So I was clean of cutting for over a year before January when I cut again. I hoped it was just one slip up, but I fully relapsed now. I know I should tell my psychiatrist and therapist about it, but I know they would inform my parents and my parents would freak (they’ve already searched my stuff several times and locked all the knives and pills away). They didn’t find anything because I hid what I was using because I was because if they found it, they would have just panicked more.
I don’t really know what to do anymore. Honestly at this point it feels like I’m jumping from one horrible coping mechanism to another. I’m either drinking/getting high or self-harming. I recently switched medications, so that’s been a bit difficult. I thought they were helping my mood, but in the last few days, I’ve kind of crashed. I might have been manic for the last week or so, and I guess I’ve hit depression again. I did some stupid stuff that I regret, I got high and slept with my friend. And even though I regret the stuff I did over the past week, I miss feeling good right now and it’s times like this that my urges to cut or get drunk are really strong. No one in my life knows all of this and I know that it would be good to tell my psychiatrist and therapist everything, but it really scares me and I don’t think I can do it. I’m just not ready for everything to change and people to realize that I’m actually really struggling.
I think you can ask the psychiatrist to keep your issues confidential. The problem with keeping your problems secret, is that no one will be able to help you. It sounds like the medications are not managing your symptoms. The psychiatrist needs to know that.
There is a choice. You can try to keep your problems secret until they are extreme enough that everyone finds out about them in a chaotic and upsetting way, or you can give your therapist and psychiatrist an opportunity to help you before that happens.
Horrible coping mechanisms are not effective. Mixing medications with alcohol doesn’t work, and drinking to deal with depression is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline.
Does “feeling good” actually mean temporary emotional numbness? Does it mean giddiness that masks depression?
So you messed up. You also made it a year without messing up. Maybe you can make it another year.
A change will come. It’s inevitable. Things will either get worse or better. You know what you need to do to make things better. Every episode of survival and recovery gives a person added strength. You’ve already survived and recovered, so you know what I’m talking about.
I’m glad you reached out here. You are among friends who’ve experienced similar problems, and want to support you. Please come back and let us know how you’re doing.
Thank you for being here and opening up about what you’ve been struggling with. That’s a lot to carry on your own when you feel as though you can’t tell those around you including your psychiatrist and therapist.
It sounds like you recognize that the ways in which you’ve been coping aren’t healthy and there’s almost a sense of comfort in those coping mechanisms because at least its familiar and predictable. There’s also times when you miss “feeling good” which kind of perpetuates the cycle of unhealthy coping because you want to feel those feelings you get again from those coping mechanisms.
I’m also hearing that you would really like to get these thoughts and feelings off your chest to those around you but are hesitant because of the changes that would take place as a result because you don’t want people to know that you’re really struggling. On the other hand, however, you’re still struggling without people knowing that you’re struggling. So, at least if people knew that you were struggling they could come alongside you and give you support. This doesn’t mean you have to tell everyone you know right away what you’re struggling with. It could start with just telling your psychiatrist and therapist and as you work through what you’re struggling with and feel more comfortable to do so, you can share it with others close to you in your life.
Especially when it comes to medication, letting your psychiatrist know that you’ve been struggling can help them create a plan to help tailor your medication. Unfortunately finding the right dose and medication can take a bit of trial and error so I would encourage you to be honest with them and let them know that this new adjustment has been difficult. Regarding your therapist, sharing these struggles with them would also be really beneficial and allow you to gain some great resources for how to cope and process what you are feeling if you do not feel comfortable sharing what’s been going on with anyone else in your life just yet. Having fresh insight and ideas on other ways to cope is really helpful especially when we get in cycles where we automatically go to those unhealthy coping mechanisms.
I think posting about this here is a wonderful first step in opening up and getting support in this!! You don’t have to shoulder this alone. Know that should you decide to start by telling your psychiatrist and therapist that we will be here to support you in that!
Med changes can be brutal. I wish I had better advice to offer, but the best I have is when things get bad, close your eyes and remember with all your might that what you’re going through is temporary and will pass. It’s just the meds, it’s not the way you are. Try saying it out loud, that activates more parts of your brain and makes it more concrete.
You should still tell your psych, they need to know what you’re going through and advise you on whether it’s expected or worrisome. You may also decide that you can’t tolerate these meds. I’ve done that before. Maybe don’t lead with the SH with your psych, just say that the med change is really rough and making you want to act out your coping mechanisms. You may want to tell your therapist about what you’re acting out though. They are there to guide you through life, not to judge. If you’re worried about them telling your parents, first ask them what they’re legally obligated to report.
I hope you get through this alright. Try to keep in mind that a relapse doesn’t send you backward in your recovery, and you can pick up right where you left off. Remember, you always have friends here when things get bad. Hold fast
Thank you for sharing your hurt with us, it is such a brave step to take. Med changes are so hard, especially when they take sometime to take effect and then if they have to change again.
Can I ask why you don’t feel ready for change? Do you feel like people would think less of you for struggling?
You deserve love and support and you deserve to feel something more than this hurt that’s weighing you down. Your parents and your psychiatrist just want you to be safe from harm. You don’t deserve to be hurting yourself. I hope sharing what’s going on has made things a little easier for you
There really isn’t a reason to go to therapy if you’re not going to be honest. They can only help you with what you talk about. If you’re not completely honest and tell them what is on your heart and everything that goes on in your head, then it’s not going to work.