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Needing Support (Brief mention of cutting)


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I am anxiety/bipolar. Many years ago (over a decade now) this forum really helped me get ahold of my self-injurious behaviors,which were driven partly by intrusive thoughts and partly by that early diagnosis period where no med was working yet.  

Now I find myself ten years older, my moods at least able to be managed, and I've just found out my mom, who my husbad and I care for, has cancer.  She is in the hospital; we are waiting for details,for a prognosis. I hate that inbetween waiting; I like to have a plan.  Between the stress,the grief, the uncertainty,and the long days in the hospital, I'm losing it.  My brain is producing more and more thoughts about how I should hurt (cut, cutting was always my thing) myself.  I tell myself over and over that I will not do this.  So far that works fine. 

My husband is wonderful, but I don't have anyone is my life who really *gets it* ... whose actually been there.  So I'm reaching out here. 

Thank you :)

Edited by draginfly
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First of all, I'm so sorry about your mother's cancer diagnosis. I know the awfulness of the uncertainty. My dad was diagnosed with cancer shortly before the pandemic happened. Fortunately they were able to do surgery to remove his. My husband was also in the hospital last year for an ongoing health issue that took a while for the doctors to figure out and that was incredibly stressful, in a different way.

I'm a recovered cutter, so I get that, too, and how the urges come back when things are stressful.

I don't know that I have anything really helpful to say, but I'm here.

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I am here too.  I am sorry you have so much going on, I can understand how cutting sounds like it might relieve the stress.  I'm a mostly recovered cutter, but at times get strong urges and have snuck making a cut a few times this year.  What I've found is that the relief is greatly overshadowed by the shame and fear of someone seeing the marks until they heal.  A few seconds of a cut resulted in a week or more of my feeling terrible about doing it.  Sometimes intrusive thoughts about it can get VERY loud and it feels overwhelming, but I know if I follow through the end result is that I'll feel bad and humiliated and be terrified of someone finding out (I've caused a lot of drama in the family with this habit in the past).

So in summary, I totally get it. I don't have a good solution to shut the thoughts up....sometimes I tell them out loud to shut up, sometimes I'll try to find a distraction like a book or tv or even housework.  I also try to remind myself this is just the result of conditioning from years of doing the behavior, it's not something I HAVE to do, it is just something I got used to doing for a long time so it takes time to adjust to not doing it.  I (mostly) gave it up about 20 years ago but it still rears it's head when I'm overwhelmed and especially when in a mixed state.  But every time I give in I greatly regret it afterwards.

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I haven't cut myself for years. I do understand the urge, and it does come back sometimes. Pretty strongly on occasions. I want to make myself fucking hurt. But I haven't. Not a good way to cope with feelings, and I already have enough scars to be ashamed of.

That wasn't useful. Sorry.

Edited by Fluent In Silence
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