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need help to convince myself not to si- TW


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I'm really struggling with wanting to hurt myself in a part of my body I usually don't hurt.

It feels scary because I know self injury has its own momentum and I think I don't want this to become a routine thing for me, as SI has in the past. I can't bring myself to talk to tdoc about it, but I've written about it a little. 

At least I've got some insight into it, but I'm not sure how useful it is.  I guess the logic goes like this: 

1. Remembering trauma causes sensations in my body

2. The sensations cause shame

3. If I burn myself  the sensations will go away temporarily

4. If I burn myself enough the sensations will go away completely (but this is pretty scary too)

5. If the sensations go away the shame will go away

Maybe the logical flaw here is the jump from 4 to 5? Cause burning might just make more shame? I'm not sure.  Any thoughts?

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Hmm... it seems likely that the self harm will cause more shame, rather than less. Because you will still have the original shame associated with the trauma, but will be also adding to it by the self harm.

I know it sucks to have trauma sensations in our bodies. SO SUCKS.

And sometimes I find it helpful to remember what my old tdoc called "the 4 d's"... you can deal with it (the original sensations, preferably with compassion), if you can't deal you can distract (lots and lots of ways to create alternate sensations without causing permanent harm). If you can't distract you can deny (taking a vacation, pretending it doesn't exist, acting 'as if'... this rarely works for me when I'm this distressed). If you can't deny you can dissociate (this is where rescue meds and self medicating tend to show up).

I hope you find useful ways to get through it however you need to. Harm reduction can be a reasonable approach as well, if the urges get too strong to avoid completely.

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I don't know if this is an unhealthy way to cope, but it helps me to think that I can do this act of self harm if I choose to, just not right now. At some point in the future, not now and not today, I will let myself do this.

If I try to think I never will do it that is too hard.

I like the idea of 4 d's, Woo. Deny and dissociate make the most sense to me. So I'm watching a lot of tv today. Dissociating is a pretty comfortable and easy state for me to achieve. Seems like therapy has been too focused on "grounding" and "being aware of my body". Yuck. Why bother?

Giving myself permission to dissociate as much as I need to to get through this seems like a good idea.

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It doesn't have to be pretty... you just have to get through it.

Delaying is totally a reasonable strategy. You can "defer" your decision. I guess that's another D to put in there somewhere?

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I used to burn too. Think of the big puffy scars and fastidious wound care to prevent infection (and how often wound care fails to prevent that in burns anyway). Think of the excessive healing time in general...

Really not worth it.

Anyway, good luck, I hope you are managing to get by since you posted.

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Thank you to everyone for all of the support.  It made a world of difference to know that this doesn't have to be a secret, even if it's "just" people on the internet who know. I put "just" in quotation marks, because your helps was very valuable to me.

It's been a few days now and I'm doing much better. I was able to distract myself long enough, and just keep putting it off until eventually the urges went away. It's good to remind myself that this is possible.

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