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Why do you want to stop?


Mim

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I am making a serious attempt to stop cutting, here. No more promises only to myself to stop, which are too easy to break. I signed a contract yesterday that I was going to do my goddamn best to stop this; as part of that I turned over all my tools, so even if I do give in I won't be able to inflict any serious damage to myself. I dumped all my liquor, which makes it easier for me to cut too much and too badly, down the kitchen sink. And, perhaps most importantly, I gave up the secret. SI is no longer just my problem. Other people know about it--professionals, yes, but also my family. Not all of them know yet, but the hardest conversations are over. So if I SI now, I have to be accountable for it to those people.

I have other stuff to keep me busy--a handheld game, my jewelry making, my writing and journaling, etc. However, at this point I'm trying to start as much reinforcement for myself as possible, while I still feel good about this decision and the resolve is still strong. So, for those who have stopped SI, or who would like to stop, why is that? What reasons do you have?

For me, cutting is a pain in the ass. First there's cleanup; even if I manage to get away with shallow ones that don't bleed very much, I still have to clean my tools and the area. But of course SI never stays static, does it? By now I have escalated to the extent that I'm dissatisfied unless there is damage. Sometimes cutting itself frustrates me, because I can't do enough to satisfy myself. That means cleaning up blood--off my desk, off my clothes, off my bedding, out of my carpet, sometimes out of my keyboard. It's a fucking hassle, it really is. And I know more ways to get blood stains out of fabrics and upholstery than anyone should know. And my source of coping and validation has now also become a source of frustration. Makes me want to kick things, I don't mind saying.

Even after I've got things cleaned up, I still have to dress them. I've had a good, close look at infection and what it can do, and I think I'll take a pass, thanks. Even on my most apathetic and self-destructive days I do not leave bad cuts unprotected. But that's a problem for me, because I also have adhesive allergies, and latex makes me itch. Finding a method of dressing cuts that does not involve any tape, band-aid, elastic wrap, Coban, liquid bandage, "hurt-free" elastic "tapes" or any of their ilk is an adventure that has led me all over the internet. It was someone here who finally suggested a plain old cotton sock with the toe cut out, and that is what works.

And let's talk about itching for a minute. I have problematic skin that's prone to breakout, and itching has become the bane of my existence. I would rather be in pain than itch. If I had known at the outset how much itching was in store for me as a result of this, that might have been enough to keep me from starting. The worst part is that even if/when I manage to successfully stop, the scars are going to continue to itch.

I am tired of cutting. I still want it--I'm haunted by the image of having scarring patterns all up my right arm--but at the same time, I'm tired and frustrated with it. The urges annoy me, because I know I won't be able to do it "badly enough" to satisfy myself. I keep my arm covered from myself, because when I look at it I'm disappointed that I have quit without finally hitting the magic satisfaction mark. Yet...if I cut any deeper I'll soon be wandering dangerous ground indeed. Still, it sucks to feel like I have failed even at this. It feels like I can't do anything right...I run from everything.

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I want to stop because when im feeling happy and want to go out with friends i hate wearing long sleeves, also because i will disappoint my family.

I have been SI for 3 years now and in the last year my mum and dad found out, then my brothers. They are very supportive of me, but i still feel bad about it when they find out i SI.

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I have stopped cutting many years ago, but recently relapsed into burning myself to bring myself back from a derealized/depersonalized state. I want to stop because I hate the way it disappoints the people who care about me, hate the way it scares them and makes them feel helpless, and I want to stop because I hate feeling like I'm worthless. I need to find a better way to deal with these states of mind when they occur, I just haven't found it yet.

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Humanoid, I mostly got sucked into cutting for the same reason: proof, grounding, validation, reality...whatever it is supposed to be called. It serves as an anchor when I start to doubt reality. I'm hoping the medication and therapy together will help with that.

I talked to some of my family about this yesterday. I haven't told all of them yet, but I did get the most difficult conversations out of the way. I had to do it over the phone. I am ashamed of that, but there was no way I could talk to them about it face to face.

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Humanoid, I mostly got sucked into cutting for the same reason: proof, grounding, validation, reality...whatever it is supposed to be called. It serves as an anchor when I start to doubt reality. I'm hoping the medication and therapy together will help with that.

I talked to some of my family about this yesterday. I haven't told all of them yet, but I did get the most difficult conversations out of the way. I had to do it over the phone. I am ashamed of that, but there was no way I could talk to them about it face to face.

Yeah, the pain definitely serves as a way to say "Okay, I feel pain. I'm a person, a real person, I am alive in this world, and this is real." At least that's how I see it. There are other ways of course to cause pain without damaging, I just haven't gotten to the point where I feel it will work. I've been given much advice on this, still having trouble working it out in the moment, though.

I'm really glad you were able to tell your family about it, it's definitely a step forward to come clean about what you are doing. It lifts some of the burden you're carrying when you self harm. It's a long difficult road, that's for sure. Good for you getting that part out of the way, I hope they were understanding or at least that they were supportive of you and your efforts to stop.

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The family don't "get" it, but I was able to get them to listen to me. It helped a lot that I could immediately hold up my new medication and therapy appointment and say "but see, now I'm going to do something about it." I think the worst thing is the way they seem to blame themselves. It took me repeated explanations and assertions to get it across to them that this depression and irrationality are due to illness, and that when I'm irrational I do things that don't seem to make sense, like cut. I had to really talk to get them to accept that the illness part isn't a choice or a weakness of character, and that I really did need help in order to get better of it. The news that I had attempted suicide, even though I didn't manage to seriously hurt myself, did not go over well. But again, even though I understand in rational moments that suicide is not what I want, I'm not always rational. This is no one's fault; nobody caused it. I'm not sure they understand or agree yet, but at least they stopped arguing with me about it, and started asking questions. I'm not equipped to answer all questions yet, but I did at least talk openly with them, which was something I didn't feel I'd ever be able to do.

I didn't realize for a long time that my feelings of emotional numbness and unreality were anything but a lack of emotional depth (a personality flaw) until yesterday, when the psychiatrist told me it sounded like depersonalization/derealization. This gives me something to chew over, because if it's not an innate personal flaw, that means I might be able to fix it. Kind of a cool thought.

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The family don't "get" it, but I was able to get them to listen to me. It helped a lot that I could immediately hold up my new medication and therapy appointment and say "but see, now I'm going to do something about it." I think the worst thing is the way they seem to blame themselves. It took me repeated explanations and assertions to get it across to them that this depression and irrationality are due to illness, and that when I'm irrational I do things that don't seem to make sense, like cut. I had to really talk to get them to accept that the illness part isn't a choice or a weakness of character, and that I really did need help in order to get better of it. The news that I had attempted suicide, even though I didn't manage to seriously hurt myself, did not go over well. But again, even though I understand in rational moments that suicide is not what I want, I'm not always rational. This is no one's fault; nobody caused it. I'm not sure they understand or agree yet, but at least they stopped arguing with me about it, and started asking questions. I'm not equipped to answer all questions yet, but I did at least talk openly with them, which was something I didn't feel I'd ever be able to do.

I didn't realize for a long time that my feelings of emotional numbness and unreality were anything but a lack of emotional depth (a personality flaw) until yesterday, when the psychiatrist told me it sounded like depersonalization/derealization. This gives me something to chew over, because if it's not an innate personal flaw, that means I might be able to fix it. Kind of a cool thought.

I think it's hard for anyone who hasn't personally experienced it to completely and fully understand it. That's not to say others don't have an idea, and there are exceptions like therapists, psychiatrists etc. but I truly believe it's one of those "You'd have to be in my situation to REALLY get it" type of things. It's a good sign that they listened though I hope they stop blaming themselves, that leads to a lot of unneeded pain for everyone. I was lucky enough to have a mother who has mental illness herself so I have never had to validate my pain as a true illness, my family understands that, but I really feel for those that have to explain that what they have is a true illness, and not just a personality flaw or laziness etc. I'm glad you were able to learn about the losing touch with reality and person, I only recently learned it had a name and was a symptom of my personality disorder (which has changed from Borderline to NOS, but ehhh I find it debatable) anyway! It's nice to know that what you have others are experiencing too and the possibility of recovery from it.

I truly wish you good luck and I'm here if you ever need someone to talk to. I've found it's easier, for me, to talk to someone that I don't have to face the next day or ever, and it sounds similar for you, so if you ever feel the need, I'm around.

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I stopped burning myself as a teen because it upset other people. I just genuinely had an awakening moment when I woke up and realized it was horrible for other people to deal with. I only burned for a period of about 6 months though, mostly whilst extremely drunk. But, yeah, I was lucky I guess.

Anna

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I'm trying to stop because I'm tired of having to explain my scars or ignore the stares. I'm trying to stop because I know how much it hurts the people who love me. I'm trying to stop because I want a life where I can be all of who I am, but when I self-harm, I'm constantly having to hide that part of me. I'm trying to stop because I'm trying to start believing that I deserve to be treated with love and respect, and that kind of treatment has to start with the self.

I'm trying to stop because I'm trying to live and be happy.

(GOOD THREAD! Let us know how we can support you; I know it's hard to quit.)

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I feel like shit today, and I really, really want to cut. I can't, because I turned over all my tools, but I still want to. I'd been feeling a little better for the last few days, but since yesterday...not so much. Instead of cutting, I am entering this here, and then I'm going to write in my journal before I have to go to work. I hope work isn't very busy today...my concentration and energy are non-existent.

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Cool thread.

I stopped because I felt ashamed, I guess. It was a secret I didn't talk about for a long time. I wanted to focus on using coping skills instead, which helped me feel better not just in the moment but in the long run.

Kudos to all of you!

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Hey guys,

I'm not in a place yet where I can stop cutting. I kind of want to for all the reasons one would want to - it's not normal, it can be dangerous, it upsets those close to me etc, but I also feel very much that it's a 'coping mechanism' that works for me at the moment. I'm not justifying it as right, but that's just how it is for me right now.

Anyway, I wanted to say well done to all of you that have stopped or are actively trying to stop. It can't be easy, and I immagine it can be like giving up an addiction. It requires a real strength of mind, except for us our mind is where we fall down so it makes it all the more harder, I think.

Well done to you all, and for those still trying you're doing really well and keep at it, I'm sure it will be worth it in the end.

Vicky

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Vicky, I think you've hit on something very important. I've come to believe that, in order to make quitting stick, it's necessary to be in the right mental place first. I've been trying to quit SI in various different ways for quite awhile, and failing, mostly because I wasn't really ready to stop. Even when I started genuinely wanting to stop, I wasn't able to, because I was certain no one would support me, and was too afraid to tell any of my social network about it. In my case, in order to make it happen, I had to go in a roundabout way: I made an appointment with a doc, got put on meds, and then, equipped with professional outside validation, told my family. I'd lived in doubt for so long that it took the hospital staff expressing their disbelief that I could have doubted something was really wrong to make the full realization sink in.

I'm not very good at this, but the point I'm trying to make here is that SI is a very hard habit to quit, and I think in at least some cases it takes outside assistance (things like emotional support, CBT, or even turning over all one's tools as I've done, etc.). I think, if you don't feel ready to quit, even feeling intensely guilty or wanting to stop might not be enough. I don't know how true this is for anyone else, but in my case I've "permitted" SI for so long because in my mind it has become normalized. For me, relearning healthier ways of thought, and reforming my habits, is going to be what's difficult. It was, in a way, revelatory to wake up to the fact that my SI is not minor. It is not just something I do sometimes to make myself feel validated or stop myself from disconnecting with reality. I could be doing other things, and I should be. Those things have been true all along, and I've known them academically, but I didn't fully accept them until my mind was ready to. I can't say, but I would guess that's true for at least most people, if not everyone.

I'm not having a very good day, and I don't think my language and vocab skills are up to par. I hope that came across and at least sort of made sense. :P

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My main reason for wanting to stop is because it is a pain in the ass to hide cuts/scars from my four children. Perhaps my reason should be more psychologically motivated, or "mindful" but there it is.

I SI'd when I was a teen, then stopped for a long time, and started again about 6 years ago (when my life blew up). I mostly stopped until a few months ago (when my life blew up again), but it is my plan to stop. I wish I had a clearer idea of what helped me stop before, but I think it was just that I was done. Something in me changed, or was purged enough, and I didn't need it.

Good luck to everyone on their way to quitting!

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Hello All,

This is my first time posting and hopefully it is something someone finds helpful!

While I have cut a few times in the past, my main form of SI is that I pull out the hair on my legs with tweezers and when I do it, I dig into my skin so it makes little cuts up and down my shins. Lately, when I have the urge to pull I think about all the germs and infections I am opening my body up to. I work in a hospital so I am at a higher risk for contracting MRSA and thinking of having a nasty little staph infection that would never go away or some other horrible disease definitely makes me think twice about pulling. I've attached some links below for what kind of infections you open yourself up to by SI-ing, I know looking at these helped me to fight the urge to SI.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methicillin-resistant_Staphylococcus_aureus

http://www.healthhype.com/staph-skin-infections.html

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I want to stop because I know how much it upsets my boyfriend, I don't want to have to see him sad because of something I'm doing to myself. I want to stop before I have to tell anyone else about it, I feel so ashamed if I have to tell by boyfriend and I can't bear the idea of having to go through the same thing with other people. My mum saw some of my scars a few months ago, having practiced for the moment I was able to brush them off as the result of a fall, but I can't be sure she believed me. I don't want to have to tell her the truth.

I finally told my doctor a few weeks ago that I SI, something I didn't think I would ever do, I'm hoping it's a good sign of being able to get control of it.

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