How to deal with the stress? Former self injurer needs help. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 10-04-2006, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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this is a hard and embarrassing and painful post to post.

I used to hurt myself when I was younger and under severe stress, anxiety, etc, or if I were having a severe migraine cycle. I"d scratch my arms, legs with my nails or a knife.

I am under an intense amount of stress again, and have been really stuggling not to start again.

I"d appreciate any advice/support you may have.

Thanks.
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#2 of 31 Old 10-04-2006, 12:50 PM
 
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this is a hard and embarrassing and painful post to post.

I used to hurt myself when I was younger and under severe stress, anxiety, etc, or if I were having a severe migraine cycle. I"d scratch my arms, legs with my nails or a knife.

I am under an intense amount of stress again, and have been really stuggling not to start again.

I"d appreciate any advice/support you may have.

Thanks.
Do you write at all?? I also used to hurt myself and took up writing to help with the stress. I keep journals that I can just totally purge in. Not sure if thats the sort of advice you are looking for... but you have my sympathy I know how hard it is to break the habit.

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#3 of 31 Old 10-04-2006, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know I should write but it takes too much energy.
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#4 of 31 Old 10-04-2006, 02:13 PM
 
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I have no good advice, mama, other than try to get some "me" time if you can.

Sending love...........
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#5 of 31 Old 10-04-2006, 02:16 PM
 
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s mama i have no idea how to help you. but have you asked to get into the abuse forum? even if u lurk there and dont wanna post u might find some resources there. u dont have to tell ur story.

if u have already done this then please ignore.

but i see by ur no. of posts and time of joining that u should get access to it. u have to pm CM or msmom i think or even abimommy.

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#6 of 31 Old 10-04-2006, 02:24 PM
 
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Been there, done that. How do you feel about anti-depressants? I was on them for awhile, off for awhile, really against going back on them, but I started again recently and I'm so glad I did. It's made such a difference in how I feel, how I handle stress, and how I mother. I'm taking Lexapro now, which seems to work for me much better than Zoloft (which I used to take). I know medication isn't the answer for everything, but I do think that sometimes the brain just needs a little 'help'.

Hang in there. I'm not sure what else to say.
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#7 of 31 Old 10-04-2006, 02:44 PM
 
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In working with people that cut/burn/scratch in my career, I've known some client's who've been able to get a similar kind of relief from running icecubes on their arms, or snapping rubberbands on their wrists/ankles.

Those are sort of controversial ideas, because people can still certainly cause injury with icecubes and rubberbands, but from a "harm-reduction" viewpoint, they are seen as a less destructive alternative.

I've also known a couple clients who cut because they like to see themselves bleed, and they've been able to reduce their cutting by using a red marker or red paint on their arms. For them, just seeing the red on their skin helped to alleviate the urge to cut.

Other clients I've known have been able to distract themselves with other self-induced intense sensations; spinning around to become dizzy, running in place to get an adrenaline rush, eating very very spicy food, clapping until their hands burn.

Are you familiar with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)? It's a therapy model that was designed to treat people with borderline personality disorder, but a lot of the skills are useful for people who self-harm - even if they don't have bpd. You may be able to order the workbook online.

I admire your courage in "talking" about this. I hope you find a new and effective way to manage your stress!
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#8 of 31 Old 10-04-2006, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Been there, done that. How do you feel about anti-depressants? I was on them for awhile, off for awhile, really against going back on them, but I started again recently and I'm so glad I did. It's made such a difference in how I feel, how I handle stress, and how I mother. I'm taking Lexapro now, which seems to work for me much better than Zoloft (which I used to take). I know medication isn't the answer for everything, but I do think that sometimes the brain just needs a little 'help'.

Hang in there. I'm not sure what else to say.
I was on Zoloft for ppd for a while. Been off for almost a year.

Part of the fear with anti depressants is that they tend to trigger my migraines. I've been doing real well with accupuncture keeping them away but the stress has brought them back. I don't think I could handle daily migraines now brought on by the meds, kwim?
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#9 of 31 Old 10-04-2006, 03:05 PM
 
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i used to hurt myself as a teenager, now it's been over 10 years since I have. I started journaling to get the bad feelings out. I write poems, ramblings, and sometimes just angry things that make me feel better. I think what happens, is you get these overwhelming feelings, and you don't know how to let them out. It feels like you many even explode, so you hurt yourself as an escape. It's important to find another way to let the feelings out - a way that won't harm you. You can run, walk, write, yell into a pillow, punch a pillow, or whatever else will help you dispose of that negative energy.

I hope you are able to find an outlet that works for you soon. You don't deserve to be hurt, even if you are the one inflicting the pain on yourself. Feel free to PM me if you need to talk to someone who's been there. There is also a great thread froma while back about ex cutters that you mind find useful.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#10 of 31 Old 10-04-2006, 03:19 PM
 
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I used to SI and I have relapsed a few times. I admire you because you have not SI'd in so long. You're going a good job. One of the things my therapist suggested was coloring in a coloring book (I was 17 when I started seeing my therapist). The fast motion of scribbling and the repeatativeness of it was soothing to me. You just need to add some more coping skills to your tool box. If you google "coping skills SI" you'll get a whole list of suggestions.. this is one website that has a lot of the suggestions my therapist gave me. I see that you have taken zoloft, did you see a psychiatrist when you were taking it? The doctor should be able to give you the name of a therapist. Therapy can be very hard, even taking the step to make that appointment is hard, but with out it I really don't think I'd be here. Being stressed out and not being able to do anything to releive the tension is horrible.

Wishing you peace.
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#11 of 31 Old 10-04-2006, 07:16 PM
 
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Hey, RubyV - I'm not actually stalking you all the way from the working mamas forum, just saw your referral to this in TAO. I'm afraid I don't have any experience with SI to offer, but I can send support your way. Do hang in there. Hopefully if you can make some positive changes with the other stuff that is troubling you, it will assist with this as well.

Does your dh know that the issues with work and childcare (and whatever else, I don't know if it goes further) are leaving you puking in the morning and thinking of self-injury??? Quite apart from the stuff your daughter is going through, this seems to be a big, big sign that the status quo is not working and not worth it. I would hope that your partner in life would see that and that the two of you could work together on it. It's better to be on the same page about these things - but if you're not, please consider giving priority to your own and your daughter's mental and physical health and safety.

As I said, I do not have any expertise or experience with self-injury, but I know from your other posts you're feeling pretty powerless right now, and legitimately upset about the situation - maybe taking back your power to act directly in areas of your life where you're not happy will make it less tempting to enact power over your own body in this way.
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#12 of 31 Old 10-04-2006, 07:58 PM
 
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I just wanted to add my support and reassert that you have nothing to be ashamed of. Like a pp said, you can feel proud of how well you've controlled the urge to SI.

I basically have the same advice as others:
1. See a therapist
2. Journal
3. Get out of the house as much as possible to distract yourself
4. Look into meds if you feel comfortable with that avenue
5. Develop a support network of people who know you and your situation and are willing to talk you through rough times. You'd be surprised how many people are open to helping. If you can't talk to anyone IRL, post on MDC or other online boards.

Hang in there, mama and keep posting.
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#13 of 31 Old 10-04-2006, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, RubyV - I'm not actually stalking you all the way from the working mamas forum, just saw your referral to this in TAO. I'm afraid I don't have any experience with SI to offer, but I can send support your way. Do hang in there. Hopefully if you can make some positive changes with the other stuff that is troubling you, it will assist with this as well.

Does your dh know that the issues with work and childcare (and whatever else, I don't know if it goes further) are leaving you puking in the morning and thinking of self-injury??? Quite apart from the stuff your daughter is going through, this seems to be a big, big sign that the status quo is not working and not worth it. I would hope that your partner in life would see that and that the two of you could work together on it. It's better to be on the same page about these things - but if you're not, please consider giving priority to your own and your daughter's mental and physical health and safety.

As I said, I do not have any expertise or experience with self-injury, but I know from your other posts you're feeling pretty powerless right now, and legitimately upset about the situation - maybe taking back your power to act directly in areas of your life where you're not happy will make it less tempting to enact power over your own body in this way.

He doesnt know that I want to self injure.
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#14 of 31 Old 10-05-2006, 11:38 AM
 
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How's it going today?
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#15 of 31 Old 10-05-2006, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How's it going today?
I'm being pushed out at work. DH is freaking.

It's a world of suck.

Haven't given in the the urge tho. It's damned hard.
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#16 of 31 Old 10-05-2006, 03:15 PM
 
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Haven't given in the the urge tho. It's damned hard.
I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. I hope things get better soon.

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#17 of 31 Old 10-06-2006, 10:36 AM
 
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It sounds like something is going to happen to create some change soon, whether you push for it or not. It bites in the moment, but if you don't like how things look now, better that they change, right?
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#18 of 31 Old 10-06-2006, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Had a really bad morning, and it's only 9:30.

Started scratching my arm. Couldn't help myself. Didn't do any damage though, just some redness.

I suck.

Good news is that I have an interview with a local parenting shop for this weekend. Far less money than I'm making now, so dh is freaked and stressed.

Man, I didnot want to come to work today. PUked, cried, begged, but in the end, I'm at my desk.
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#19 of 31 Old 10-06-2006, 11:02 AM
 
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You don't suck! Its hard to stop self injuring. I did it for 23 years. Any amount of stress and it was the first urge I had. Its no different than a smoker lighting up. Its very addicive. The fact that you're trying to stop is more important than any slip you make!

I would second the DBT suggestion. I took it for 2 1/2 years and it really changed my life. Stopping the SI behavior was REALLY difficult, but much easier with tools from DBT under my belt. And yes, I did have setbacks and felt horrible.. but every day is a new one! Be gentle with yourself and move on.

Journalling can be great. Therapy while you're in DBT is a must (its how the program works) Ripping paper. Shred it. Take a pen and write angrily all over it, poke holes it. Take your usual things you SI with and get rid of them. (hard I know!) Keep your fingernails short. (I still have to do that) Do the opposite of what you're feeling. Sad? Watch a funny movie. Angry? Force yourself to smile. Do a favor for someone. Brighten someones day. Pay for someones toll on the highway, or the coffee for the person behind you. Become proactive. Wallowing in a feeling and spinning no where doesn't help. USE your emotion as motivation to get things done! Own the feelings but realize thats all they are.

Feel free to PM me if you need to talk to someone. I've been there.

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#20 of 31 Old 10-06-2006, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks.

It's only 10:13 am. Blech.

I just cried myself sick again.
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#21 of 31 Old 10-06-2006, 12:04 PM
 
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Good luck with the parenting shop. That sounds very cool. If it's a shop, it would be open weekends and some evenings, right? So even if it's some less money, you might not need to pay for so much (lousy) daycare...


Edited to add: oh, I wonder if your daughter could even come with you, at least some of the time??


It sounds to me like you're being very strong right now, dealing with a difficult situation - no wonder you need to get it out somehow! Some of the other posters have some great suggestions.

And remember, it's just a difficult phase!
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#22 of 31 Old 10-06-2006, 12:26 PM
 
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I know the pain you are feeling. Its very intense. I havent self mutilated since I was 19...well i think i had a bout with it when i was 25, but no blood just red. Not too long ago, oh say a month or two I wanted to scratch. I wanted to and it was because I started hating myself again. I felt that my husband wanted to go look at other women (he didnt, but its a long story how i feel ive trapped him with a family, house and marriage he didnt want...mostly its in my head i think) because my brother was taking him out for his bday. Well i got so mad not realizing my husband was going to come home if they went to a nudie bar, and i wanted to scratch my arms in the worst way. But i held back, i didnt. Instead i made myself obsessed with cleaning the house and getting ready for the party which was the next day. Its hard, I know, ive been there. Its hard to stop once you start, and i dont know about you, but the guilt always got to me as soon as i did it. Id feel incredibly guilty, which was part of the reason why i havent done it in a long time. I realized as a teen, when i hurt myself i hurt others too. I hope you can work through this, i am in counseling and it helps

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#23 of 31 Old 10-06-2006, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just had another episode of scratching. Redness, but thankfully didn't break the skin.

Didn't even realize I was doing it until I felt strangly calm.
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#24 of 31 Old 10-06-2006, 05:01 PM
 
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Take a deep breath! It's almost the weekend.

What would help you find your center over the weekend - some one-on-one time with your daughter? Dh spotting you while you have a hot bath? Taking half an hour to go for coffee and read the paper?
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#25 of 31 Old 10-08-2006, 12:05 AM
 
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sigh... trying to avoid si'ing by reading MDC...
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#26 of 31 Old 10-08-2006, 10:51 AM
 
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Here are some threads that may be helpful (they've helped me anyway):

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ight=ex+cutter (even though the OP deleted her OP there is some useful info)

and

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ight=ex+cutter

I hope today is a better day for both of you.

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#27 of 31 Old 10-09-2006, 11:29 AM
 
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Ack! I feel so bad for deleting those posts--that was a helpful thread for me at least, but there were privacy issues involved.

Just another (mostly) former SI-er chiming in with support.

For me, journaling/writing/interneting is not usually the best way of distracting/avoiding. It seems to help me delay it but not really change the mood.

Walking or other exercise is much better, at least for me.

I think it is important also to not lock yourself into a stereotype. Yes, many people find SI to be disturbing. So what! Deal within your own reality. I find that to end a cycle of SI one of the more important things is to let go of my convictions that I fulfill SI stereotypes--all those negative things that there is no point in enumerating. It has also really helped me to have a close friend who understands SI and who is willing to listen. Therapy can fulfill the same need to talk, but not all (or even most) therapists understand SI.

I'm often on late at night. If you need support late at night, feel free to PM me if I am online. Sometimes just talking helps.
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#28 of 31 Old 10-09-2006, 11:31 AM
 
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Don't feel bad for deleting, I've done it before too. Privacy is important. I'm just happy you didn't delete the entire thread because there is lots of good info in there. I'm so happy to hear that you are feeling better!

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#29 of 31 Old 10-10-2006, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had a good, injury free weekend. Yay.
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#30 of 31 Old 10-10-2006, 01:48 PM
 
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Yay Ruby!!

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