I haven’t self harmed in years...but I can’t stop thinking about it

I have been walking on my mental health journey since I was about 11 or 12, I was 13 or 14 when I first harmed myself, 21 when I finally got professional help, and I haven’t self harmed since a few months before I turned 22, and I am almost 26 now.

However still I can’t shake this constant nagging, this constant urge, to cut again. If I get a cat scratch, or most recently I simply itched my inner elbow to hard and it left a mark, any physical marking or indicator of pain on my body I obsess over. I stare at it and it feels like it’s on fire. In every aspect other than self harm I feel that I have a decent handle on my mental health. Every time something happens in my life I go through the same thought process;

“Take a bath and you’ll feel better”
Then a whisper in the back of my mind says “cut and you’ll feel better”
“No take your medicine and you’ll feel better”
And again “no no no hurt yourself it’s faster”

It carries on like this for some time. I always fight it, I don’t give in, but it’s a demon that I don’t know how to escape. I’ve been fighting these intrusive thoughts for over 10 years and still I can’t shake it. Is there anything to do, or will I be forced to battle this demon until it kills me? I feel so trapped by these thoughts.

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I’m sorry you went through those seasons of your life. I just wanted to let you know that you are loved. This community loves you. God loves you. I encourage you to reach out for help. This community can help you. Let us know what we can do, and we will be glad to help. I hope you are hanging on. Thank you for sharing. Take care.


Thank you for sharing this with us, thank you for your candor and vulnerability. I too struggled with self harm for years, about the same amount of time as you. I also struggle with those intrusive thoughts still. I fight them, just like you, I focus on productive self-care. I am so sorry that you face this, and in all honesty, I am not sure how to escape those thoughts myself, but It seems like you have a good handle on quelling them, and thats fantastic!
Just know that you’re not alone in this. If you ever want to talk more about it please message me, or if you want someone to help keep you accountable or brainstorm ways to get past the thoughts, let me know.

Much love, friend,
Hannah Presley