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My Struggles (Part 3 – Self-Harm)

One thing I learned a few years ago when I took a class in how to be a peer support facilitator is that you cannot share or let others in the group share the specific details of their episodes. You especially do not share the details of things like self-harm or suicide attempts. Sharing the details can give others ‘ideas’ or trigger potentially dangerous reactions and thoughts. Instead of the details, you are supposed to talk about how you feel during these episodes or how you did feel at the time of your most recent one if you are talking about something that happened between group meetings.

With that said I will now talk about how I feel at the times I hurt myself.

During these times, I feel one of two things, either a white-hot rage (see Part 2 of this series) or depression, more accurately I feel a sense of failure, helplessness, hopelessness or worthlessness. I begin to feel that since I am so ‘terrible of a person’, so ‘stupid’, ‘such a screw up’, etc that maybe if I hurt myself it would provide some sense of atonement for my failures.

These feelings get so intense that I need a pressure valve to release some of it. Usually, I start feeling a desire to hurt myself and try to hold back, often times pacing back and forth, clenching and unclenching my fists to deal with the intensity.

Other times, the intensity overwhelms me. At times like this, I am not thinking about positive ways to release the pain and just react and do things to hurt myself. It is a horrible symptom and one of the ones I want to control first. In order to tame the beast completely, I need to gain control of the root cause. I have done it before; I can and will do it again.

Posted: October 5th, 2011 under My Journey, Thoughts, Thoughts on Mental Health.

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