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If you struggle with Self-Harm, Please don't read this post. Tw. Self-Harm, Suicidal thought

First things first: if you struggle with self-harm, please click off this topic. I’m describing methods used and don’t want people to get any ideas on how to harm themselves. I don’t want to be responsible for people hurting themselves again or getting new ideas to do so.

This might sound like a stupid question, but lately, I’ve been drowning more and more in my negative mind. Some thoughts have started to surface again. Thoughts of wanting to not be alive anymore or that I should harm myself to punish me for all the mistakes I’ve been making.
I’ve tried fighting these thoughts, I’ve tried meditating, distracting myself, talking, trying to do things, set small goals, make small future plans, all the usual coping mechanisms that usually worked. They don’t anymore. Last Monday I hurt myself again, broke open a pencil sharpener, cleaned it with some alcohol, and used it to punish myself for all the mistakes I’ve been making since the beginning of the year. There have been a lot, so it took a while before I was done too. I just needed to and even if there had been someone around I don’t think that they could’ve stopped me from doing it, that’s how strong that urge was. Then afterwards there’s the usual shame and self-hatred, the “if you really don’t want to harm yourself, you wouldn’t have put yourself in a position that made it that easy”… which I actually still think might be true. There’s another thing though, even though I didn’t cut myself open days before then, I stopped eating regularly, I started to wear a hairband around my wrist again so I could cut off the blood supply to my hand, I didn’t shower, I pulled my own hair, put my hand over the candle a bit too long… I was already harming myself again, just without the actual cutting. I did quit for a time but stopped noticing when it started to come back up.
Those feelings and thoughts and then at the same time that irking feeling that I don’t belong in this world. I can’t handle these things. Where I live, I’m alone. And the help I might need is so much more than I can ask for from anyone because it would be unfair to ask from others. Besides, my mask would slip on again and I would pretend that I’m fine, even though I know deep down that I don’t belong.
“But there are professional places that might be able to help, you don’t have to feel guilty for them to do their job.” What if I fuck up that too? What if I take the place of someone that needs it more than I do? What if I waste that time and resource that could’ve gone to someone else?

Right now it’s like there are 2 versions of me.
The one shown to the outside world: having fun with others, trying to be social, pretending they don’t care about what others think of them. They seem to fit in because fitting in is easy, you just change who you are.
And then there’s the version behind the veil. The one who can’t seem to reach beyond it. The one who is never really there because they’re too worried. The one who is doomed to die alone because no one will ever be close enough to see them.

There’s a couple of questions I wanted to ask here.

  1. Has anyone thought about their own funeral before? What it would look like? Who would come? Written down what should and shouldn’t be done?
  2. Is it weird that I’m just not hoping for better because that way I can’t be disappointed? Or should I try to hope again? But what if I’ll be disappointed again, I don’t know how long I can do that anymore.
  3. Is it okay if I just exist in this darkness for a while? Just existing and working, not trying to get out… I really could use that break…
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Thank you for sharing what’s going on and we’re glad your here and opening up about things. Obviously I can’t feel what your feeling but a lot of what your saying speaks to things I’ve thought and felt. I don’t know if this would help but someone passed it on to me so I’ll pass it on if it’s helpful. For times that feel too intense for me to manage I put a cold water bottle on the back of my neck and it takes the edge of things. There’s some science about the cold helping a nerve back there, idk but it’s been helpful for me.

When you speak of mistakes and self worth that hits home with me. I think saying we deserve something bad or we have no worth is the ultimate lie we tell ourselves. We each have worth in this world and you have every right to work towards a world you want for yourself because you deserve it.

The thoughts you listed at the end are things I’ve definitely thought about. I think most folks have but they may not admit it. I think it’s okay to know they’ll be periods that suck more than others and some relapses happen but we need to hit like a restart button if possible after those situations. We acknowledge it happened but we start working on improvement going forward, knowing it’s a fight every day against the shame that pops up in our head. I think your a lot stronger than you may think or feel you are. Shame wants to take that thought away but everyday we fight through it or are brave enough to share what’s going on, that’s true strength, and that’s the strength from within you.

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Also talking with a professional can really help. It’s not always a perfect fit but worth trying. The third therapist I tried was really good and it felt like it clicked for her to help.

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What if it wasn’t about fighting these thoughts but more learning:
1/ acceptance of mistakes as they are - I’m sure you wouldn’t believe in punishment as a way to learn for anyone else;
2/ to identify real, objective mistakes and to distinguish them from what you perceive/judge as being mistakes?
Fighting our thoughts, running away and finding ways to distract ourselves are good when there is a need to hurt ourselves. Though distraction can’t be the only option, especially when it comes to the root causes of the urges. Here, it is the estimation of mistakes that were made and the belief that it deserves a punishment. From the beginning of this thought to the end of it, which is to hurt yourself, there are little steps to deconstruct, obstacles to place on the road in order to unlearn this habit that perceived “mistake” → punishment.

I want to invite you, right here, to list all of these mistakes that you have in mind. List them here, in a safe space, where you know there won’t be any judgment. And let’s talk about it. Let’s involve different perceptions - a group made of individuals - to evaluate if those are really mistakes or not.

Then let’s talk about what each mistake is “worth” in terms of learning, about yourself, about your life, your future eventually or even your worth. What each “mistake” say about you, in your opinion. You are encouraged to let it all out, so we could deconstruct, together, there thoughts that have been spiraling in your mind lately. And this could be a good exercise to learn to repeat whether on your own in a journal when it’s needed, or with your therapist as well.

You need to give yourself some grace and more credit. You are not a failure. You are not failing either. There are new routes to take that you probably didn’t envision at first. And… hey, I’m kind at the same point right now. Reconsidering a lot of things. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up on ourselves or even on what matters to us. Don’t let this world crush you. There is enough ugliness out there and it is not worth your beauty.

But there are professional places that might be able to help, you don’t have to feel guilty for them to do their job.” What if I fuck up that too? What if I take the place of someone that needs it more than I do? What if I waste that time and resource that could’ve gone to someone else?

You are not managing your therapist(s) agenda. This is none of your business. You do you, you focus on you. You ask yourself one question: do I need that time that a professional would give me? The answer is yes. And there is no shame to that. Heck, I talk to my therapist every week about so many different things and oftentimes it’s me complaining about myself because I couldn’t fnid the energy to clean the appartment… there is more urgent than that for other people, right? Well it is important to me. And the relation with a therapist is contractual. Which means both people are there on purpose regardless of the content of what is said. If a therapist wants to have other clients, they will always find them. But if you give up on the possibility to see a therapist, then no therapist will know you need them either. It’s stressful to reach out, to learn to trust, to take up space. But it’s worth it. Each time you see them is worth it, because beyond what you say, you learn to take up space for YOU.

Right now it’s like there are 2 versions of me.
The one shown to the outside world: having fun with others, trying to be social, pretending they don’t care about what others think of them. They seem to fit in because fitting in is easy, you just change who you are.
And then there’s the version behind the veil. The one who can’t seem to reach beyond it. The one who is never really there because they’re too worried. The one who is doomed to die alone because no one will ever be close enough to see them.

I see you. I know the both versions of you because you’ve given me the gift of your trust. And I love you as a person. Not some parts of you then others would be rejected.

You know what is right and what isn’t. Deep inside you know it, and you’ve worked many times toward that truth. I believe you can still do it. Without “just existing”. Without giving up on hope. And without being invaded by dark thoughts. All of these may be components of your reality from time to time. But they don’t have to define it entirely, or indefinitely.

You are loved. No relapse changes that. I believe in you, still and always. :hrtlegolove:

PS - These are letters from people in different parts of the world who took the time to write some loving letters for you. I have still to wait a bit and see if others would still arrive, but, in the meantime, I hope it encourages you and give you something to look forward to.

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okay here we go:
I’m lazy
I’m not empathetic or compassionate to others
I’m slow
I’m clumsy
I’m too fat
I think too easy about things that really matter
I’m too easily overwhelmed
I’m a perfectionist
I’m always responding to things when I should take initiative (especially in music)
I’m too easy on myself when it comes to getting stuff done
I’m very anti-social.
I waste too much time on thinking instead of doing
I’m very stubborn.
I’m not nice
It’s like I live in my own world and have no connection to others… not really…
I apologize for everything… because I think everything I do is wrong and a mistake…
I don’t live up to the things that I should do… I can do better and I should do better because I can do better… everything less is just a waste… at least when it comes to what I do. I know my inner thought process so I should be able to do that… right?

Sorry, just my thoughts right now…

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