rules helps me keep it under control.  Anyway, I just wanted to say I'm sorry that everyone else is dealing with this, but I'm really glad to have found other people that understand what I'm going through.

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I didn't start as an adult but I'm 22 now and its still an issue. I always had some kid of self injurious behavior whether it was cutting,head banging, biting, or just over-eating. I have no idea where or when the ideas were formed...I don't know how I got the idea to start cutting or why, but I started one day. In high school I would cut in waves, there would be a hiatus of a year or two or six months and then the need to cut would come back full force. My cutting tapered off in adulthood which I was really glad about but I relapsed when my other MI issues flared up. I've cut more lately than I have in maybe almost a decade...its back to the level tstarted at. Again, I don't know what started it or what made the idea sound like a good one but I know now why I continue to do it, and that it gets harder as time goes by..it becomes maladaptive muscle memory.

 

Now when I cut its very strange to me....it used to be for  a clear purpose, it served a concrete purpose. when I was growing up i started cutting because I was too small to have any real power and hurting was all I could do for myself. I hear that cutting is a primitive way of sorting emotions, so at the time cutting was the only coping technique available, which makes sense for a child. I am ashamed to do it now because i should have learned more efficient ways of dealing with myself, I guess in a lot of ways the reason why I cut is not so much about the difficult situations I find myself in, but that its become an ingrained behavior....modus operandi because I am still stunted at 11 years-old. Now I will notice myself cutting when nothing is going on, I just feel a little off. I don't have to be sad or angry anymore, I just have to feel mildly uncomfortable and I won't know any other way of distracting myself. The dopamine feels good, maybe.

 

 I'm hoping that when I learn more coping techniques then the need for cutting will be replaced...that's easy enough. It will be phased out, I hope. The hard part is figuring out how to learn coping as an adult. For the time being though, I make contracts with my therapist, I make sure people know and even though its a bit demeaning having people check my arms and legs it creates accountability. I gave up my razors too. I could turn anything into a weapon if I was desperate enough but I guess my focus isn't so much stopping because I don't know how to do that yet--but I try to make it more difficult. Less convenient. Maybe I can challenge it a bit, if I break the habitual aspect of it then adopting new ways of coping will hopefully be easier! hopefully. that's what I'm thinking at least. It sucks being an adult cutter though. I feel really embarrassed cutting and having an eating disorder; the stereotype is that only theatrical teens do it...but maybe all it means is that we are just not as developed as we should be, our coping skills are still immature. I'm hoping that as soon as whatever is creating the "need" for it goes away, cutting will just be a bad habit I need to overcome like nailbiting, rather than my solution to everything.

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I started cutting 3 years ago...when I was 27...now I'm 30 and and still cutting...i only tried it once as a teen so I am not sure that it counts...i cut because of everything, so I understand doing just for feeling a little off...mine is the worst kept secret...everybody knows, but pretends they don't see...even my husband...i have tried many things to stop, but I always go back...it becomes a habit, like you say...if you find a way that works, let me know...you are definitely not the only adult that does it...

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I started cutting when I was 11-ish and have been on and off through my teens. Mostly high school. I'm 25 now and started cutting again. I had stopped. Like I hadn't cut in at least 2 years; before that I would cut maybe once or twice every year or so. A couple years ago, something happened to me, and I was astonished that I didn't start cutting then. I've had a really rough couple of years, especially this year. It started off bad and it wasn't till a few weeks ago that I once again picked up the razor. I've been cutting a lot recently, more than I did when I was a teen. I'm afraid. No one knows I was/am a cutter. Only my best friend. She doesn't know I started again. I had spoken to her, told her I was getting the urge to cut again; she said I should call her whenever I feel like hurting myself. But I feel stupid and embarrased calling her everytime I feel like cutting; she's busy, she has a life. And then I just keep thinking, "I'm a grown woman. What's wrong with me, I need to stop." And I do need to stop. There are all these cuts on my arm, it's summer, I hate wearing long sleeve shirts, I have job interviews to go to... I can't keep doing this. I really just need to put this out there. At least here, you all know what it's like. To know someone is reading this and understands and doesn't think I'm crazy or trying to get attention (which is what I think people think of cutters).

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I started when I was 13-14 ish, I'm 26 now and it's never really gone away...just floated in and around my life coming up strongly during high emotional periods. I impart that to never really learning how to handle my reactive emotions. It definitely does escalate and "evolve" ... I've sort of figured out what I like best, where I like best and how best to hide it. Not exactly good...I've "logicked" it. I noticed the type of harm also evolves, I did start with cutting but at some point that became not enough. Heh

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Yeah, here. I never got the whole attention thing though, I've always hid what happened, and it was a while before I even mentioned it to the doctors.

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I really don't think that many use it for attention. Unless it's like see this help me with that but That's more of an odd subconscious thing. The few that use it Because it's "in" are very very few.

However that didn't Stop me from feeling like a silly little girl. It's sad that I feel that way. I've been a self Harmer since I was 11 now I'm 21. I still feel that way. I always honestly thought I would grow out of it.

It's funny. I myself do it but still look down on those that have scars. I guess I'm judge jealous that they can show them off Because they are scars not cuts or that they are brave enough to say Hey look on ready for help.

I know I dragged this around and missed the point entirely

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I'm 39 and cut. No one knows except my shrink but he doesn't really understand. I do it because of self hatred and hurting myself temporarily stops me from killing myself. It's unhealthy but it works.

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Another adult harmer here. I've been doing various forms of self harm since I was 11 (at least... my memory is pretty fuzzy) and I'm 24 now. It's been more than half my life at this point. Even though it seems like most of the resources are dedicated to teenagers, there are definitely adults who harm too.

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I had a few cutting episodes around 14 and then several at 16 and 17, and then stopped for 4 years, started again when I was 21, it got more frequent and serious over the last few years, I'm 24 now and I still struggle in times of stress not to self harm. It's been a week since I last did.

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I stopped cutting at 17 but then I started coping by hitting, biting and scratching myself instead. I'm 21 now and the hitting isn't too much of an issue as its my legs usually and people don't really see them. Biting can be a bit hard to explain especially if I do it without much though to location and I can't hide it with bangles, in the winter sleeves are pretty good obviously. Scratching is just terrible as it scars still, just as brown blobs rather than lines, I never usually break the skin with biting so I don't have a problem there.

 

It's embarrassing, I've always thought I'd grow out of it and it was just a coping thing without cutting. Apparently not. 

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I'm 45, started  around 30, ironically when I quit drinking and I've noticed when I quit smoking 3 years ago I started cutting a lot more, just an observation.  It's like a release from intense emotions that I don't know what to do with.

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It is so comforting to know that there are others out there my age struggling with the same thing. I don't have anyone in my life that understands my cutting, and I am in between therapists and have not told my pdoc. 

I once cut on my arms and am now stuck with embarrassing scars. Just the other day my brother asked me if I had been in a knife fight or something. Now I am much more careful.

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I never started until about 20, and stopped by 22, fortunately.  It was almost entirely job-related, or when I felt genuine deep shame.

 

I was never suicidal when I cut, either.

 

Interesting point you bring up there about drawing on yourself in lieu of cutting.  I normally don't advocate any 'cutting substitute' but that seems to be a constructive one.  Some people snap rubber bands against their wrists to stop themselves from cutting, but I think that's just as bad. 

 

When I was 20-21, I biked over 3,500 miles in the spirit of self-injury and got what I deserved (pulmonary hypertension and 20 years off of my lifespan).

 

goldskittle, you state that fights with your husband are major SI triggers -- but that your husband feels really bad for you when you resort to cutting.  If the fights are truly driving you to do this, you might want to seek marital counseling.  I am sure your husband won't mind helping out, given how bad he feels...

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I am 30 and I cut. I have been doing it for years now since each year brings more stress in my life. I don't cut often though. Just when I am extremely stressed out. Realism. That is what matters. I started in my 20's because that is when the stress got real bad. I mean in the 90's we had it good. It was beautiful. I still got depressed and psychotic though. But we had no money problems. It looked like I would get a job. I wanted to be an airline pilot. I even went to flight school but never soloed because of the anxiety. In the 90's my parents didn't have life threatening illnesses. My grandpa is 91 and has less health problems than my parents. I am terrified that he will outlive both my my parents. I would be left on the street not knowing to do. My future is dark. I am hopeless. Worthless. 

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