I can't stop self-harming

I used to self-harm years ago, when I was a teenager then done it sporadically over the years, but recently ,say, over the last year or so, I've been doing it just about every day, and its getting worse.

I don't know why I do it, but I like the pain, and I like seeing the blood.

When I first started again I was making sure I wasn't cutting to deep as I didn't to end up with loads of scars, and I didn't want my family (especially the kids, coz how do you explain??) to see, but recently I've been caring less and cutting deeper and harder,

A few month ago I had to go to A&E and get 14 stitches. I didn't mean to cut so hard and so deep but the knife was slightly sharper than I anticipated plus it was dark when I done it.

How do I stop? Why did I start again? Why do I do it?

Sorry, yet another post from me, I must have wrote more posts in the last couple of days than half the members on this site have in a year ;)

It's just so good to finally be able to get stuff off my chest without it getting blamed on my drugaddiction and without getting judged!

Thank you all for listening, Holly 101

28 Replies

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  • Don't apologise for posting, Holly, that's what we're all here for. Are you being careful when you cut? Clean blades etc? X

  • I know I just feel like I've been posting too much lol,aw well, that's what this site is for isn't it..

    No,I've no even been careful,not using clean blades,not c;leanin wounds afterwards etc,i'm just past caring really.. But I will at least try and start doing that,coz I suppose I don't wanna end up with some kind of nasty infection as well.. Thanks Lucy34.

    Holly x

  • yes I am the same, I have to do it several times a day now but with scalpel blades and glass rather than a knife.....I dont know why. But I have no kids to worry about so guess im not bothered about scarring. I often do it more like now because I havent been in contact with communnity mental health team, been ignoring all phone calls from nurse etc, again not sure why, I just feel embarressed I think, and I have become a bit of a nuisence to be honest. I do it to help with work too, as I was signed off sick,. but cannot afford it anymore as sick pay doesnt even cover rent.....so I know im awful at my job so I cut before I go and when I get home and sometimes there...but have to be careful as I am a teacher....I have stopped caring about mine to be honest, but I have heard about using ice cubes with red food colouring and elastic bands, etc. But you dont actually injure yourself. And I think that is what I need - injure myself, so for me it wouldnt work, but you could try it. They told me in the hospital when I was an inpatient about it. But I carried on, and in the end they gave in and just ignored it and made sure I cleaned the wounds properly after etc

  • I've heard all sorts of tips too,like use a red pen,elastic bands etc,but its just not the same is it? The kids aren't actually mine,well one is,but that's another story,they're my brother's,but when I go round there for dinner and I sit next to my nephews and my sleeve goes up a bit too far,and they go,as kids do; 'Whats that? And that?' It's so embarrassing,all of us at the dinnertable,what do you say?

    They're 3,9 and 11,how do you explain something like that? Your auntie's no quite right in the heid and likes cutting herself to ribbons?

    It must be hard for you as well, being a teacher, always having to wear long sleeves, especially in this hot weather we've been having..

    Do you know why you do it?

    When I had to go for those stitches, I got treated as if I was wasting their time, I've never been referred to anywhere for it,you would expect the hospital to at least give you a leaflet or some kind of information about where to go for help, or something, but they never,

    they stitched me up,treated me as if I was just attentionseeking, and sent me on my merry way..

    I'd like to stop doing it,but at the same time its such a comfort thing, I really don't think I could stop it right now,maybe don't even want to.. But I know I will regret it it coz my arms an legs are gonna be scarred pretty bad for the rest of my life..

    Good luck Emms, if you come up with something that works instead of actually cutting let me know!

    And I'll do the same..!

    Luv , Holly101

  • Hi Holly

    Please stop beating yourself up for cutting - it's not attention seeking, it's a way you have found of coping with difficult feelings. In my opinion the only way you will overcome the problem is to understand the feelings that are making you do it and then to come to terms with them. Why not ask your GP to refer you to the nearest NHS psychotherapy service. They may insist on CBT first but eventually when that doesn't work you may manage to get referred for longer therapy, preferably psychodynamic. Alternately if you are earning you could go privately - I may be able to advise you on how to find somewhere. It will not provide a quick fix but it may in time enable you to understand what has been making you cut and to realise it's no longer necessary.

    Give yourself a hug from me.

    Suexx

  • Hi Sue, first of all thanks for my hug ;) !

    I already have been referred to a psychiatrist, not by my GP though, but by the mental health nurse from the Community Addiction Team. I've had 1 appointment, but they were saying all my mental health problems, hearing voices, suicide attempts, selfharming, anxiety, depression etc., are all because of my drugproblems. Once I get off the drugs everything will miraculously go away and I'll be fine.. This is their professional opinion..

    I've got another appointment on the 2nd of October, and it'll be a different doctor I'll get to see, coz the one I seen last time is moving somewhere else.

    Not that it'll make any difference, coz who-ever it is you see, they go and discuss your case (and everybody else they've seen that morning) with the team, and come up with a diagnosis.

    It just makes it so much harder being a drug-addict,as they are so quick to blame everything on the drugs.. I keep trying and trying to get clean, and its not the withdrawals I can't handle, it's staying clean I can't seem to be able to do..

    Because its the only way I know how to cope, and it's all I've known my whole life.

    The longest I've been drug-free was 11 months,6 of them were in rehab though, stayed clean another 5 months and then just kinda freaked out, I don't know, I'm still not sure why I relapsed because those 11 months were the best 11months of my entire life.

    But my mental health problems were still there, some of them even got worse because I started remembering things, I wasn't sedated, and everything was a bit too clear at times, that's how I know

    its not just the drugs, but try telling the 'professionals' that..

    Thanks again Sue, I hope you're having a good day, and a big hug back from me!

    Holly Xx

  • Hi again Holly, I don't want to raise false hopes but I am wondering whether there is any possibility of your being referred for in-patient treatment which will help you stay off drugs and at the same time undergo therapy - you are young enough to benefit. You might google the Arbours Association in London and see what that says or find another inpatient treatment centres - it is sometimes possible to get referred within the NHS but you can self-refer and funding may be available via the health authority. Why not have a real go at researching what options there are available for you as local mental health workers are likely to feel pressured to work within local resources and there is a lot more out there if only you can find it. I warn you it is not easy and it will test your motivation but if you can find the determination I think it is possible for you to move out of your problems. You need ongoing weekly support at the very least to stay off drugs as well as a place well away from your supply. Ideal would be a residential setting or somewhere isolated. It is just a thought. Let me know what you think when you've had a look. Suex

  • Hi Sue, see this is where it gets complicated.. because I also have a drugproblem, they don't really know where to put me.. I've had residential rehab once,3 year ago, and stayed clean for 11 months, but because they've tightened the funding right up, you really only get one shot, and I had mine 3 year ago, If I'm lucky I might get another shot in say, maybe 5 years time, but even that's just a wild guess.

    The only place I can go to where I live (Glasgow), is a 3week residential unit, called the crisiscenter,as the name suggests, its for when you're in a crisis, and that's how its only a 3week stay.

    The good thing is, they never turn anyone down, there's no limit on how many times you can get in (I've been in 6 or 7 times over the last 10years,and it was them that got me into long term rehab. I've got nothing but praise and gratitude for this place, I would be in jail or dead if it wasn't for them)

    In fact, I'm only just out it again, a fortnite. I tried to get funding for long term again about 6 months ago, but got knocked back, put on a methadone script (again, after I swore never again, as it is the worst drug to come of in the world!!!),and got told to try in the community first.

    So I done a dayprogram for 6 months, still using heroin, methadone and valium, I was loosing the will to live, I went down to 7 stone (I'm 5ft9),and my mental health was getting so bad, my best pal dragged me to the doctor, who suggested to get myself voluntarily sectioned. but I couldn't see how bad I was, so I said no..

    Anyway, the dayprogram was getting me nowhere, and I absolutely hate being on methadone (its a control thing, I think, being controlled by drugworkers, Community Addiction teams, chemists etc etc).,so I decided to try and get back in the crisiscenter and do a detox.

    They told me I was crazy, coming of the amount of drugs I was takin in such a short period of time, so I did it against medical advice.

    They thought I was gonna die, I nearly ended up in hospital on a drip,I couldn't keep my medication down the first few days so I ended up takin seizures coming of the valium, it wasn't pleasant, but I did it.

    The problem was, after two and a half weeks of that, I was so weak, I couldn't walk, so I had to back on 15ml of methadone. (which, I suppose, is better than the 55ml I was on before, plus all the illicit drugs on top of it.)

    My 3 weeks were up, so I had to go, but I wasn't ready.. I came out and before the day was out I'd used (heroin) again.

    So what do I do? Drugrehabs won't give me funding, and any other in-patient treatment-centers won't look at me because I'm a drug-addict and I belong in a Rehab.. Its a bit like passin the parcel isn't it .

    But I will definitely look into every option that might be available, I'll google the Arbours Association and i'll ask anyone that might know about stuff like this..

    Thanks again Sue, I hope you're ok, and if there's ever anything I can do for you or help you with, please let me know! You've been really good to me since I've came onto this forum and I hope you know how much it means to me!

    Lotsa Luv,Holly Xx

  • You are in a difficult place then Holly, and it will not be a quick process to find your way out of it. Are you surrounded by addicts and dealers or in a quieter place? Suex

  • Well, both really.. I am well known in the area where I stay, I've stayed here and in surrounding area's for a long time, and when it comes to the drug-environment a big city can become a very ,very small world..

    Everybody knows everybody because we've all been in it so long, which makes it hard to break out of, but at the same time people are genuinely pleased for ye if you're doing well.. At the end of the day we all want the same thing, to be free of this s**t and try and live a normal life..

    I've been going to Narcotics Anonymous meetings on and of for years, so I have got support there, all I need to do is ask.

    But at the same time people have moved on,are working now and have their own lives to live, I can't just expect them to drop everything at the drop of a hat because I decide to have a dash at getting clean again.. and then fail..! But yes, I have got 2 or 3 people who are there for me if I need them, thankfully, because a lot of people don't even have that.

    When I stayed clean for those 11 month before, I stayed away from my area as much as possible, I was out all day and only came back to sleep,but after a few months the desire to use drugs went away, and I was able to have a quick conversation with old friends who were still using,but I didn't even feel the need nor the desire to hang about with them anymore, as my interests in life were totally different from theirs then, they were still stuck in that world, where-as I had started swimming again (something I've always loved and makes me feel better when I feel down, my mum used to take me when I was a kid and she'd notice I was on a downer and a trip to the swimmingbaths cheered me right up!), I'd started socialising again etc..

    It just takes a bit of time away from my surroundings, the people, the drugs etc, ,an opportunity I don't really have at the moment..

    holly x

  • My heart really goes out to you, Holly. What a terrible situation you're in. Nobody can accuse you of not trying to put your life im order. You sound like a really honest and decent person. I'm wondering what support you have from family and friends when you're this side of the rehab fence. Have they ever had training or counselling in how best support you? Lucy x

  • My mum went to a supportgroup for parents who's children are addicts, and after that she was a lot more understanding.. Before that she was just hurt, angry, disappointed etc, which was understandable because she just didn't have a clue..

    Now that she's a bit more clued up, she knows that relapse is part of addiction, that I didn't lie to her out of maliciousness but I did it to try and protect her..

    I've always been close to my mum, but because of all this, and because we live in different country's (I was born and raised in Amsterdam but left when I was 17) we didn't get on for a long , long time, but now we're back to being as close as ever (thanks to facebook ;), we talk to eachother every night for 15 minutes at 7pm), she's a great support to me, although she doesn't know how bad my addiction's got again, and I don't want her to know coz she would just worry, she's not getting any younger, she's 69..

    she does know about my mental health problems and I can talk to her about that,and anything else really, my mum's my rock, and I've got a lot of love and respect for her!!

    So on days when I feel like I really can't go on anymore, I think of my mum (and the rest of my family) and what it would do to her, and I give myself a kick up the a** and tell myself,if I can't do it for myself, do it for her!

    As for friends, most of them are in the same boat as me, drugaddicts.. Apart from the ones I met at Narcotics Anonymous, and they understand coz they've been there themselves,and I can count on their support if I ask for it and if they've got time..

    So its not all bad..! My mum always says as long as there's hope there's life! And she's right :)

    Thanks Lucy,enjoy the rest of your night,I hope you're ok!

    Luv,Holly Xxxx

  • I wouldnt go down the in-patient route, ive been three times, once stayed for 8 months, but came out worse, and it was absolute agony because nobody actually has any time for you, I felt sorry for all the staff rushed off their feet, so everything just got worse and worse, I usually try to stay in my bed with curtains closed, and not go out, and just cut and as long as no one is in contact, there is nobody to make you feel worse. I found that actually interacting with my community health team makes me feel worse, and guilty, I dont even think my psychiatrist has a clue what to do, I was in hospital with a lot of people who didnt even want / try to give up their drug habits, so all the work was done with them, rather than people who wanted help to give up drugs, who got none......I even find withdrawal of prescription drugs hard enough....I hadnt been out for two weeks couldnt even get to pharmacy, and kept fainting, and falling down the stairs, and my head felt like it was full of water. I know the place in Glasgow you were talking about, in my more normal days I used to raise money for them x

  • Oh did ye, see, small world!!! I know, well, not from personal experience, but my best pal's sister got sectioned, and she came out worse than when she went in too!

    No, I wouldn't voluntarily section myself, and I just hope there'll never come a day when the choice is taken away from me!

    Thanks for your advice and letting me know what your experience was Emms, and I think its pretty shocking they just let ye get on with sittin there cutting yourself all day ,you could've killed yourself , and another thing that freaks me out about psychiatric units is the medication they give you, and you don't have a clue what you're getting! I'm already having conspiracy theories about what they're putting in methadone, as they could be doing all kinds of experiments on us, we get seen by a CAT-team every week or fortnite, so they can monitor our behaviour, and we wouldn't be any the wiser!

    This might sound a bit far-fetched to some people, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense; what better guinea pigs than junky's nobody really cares about anyway and who are constantly in touch with some kind of authority..

    sorry, I went of the subject a bit there, but thanks again for your advice Emms,

    Luv,Holly Xx

  • Yes I know how you feel, you cant trust the ingredients of many psychiatric meds - some of the side effects are worse than the illness - I was on olanzapine for a bit - and one of the side effects was sudden unexplained death!!! And there are pages and pages. Thats again what I hated in the hospital, they dont always inform you of drug changes, although they are lawfully supposed to. But regarding the methadone - I used to give it out when working in a pharmacy - they are more likley to be tricking you there by giving you a placebo - i.e. its green - other than that you dont know what dosage you are really getting of methadone, and that of food colouring!! We had patients who were coming in and said they still needed heroin, due to withdrawals, and that was the reason why - being underdosed on methadone.....I dont know why pharmacists do it, but some seem to have a careless approach to those suffering from addiction whether its to any drug including alcohol. Its still morphine, so in theory should give you the same effect, but is easier to control (and legal) compared to heroin (sorry for stating the obvious - ive yet to meet a pharmacist willing to give out heroin!). So if it isnt....then its likley they have reduced your dose without telling you. And as I said - the colour doesnt change. So its not right. The patient should always be the first to know. I wrote so many letters of complaints in hospital - I even had other patients coming to me to ask to write on their behalf! x

  • I'd be delighted if they gave me a placebo!! I absolutely hate the stuff..

    I used to try and make myself sick as soon as I'd had it, or spit as much as I could out as soon as I was out the chemist, I've tried to think of all sorts, the only reason I couldn't just chuck it was because I need a drugworker.. Methadone doesn't work for me, I've always used on top of it, the amount I was on wasn't holding me coz I was using so much on top of it, so yes please, give me a placebo any day lol.

    You're right though, it's prescribed medication and people should be getting what they're prescribed.

    God, was that not hard, being a drug-addict working in a pharmacy??

    I know everything is checked and doublechecked and its only the pharmacist who can give out the good stuff, but that must've been torture! I think I would've raided all the stock and then just done a runner,I don't know, respect for resisting that temptation,day in day out!!

    Holly xx

  • That's great that you have that relationship with her, Holly. Don't underestimate her ability to support you through your latest dip. 69 is not old! I'm imagining that having friends in similar situations could be a good and a bad thing. Great for support, but I'm guessing it's pretty much the sole topic of conversation? Do you have any children of your own? X

  • You would think that, but as people move on with their lives, so do the topics of conversation.. It's just something we all have in common, our past, and in my case, still my present.. But its not just the meetings you go to, there's a whole lot of other things involved in N.A, they've got a footballteam, we have dances to raise money for conventions (where people from all over the UK from other N.A fellowships come together),and they're like proper raves, its mad to see so many people totally sober being on such a high, its more about having fun and moving on and getting a life after having lived in misery for so long..

    I've got a wee boy, he'll be 10 in February,

    but he's stayed with my brother since he was 3months old and doesn't know I'm his real mum...

    Which is hard, but at the same time I'm glad I know where he is, he's well cared for, he's happy and I still speak to him and see him.

    What about you? do you have kids? And do you have a good relationship with your family?

    Coz it's such a help, having that bond with my mum, but at the same time it petrifies me that there'll come a day she won't be here anymore... But I'm not even gonna think about stuff like that right now.

    Speak soon Lucy,I need my bed ;) ,luv HollyXx

  • Thats a good point and has made me feel a bit ignorant. I apologise for that. That's a nice age. My two are 13 and 8. Do you get to see much of him? You'll drive yourself to an early grave worrying about your Mum - trust me on that one! Nos da x

  • Please don't apologise!! How were you to know, I used to think the same about N.A and A.A and any kinda A, I thought all they did was sit and moan about how bad it is they can't drink/use/gamble or whatever they did anymore, but it's nothing like that!

    I was pleasantly surprised, its more a sort of celebration of not having to live that life anymore, and I've made a couple of really good friends out of it.

    Plus, when I came out of rehab after 6 months, I didn't know 1person that didn't use drugs, so it was a good place to meet people I could hang about with!

    I know, I should just enjoy the (hopefully many) years my mum's still got left,instead of worrying about her not being here anymore one day, we're all gonna die some day..

    Is it boys or girls you've got, or one of each?

    Sorry for asking, but 'Nos da', does that mean you're a man Lucy? Sorry,don't even answer that,none of my business,me and my big mouth!

    But please don't feel ignorant or apologise about the N.A thing, I used to think the exact same thing!

    Luv,Holly X

  • Oh my God, I just spat drink all over my iPad laughing at that! Nos da means 'good night' in Welsh! I forget that not everyone is from Wales!

    I have a boy and girl, so plenty to keep me busy! X

  • oh class!! U just had me in stitches as well :)) It's usually me saying something Scottish and it gets taken totally the wrong way,oh I'm so sorry,i'm still laughing at that!!

    Well it cheered me up anyway! You never know though,you could've been a man hahaha :))) XX

  • I often think its a bit spooky that actually, anyone could be anyone on forum and no one would know! I could be Dave really!

  • Lol I know, but I kinda trust this forum, you could well have been Dave, but call yourself Lucy these days ;)

    I actually know someone who went through all that, he's a transvestite, obviously, I don't know what his name used to be, but now its Vicky, and once you've known him a while, you don't even notice anymore that he still pretty much looks like a man (OH, please god don't let him see this), I just see past it now coz he's actually a very witty, nice and genuine person.. But before I was like everybody else, to my shame, whispering behind his back, look at that, that's a guy!!

    But the poor guy's been through hell, it must be horrible, having to go through all that pain and treatment, but also a lifetime of feeling 'like you're in the wrong body', what a headf**k that must be!! No wonder he ended up an alcoholic..

    He's doing well now though, its a happy ending, he 's starting to look more and more feminine, just the fact that he's about 6ft tall and has hands the size of shovels will never help, but hey ho..

    I know what you mean though, especially with kids going on websites, anyone could be anyone, its scary.. And I've been on some sick and strange sites in my time (don't worry, I'm not a weirdo, it was a money thing.. )

    Thankfully most computers have those nanny-things on them, but still, sometimes it makes ye think..

    Nos da Lucy ;) (that's still makin me chuckle) luv Holly Xx

  • This convo is getting too tiny to read on my iPad!Nos da x

  • Oh no, don't spit your drink all over it again! ;) Nos da Xx

  • Hi Holly, sounds like you are trying your best to get sorted, you should be proud of yourself. I know what you mean about drugs, I was on herion for a long while, and as you say once I was clean people would say everything would be fine now all sorted! Er no! I took the drug to get away from my problems that I was having in my life, so when I was drug free I had all the thoughts and feeling I was masking with drugs.

    I don't know what to say to you with regards the self-harming, I have been to jail were lots of girls have done this and on speaking with them as to why they feel the need to do this, they all have there own personal reasons, but what came across to me was they all felt some sort of release from doing it. one girl I shared a room with said, she did it less when she had a pad mate who she could talk to, so maybe coming on hear will help you in some way I do hope so.

    I am waiting for some CBT at the moment through my GP but like everything with the NHS there is a waiting list.

    I am seeing a counsellor at the moment and that is helping me, I found my local MIND charity and they have helped me a lot, maybe you could see if you have a local MIND near you.

    Please keep coming on here and do as many posted as you like we are all here to help each other okay.

    Gardener x

  • Hi gardenertwo, you're so right, for a while it seems everything is fantastic and you're pure buzzing coz you're finally free after being trapped by addiction for so long, but then, bam, it hits you right in the face, reality, responsabilities, memories, the list goes on and on, the hardest thing I found was feeling things again.. Coz you don't really feel anything when you're full of it do you.. I used to think there was something wrong with me, somebody really close to me would die, but I couldn't even shed ONE tear.. Things like that. I thought I was one heartless, selfish, mean bitch..

    But f**k me, did all those things come back when you take the drugs away! And that's, like you said, and like all these professionals keep telling me, when things are supposedly gonna be ok, and all my mental health problems will just disappear just like that as well..

    I know the NHS are murder for waiting-lists for everything at the moment (not really their fault I suppose) but I really hope you'll get your CBT soon, it can be quite good and helpful if you get the right person and you get on with them.

    I've heard of this MIND thing, I'm pretty sure I came across it somewhere online, when I was looking for help, any kinda help (that's how I found this forum, and I'm so glad I did!!) but if I remember right

    its only in England and Whales... And I'm in Scotland..

    I'm not a 100% though, so I'll check it out again. Thanks gardnertwo, good luck with the CBT, I hope

    you're getting to the top of the list! Let us know as soon as you hear anything.

    Holly xx

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