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Old 11-23-2017, 03:50 PM   #1
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Frown Having a hard time

I have 304 days without self harm today. I'm having a hard time. I can't stop thinking about cutting. My mind is racing-work is unbelievably stressful and feeling unmanageable. I have lost both of my parents so the holidays are so difficult and my cousin just told me his cancer is back and he is having surgery tomorrow. Rationally I don't want to give in but it's what I know. It's what's comfortable. I keep telling myself it'll get better but it just doesn't feel like it right now. I'm trying to go one day at a time but I know I'm going to have to deal with the stress eventually. I told my wife I wanted to cut but she didn't even say anything. Not even a hug. I know the holidays are hard for her too-she's lost her father and uncles and just lost her grandfather this year....I don't want to let my wife or my therapist down by relapsing......

What do you do when all you want to do is cut?
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."

-Albert Einstein

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Old 11-26-2017, 08:07 PM   #2
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I'm sorry you are dealing with this. It's been three days since you posted this. I hope things are okay for you. I guess I can't really relate to your situation directly since cutting has never been a problem for me. On the other hand, I have permanent physiological problems related to what I have done in the past. So I'm no stranger to self-abuse. I have also attempted suicide in the past & I still deal with self-abuse & suicidal urges on pretty-much a daily basis.

On just the most basic of levels, one thing that is helpful to me is simply not being alone very much. In the past, it has been when I was able to be alone that I got most deeply into trouble. Another thing that is helpful is keeping busy. Idle hands are the devil's workshop, as the saying goes. I'm not employed. So I have a lot of free time to fill. I do about 2 hours of yoga most days. I cook & do housework. We also have a dog we take for long walks twice a day. The less free time I have, the less likely it is I'm going to get myself into trouble.

Beyond that, the other practice I employ is a Buddhist technique referred to as compassionate abiding. This involves simply allowing intrusive thoughts to come forward... breathing into them... perhaps even smiling to them. Sometimes I will even place my hand over my heart as a sign of lovingkindness & compassion for them. After a few breaths, I then drop the "story line" & simply continue to stay with the underlying emotion... be it fear, anxiety, grief or whatever, allowing it to fade at it's own pace.

Two things happen when we employ this practice. First, very gradually over time, the strength & frequency of intrusive thoughts wanes. But second, & perhaps more important, is that we learn we can stay with difficult thoughts & emotions without losing our balance... our equanimity. Here is a link to a mental-health-oriented description of the practice of compassionate abiding:

May it be of benefit.
"Confess your hidden faults. Approach what you find repulsive. Help those you think you cannot help. Anything you are attached to, let it go. Go to places that scare you." (Advice, from her teacher, to the Tibetan yogini, Machig Labdrön)

"In other traditions demons are expelled externally. But in my tradition demons are accepted with compassion." Machig Labdrön, Tibet, 11th Century
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:29 PM   #3
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I snapped rubber bands on my arms at work for quite a while yesterday, during the periods I didn't have customers.

They actually left very prominent marks on my arms that still haven't faded 24 hours later.

They vaguely resembled some of the more minor cuts I'd made in the past during the healing process where the affected areas were very red and that somehow felt satisfying (not to mention painful if you stretch the rubber band far enough).

Have you tried it?

I'm sorry you're struggling with such intense urges. I'm in the same boat..
Do at least one thing you enjoy each day.

Dx: BPD, OCD, GAD, and PTSD traits
Rx: Lamictal 200mg and 0.5mg Ativan as needed

"Now I can see all the colors that you see."
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