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Hey,

I just stumbled upon this forum and had a look around... Obviously the reason for stumbling is because SI is on my mind and I want to do it so very very much right now. I've had an episode recently, but before then not for years. Right now i can feel the adrenaline rising, but i'm looking at my little sister asleep on the couch and I feel that I shouldn't do it, it'll be wrong. But over the last few years I convinced myself that self-harm isn't a bad thing - because i'm not a bad person really and I don't harm anyone else, and it kind of makes you feel better in the end so for me its not a bad thing (at times like these it makes sense!).

I crave it so much right now. I don't want to talk to anyone I know and see their pitying eyes. I don't want to go to my GP and look like i'm faulty because i'm not. I don't want to call helpline because my voice would shake and i hate that. Alternatives thread doesn't offer anything appealing - if you don't end with a scar or a bruise then it'll feel hollow. I wish I had a second layer of skin that I could slice up and hide it just for my own perusal. Just thought I'd post on here, as some kind of mindless raging scream.

... Re-reading this lot is making me feel better though - purpose served?

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Have you tried the alternative where you draw on yourself with a marker or sharpie where you want to cut? Some of our folks who like to see blood or have marks find that helpful.

Self-harm does not make you a bad person, for sure. I don't think that it's morally wrong or anything. However, it can have some nasty after effects, both physical and mental, even though it does help in the moment. Have you ever found any alternatives that do work for you? Sometimes you have to try a LOT that suck for you before you find any that are at all useful. I'd encourage you to keep trying them even though it's frustrating.

Keep posting, if it helps you. We're here to listen. And if you want to, feel free to pop into Live Chat - there are a couple people around at the moment, and we can't hear your voice, so it won't be shaky (though having worked on crisis lines before - they don't care if your voice shakes).

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Didn't help. Maybe I'll try a sharpie next time...

That sounds like a good idea. Someone once suggested snapping a rubber band against your arm.

You can resist this urge once more. Thinking of your little sister is great. A positive reason to stay strong. You were able to stop for years. That's wonderful! Don't forget the strength and love that took to accomplish.

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I don't understand. Doing something to yourself to cause yourself pain is SI - surely that includes the "alternative coping mechanisms" be it rubber bands or ice? The only difference is that they don't leave lasting marks. But its still SI isn't it? Its like saying "Don't do this thing that offends people around you, instead to this other thing so that no-one can tell what you're doing". I guess it would work if what you needed is to be snapped out, but not if you're craving externalising the pain.

So, today i'm bruising myself (first time!) - no-one would think the marks unusual as I do extreme sports. Everyone's a winner?

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You're right - those coping skills are generally what we would consider "harm reduction". That means that while yes, they still involve inflicting pain on yourself, we do recommend them in cases when other methods have been tried and have failed. And this is not because they are "more socially acceptable" but because they are less harmful to your body than poking holes in it, burning it, bruising it, or whatever you do.

This is sort of a grey area. Generally speaking, we support abstinence over harm reduction, but we do include those potential coping skills because, for some people, they keep them from cutting when nothing else does. And that's better for YOU, not for society.

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This is sort of a grey area. Generally speaking, we support abstinence over harm reduction, but we do include those potential coping skills because, for some people, they keep them from cutting when nothing else does. And that's better for YOU, not for society.

Ah I see the distinction. I shall think more on it, thankyou Trip.

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I guess what helps is to realize what a temporary solution it is. It feels really great when you're doing it, but then the guilt sets in, and you see other people that love you (ie your sister) and all you're thinking about is that scar/bruise/whatever and you can't even have fun with those people anymore. Whenever they say I love you, you feel guilt because you know that what you've done is something that they hate. Because they love you. What also helps, though it's the hardest one, is to realize that you do not deserve to be in pain. You deserve to be happy, whole, and healthy. I'm here to talk if you ever need to.

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  • 2 months later...

Hey Sarah. Thank you for your thoughts. What if I don't feel guilty? its like two separate points of view being in control. First (self-centered): I deserve to be hurt so I should be hurt. Second (logical): its a private matter, don't offend/hurt any outsiders by exposing it. Its like a vicious circle. In a way I feel that SI is a weakling's way out - its much harder and so much less rewarding/sensual to just... I don't know, be somebody else. Its "easier" to go and hurt yourself, but because its easier it means that I'm weak, i suck, and deserve to be punished, and there it goes again.

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Hey Sarah. Thank you for your thoughts. What if I don't feel guilty? its like two separate points of view being in control. First (self-centered): I deserve to be hurt so I should be hurt. Second (logical): its a private matter, don't offend/hurt any outsiders by exposing it. Its like a vicious circle. In a way I feel that SI is a weakling's way out - its much harder and so much less rewarding/sensual to just... I don't know, be somebody else. Its "easier" to go and hurt yourself, but because its easier it means that I'm weak, i suck, and deserve to be punished, and there it goes again.

SI is not an easy way out. It becomes an addiction because you've used it as a coping method, and when you have a coping method that works, you don't try to get rid of it. The problem with SI is that the injurer knows it is a bad, harmful, self-destructive way to cope after some amount of time, but they can't stop. That's why it becomes a craving and you get a physical response if you don't do it, like withdrawal basically.

I would like to refer you to this page for the "why" of SI and I encourage you to read through other sections as well.

I think that your second or "logical" point of view is where guilt eventually sets in. You don't want to hurt outsiders by exposing it because why? If you did, you'd feel guilty for hurting them. Logically, right? That's why SI is a "secret shame" like the website title indicates, although there is no shame in the website (see intro).

SI is not a weakling's way out. A lot of the time, it's a cry for help (which can be confused with attention-seeking behavior) and/or to prevent the injurer's own suicide. It is not a botched suicide attempt, it's usually a means by which to stay strong and keep living.

It's not rewarding, it's relieving. Dictionary.com defines sensual as follows (sorry about formatting):

1.

pertaining to, inclined to, or preoccupied with the gratification of the senses or appetites; carnal; fleshly.

2.

lacking in moral restraints; lewd or unchaste.

3.

arousing or exciting the senses or appetites.

4.

worldly; materialistic; irreligious.

5.

of or pertaining to the senses or physical sensation; sensory.

So it must be sensual. It is. The pain expresses and therefore pain must be felt. There have been times I haven't felt it at all until an hour after; it's still sensual.

And it's not self-centered in the way you're thinking for it to be a self punishment. You don't deserve to be hurt (I'm being a hypocrite, refer to some of my ramblings).

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erm, A #1, I don't think any of us here--or anywhere, really--SI because we're weak. It's a way to cope, a way to express, a way to stay alive...not weak.

I asked Breezy just the other day, why do you feel you deserve punishment? Criminals deserve punishment. Are you a criminal? I doubt it. So you don't deserve punishment.

SI...is a very private thing. My family, some of my friends, and Boyfriend all know that I do it, but no one is ever around for it. My sister sometimes helps me with bandaging if it's awkward for me to manage, but that's it. No one else sees until the next day. Boyfriend asks only that I text and let him know I'm alright afterwards. It's both easier and harder having everyone know, because it's no longer private. My parents are disappointed, my sister confused, Boyfriend worried.. It's hard to lose that bubble. Even when only Boyfriend knew, it was difficult, because for 14 years this was mine. It was my secret weapon against the pain of the world. Giving up that privacy took a lot of work, convincing myself that it wouldn't be so bad. I've gotten used to not hiding my arm anymore; a little girl at the park asked what had happened. Being of a mind that children should not be lied to, even if the topic was painful, I told her simply that I'd cut myself. She stared up at me, took my hand, and kissed my scars. She gave me a hug and said I'd be ok. That was a huge turning point.. I'm still not having any luck stopping or easing back, but not everyone will judge or be repulsed if I can't avoid it.

Wow that was rambling. Sorry.

Anywhoodle, you said that typing the entry had helped some. Have you tried keeping a journal? I've got a journal I keep all of my MI and SI entries in. I write about how I'm feeling beforehand, and sometimes it helps me keep going another night. Sometimes I write after, and try to figure out what it was that drove me to SI that night. Which reason behind it was the cause? Perhaps a journal would help you get the feelings out of your head so you can look at them on the screen or on paper and have them be easier to identify.

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