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Forums / Suicidal thoughts and self-harm / Self harm relapse

Topic: Self harm relapse

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. Sapphire23
    Sapphire23 avatar
    4 posts
    24 January 2021

    Hi, I've been doing so well and for the past couple of months, I have not self-harmed at all. I used to harm myself regularly but after I had a particularly bad reaction to my medication and was admitted to hospital, I was able to turn things around for a time. It helped that a good friend of mine asked me to send him a message every time I harmed. He didn't want to keep a check on me, he wasn't judging, he just wanted to know and in a way, it made me feel less alone and as a consequence, the harming ended.

    I can feel myself spiraling again and I have begun harming myself. I want to reach out and tell those people I love that I need help again but I am so very ashamed that I have had a relapse. I have a very open group of friends that are like family and they know a lot about who I am and the reasons behind my depression. At times, they bring up that I am a "self harmer" or will say something about particular behaviours and thought patterns that I have had previously. When they do, even if I tell them that I do not think that way anymore or do those things, I find that they do not truly believe me. I feel resentment for this because I have worked so very hard to get better. My fear is that the progress I have made in convincing them I have moved forward will be undone as soon as they find out I am self harming again.

    I'm tired of moving forward only to slide back and I am too ashamed to tell my best friends that I need them again.

    I want it to stop but right now, I just want someone to tell me that they understand me.

  2. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    24 January 2021 in reply to Sapphire23

    Hi Sapphire23, welcome to the forums.

    I'm very sorry to hear of your battles with SH, and that you've relapsed. Please know you're not alone and we're all here for you. Are you safe right now?

    I and the rest of the forums are here for you, but here's some helplines if you wish to speak with them:

    • Lifeline.
    • eHeadspace.
    • Kids Helpline.
    • Blue Knot.
    • 1800 RESPECT.
    • Butterfly Foundation.
    • Suicide Call Back Service.
  3. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6618 posts
    24 January 2021 in reply to Sapphire23
    Hi Sapphire,

    Thanks for reaching out here today, especially since we can hear that it's been hard for you to reach out to loved ones. We are so sorry to hear that you can feel yourself spiralling again and that this has resulted in self harm. Please know that this is a safe, non-judgemental space to talk about what you're going through, and many of our members have felt similarly. 

    Please remember that there is support available if you can feel yourself becoming overwhelmed. We would strongly urge that in overwhelming moments you get in touch with our friends at Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467).

    It's really positive to hear that you were previously able to curb self harming behaviour. Would you consider reaching out to the friend who asked you to send him messages in the past? It sounds like his support has been really meaningful to you.

    Hopefully a few of our members will reach out to you to relate and offer some support over the next few days. In the meantime, if you are interested, please feel free to read through recent posts in the Suicidal thoughts and self harm section of the forums.
  4. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2698 posts
    25 January 2021 in reply to Sapphire23

    Hi Sapphire23

    You're definitely a powerful person making powerful changes in your life, in your conscious efforts to reform yourself. The resentment is perfectly understandable, given all the hard work. Easier said than done but try not to beat yourself up too much when it comes to returning to self harm as a coping mechanism. A lot of the time we can re-turn or turn again to what we once found gives us comfort. The important thing to remember is you don't want to return to self harm, you consciously want to find ways to manage without self harm being your 'go to' for coping. Remember, you have come far. You have every right to be proud of yourself.

    Personally, I've found that when it comes to our own mental wellbeing, we have to manage the people around us sometimes. This can be hard work at times. Although I no longer battle depression, my mantra for raising myself remains strong, 'Always look to those who raise you'. You can have people who leave you feeling down, You can have people who bring you down, sometimes unintentionally, and you can have people who straight out raise you. Such people raise both your consciousness and your spirits. They're the kind of people who feed your soul which is so important when you're looking for any morsel of soul food you can get your hands on.

    I've found I'll feel when people are bringing me down. I'm sure you're familiar with that feeling. When you get that feeling, inspiration might say 'You gotta stop this trash talk' or something to that affect. So, if someone says to you 'I knew you'd return to self harm' you gotta question that, whether it's in your own head or out loud. The questioning may involve 'Well, if you knew it was going to happen, why didn't you do more to help me not return to it?' or 'Where's the faith bro?' or 'Hey dude, why you not focusing on all the hard work I've done up to now? Shouldn't you be congratulating me before you help me through this current challenge?'. When someone brings you down, you gotta question it. I know, it's a challenge, for we can be left questioning our self more than anyone else.

    Sapphire23, look for the raisers in life. You gotta sort through everyone to find them.

    Don't undersell yourself as an absolute champion when it comes to managing to find the best in yourself amongst the challenges in life. I'm a 50yo gal who's still in the process of finding the best in myself. It's a gradual process we graduate through.

    :)

  5. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3151 posts
    25 January 2021 in reply to Sapphire23

    Hi Sapphire23,

    Welcome and thank you for being here. As someone who has self-harmed before, I understand the shame of having a relapse, but what's more important is that you're here and that you know you have these people who can support you. That friend of yours sounds incredible; I can't imagine what it's like to have that much support.

    I am a self-harmer. Am I doing this now? No. But I associate and see myself with that label because I know I have to tread carefully, in a similar way that people forever label themselves as Addict's even if they haven't used in 40/50 years. It's a label, but it doesn't define you. If you need their support; now is the most perfect time to use it.

    rt

  6. Sapphire23
    Sapphire23 avatar
    4 posts
    25 January 2021 in reply to therising

    Thank you for everyone that reached out and answered my post. I am fighting hard today and feeling a lot of shame that I can’t seem to manage to pull myself out of this hopeless feeling. I can feel my shame all through my body and can’t shake it without harm

    I am going to reach out to my friend and be honest about where I am. I just need to find some courage. I am slipping further and further into my cycle and I am frightened as to where it might lead the time.

    I don’t want this to beat me but I’m know my voices are persistent. I am quite reluctant to speak my truth and when I am point in a position with big personalities, I get lost. I will practice talking to myself first and see if I can find some strength to speak it to people that are in my life.

    thank you for listening. I feel less alone.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    25 January 2021 in reply to Sapphire23

    Hey Sapphire, I'm sorry to hear you're dealing with a lot.

    Have you tried alternatives instead, such as drawing a Butterfly on you, holding Ice against your skin, snapping a rubber band? I've heard those can help people.

    Please know we all care for you and we're all here to support you. Please stay safe. Reach out to one of the helplines I listed above if you feel up to it.

  8. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2698 posts
    26 January 2021 in reply to Sapphire23

    Hi Sapphire23

    It can definitely be hard to speak our truth when, in the past, our truth has been unheard, misjudged or rejected/dismissed. It's a powerful thing to speak our truth with unwavering confidence. Coming to express our self with confidence can take a lot of practice and a heck of a lot of strategic management in some cases. I've found how I manage speaking my own truth can take a lot of strategy at times, especially where emotions are concerned. How I manage or express my feelings at the time is incredibly important. Finding someone who will let you express yourself freely and help you manage and make sense of things as you unload is also incredibly important.

    The feeling or feel of shame can definitely become overwhelming, overwhelming both the mind and body. It is an incredibly powerful emotion and one I'm definitely not fond of. It can feel sickening and debilitating. It can feel imprisoning, keeping us from being free to feel anything else. From my own experience, shame requires a lot of questioning, in order to release myself from its grip. What or who has led me to feel it? Under what conditions am I feeling it? And the biggy: What mental program is it associated with or tied to? If we're socially conditioned to believe self harm is shameful, for example, then that's the faulty mental program that needs addressing.

    In speaking my truth, addressing my feeling of shame, this can lead me to conversation with another in regard to finding the absolute truth. There can be a difference between my truth and the absolute truth. The absolute truth might be 'Someone has led me to feel shame'. If it has been instilled/installed in me, how do I get it out? By the way, one of my mantras in life, 'Never play follow the leader with someone who is leading me in the wrong direction, away from finding the best in myself'.

    How you feel is valid. It's your truth. If your goal is to find a new truth, one that raises you and inspires you, seek it only in those who aim to raise you.

    Is there anyone in your life who leads you to feel hopeful? Whether it's someone close or someone on YouTube, a dose of hope can make a difference in our perspective, even if that difference is slight for the moment. Little differences are like stepping stones toward something greater than what we leave behind.

    Remember, you're a powerful person in the process of self understanding. Sapphire is the stone of greater wisdom, insight and self expression (all your goals).

    :)

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