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Self harm validation: chasing a high you'll never reach

Hi everyone. I've seen a lot of posts on another platform talking about wanting to self harm worse to feel like their pain/wounds are valid. I wanted to share something I feel is important about my story in relation to feeling valid.

I'm 23. I started self harming 8 years ago. I used to cut to the dermis and the fat level. Two years ago I had a big breakdown because of my job and I walked out. I went home and relapsed and ended up going to the hospital to get stitches. No one was home thankfully so I took an uber. I texted my boyfriend's mom in a panic because I was scared.

I was supposed to be staying clean. I thought that if I could just cut one last time, deep enough that I needed/should get stitches, I would finally feel valid and I would finally be able to stop. I thought this would be the release I needed from self harm to set myself free. I was wrong. And I always knew it. That's not how self harm works. But I'd like to explain because I want other people to get this realization sooner than I did.

I did cut to fat. I can't personally tell if it was worse than what I used to do. I'm pretty desensitized at this point. But it was bleeding a lot and I went to the ER. For a second, just a tiny fleeting second, I felt valid. When I got there, the nurse told me the cuts were superficial and didn't need stitches. And then that validation all came crashing down. I just felt stupid for going and wasting their time when I was fine. Except I wasn't fine and when the doctor came in and said he was going to stitch me up, I told him what the nurse said. He said, "is she the doctor or am I? You need stirches" and that was that.

But do you see how quickly that validation came and was taken away? And not only that, but the whole experience was terrifying. They wouldn't let me leave and I was so anxious, I thought I would be hospitalized. I know now that they legally couldn't keep me (the social worker told me this) but at the time I thought they could. The two seconds of validation (in reality, maybe 5 minutes at MOST) was NOT worth it. It was not worth the anxiety, the fear, the worries that I would be judged. It wasn't worth the pain. And it wasn't worth hurting myself over.

On top of that, a year later I relapsed again and the people around me pretty much forced me to go to the ER. So not only did cutting deeper not give me validation or help me stop self harming, but I was back in the same boat a little less than a year later (not to minimize the almost year I spent clean, because I tried hard). This is when I started to realize it would only be a never ending cycle if I kept telling myself that I needed "just one more time" or to cut "just a little deeper" to get the validation I needed.

That validation you're looking for? It doesn't exist. It never will. It will always be "just a little deeper" and one day you'll wake up and realize it's been years and nothing's changed and you don't feel even a tiny bit of that validation you were seeking. You're chasing a high you'll never get. And when you finally come to terms with that, it's terrifying. Because you've locked yourself in a cycle that eventually will be incredibly hard to get out of the older you get. You'll feel like it's impossible. You'll think you can't do it. You can. You're strong enough. But that's not how it feels.

My stomach is covered in more scars now. Even with stitches some of them healed pretty wide and big. They were extremely noticeable for a long time. I can't wear shirts that show even a little bit of my stomach out of anxiety. I'm extremely self conscious when I have sex with my bf and it affects my enjoyment because I just worry about what he sees and if he secretly thinks I look disgusting with all these scars. The majority of my scars on my entire body have turned white, but you can still see them. Maybe not from far away, but I've had people tell me they're still noticeable. And what matters more than that is the fact that I can see each and every one.

Some of them I can still connect to memories and the time period/why I did it. I can never forget this. Sure, I can stay clean and move on and learn to live with my scars. I'm trying. But they will always be a reminder of the debilitating pain I went through- the years of undiagnosed (therefore no help) depression, anxiety, all my insecurities and trauma. Every time I look at my scars I'm reminded by the pure hatred I felt for myself for years, how I felt (and still do) so disgusting that I starved myself and purged and developed an eating disorder that will affect me for the rest of my life. I don't want these reminders scarred on me forever. But they are.

And I know you might be thinking that what I'm saying isn't relevent to you because you like the scars and you want them. I get that, believe me. I'm still scared to let them go. It's still hard to watch them fade and I've been clean for a little over a year. And when I was a teenager, I didn't care enough about what it would be like in the future to have these scars. I figured I'd deal with it when I was older. And to be honest, I thought that it would never get this bad and I never thought I would cut in places that would be difficult to hide. But 8 years later I have scars on both arms, my stomach, my thighs, my hip, and though they healed and didn't leave a lasting scar, I cut on other places too like my ankles and calves. One time, years ago, I counted the amount of scars I had. It was over 100. This may not seem like a lot when you factor in that some were not deep or big. But that's 100 individual times that I sliced my own skin apart because I was hurting. And the depth of your cuts doesn't matter. What matters is all the times you felt the need to hurt yourself no matter how deep they were.

I finally am in a long term relationship with someone I love more than anything in the entire world who is an amazing person and partner. But it makes me sad to think that when I get married, I'll have scars on my arms. These scars will be in my wedding photos. When I give birth, my scars will be there when my boyfriend takes a picture of my baby and I. When I have sex or engage in intimate moments with my boyfriend, my scars are there on display. It's not a good feeling to wear your heart on your sleeve literally. One close look at me and you can tell I'm messed up. I don't want that, but it's too late now. All I can do is try to move forward. It's hard. I'm not 100% there yet. I still feel embarrassed and sad and ashamed. But the first step is to admit that chasing after an unattainable validation won't get you anywhere except six feet in the ground. Please, learn from my mistakes. It's not too late.

#Selfharm #se lfinjury #Cutting #Depression #validation

37 reactions 8 comments

Pictures needed - tell me what you see...

#Anxiety #Selfharm #suicidal #done #Depression #Cutting #Dope #Drugs #pivitolpictures #Rage #MentalHealth #coping

I think we see pictures in our minds that make us accept where we are at and make it so that we do not do further damage.The Mentally Healthy are different, they keep their head up in bad seas and position themselves for the the waves to come. They foresee when a life event is shaping up to be something that can negatively impact their world. Then they use their intuition and lessons from a lifetime of lessons from infancy and personal experience to guard and protect their minds.

We don't do that. The situation hits us and we don't know what to do. So flight fight kicks in and here we go on a ride that won't end well.

We drop our heads and look at our feet and react from that defeated place. Eventually we calm down and move on, but I don't want it to last so long. I don't like losing my mind over something I have no control over.

I for one, don't have a picture of how I can be both in bad seas and have my head up planning a way out, so I am reaching out.

I know that a lot of us practice self harm to cope. At some point there is a picture that you are able to accept that lets you accept your lot in this life, mutilated body parts actively bleeding and all. Thats real life for some of us and I think there is a picture that comes up at the end of an episode that lets them move on.

You don't have to be as messed up as we are to weigh in. If you get it, show us the way of early catastrophe management.

I don't think that this turning point picture I am imagining makes one happy or anything like that, but it's a picture that is enough that we don't make things worse.

If I don't have a picture then I feel very exposed, unprotected, weak, and hide all that behind explosive anger. Righteous, but unbound. I regret my last episode. It was pure RAGE and while it was justified, it was not smart & I hate that feeling. Life got me, I just flew off the handle. Smart people don't do that. Mentally healthy people react in a way that suits the situation without making things worse. I want that and, as of today, I think it starts with the picture.

I want options. In this last event I saw what i have seen for years, a blank canvas. I am scared and don't know where to go with that so I came out swinging. Well, life swings back and I am not the best fighter if I am being totally honest. So here I type, literally searching the minds of the web for insight to create this picture my mind is seemingly incapable of making to date.

You can not show this shit to FaceBook - So here I am asking my fellow MENTAL HEALTH patients for a word picture or an image of what you see when you are in a bad way and your mind finally comes through for you.


PS - I would love if it if you read this and did not know what picture helped you transition from the bad space to the next level up. It's there for at least some of us so share your story of you have to go back there and figure it out. Even if it takes weeks it's worth the journey.


Another episode #Anxiety #Depression #Fibro #IIH #lonely #CheckInWithMe #Cutting

It’s been a while since I posted on here. So many things have happened with my health it’s shitty as fuck my ribs are inflamed headaches are crazy had my 11th spinal tap and now they say I may not have the weird disease they’re confused about my condition.
I want to scream out to the world I started cutting last year I love my body and I’ve done in inconspicuous places and I tried to stop. But my PTSD has been triggered time and time again I just got engaged on Friday and by Sunday I was cutting and I did it again tonight. I did it on my inner thighs so nobody can see it’s like the stretch marks from giving birth to my children. I need to stop this I’ve spoken to my psychiatrist and we’re working on this but it does give somebody’s and then I feel horrible afterwards this is just crazy! I have a degree in clinical psych I’ve done all these papers I can diagnose and I’m so fucked up in the head it’s been five years dealing with these illnesses and now new things coming up when do I catch a break? It could be worse but I’m breaking down I feel defeated I don’t know what to do that’s all I can say for now as my head pound my ribs are swollen and I’m trying to fall asleep. Lord do universe please help me I try to do so much good but I can’t do it for myself I’m not stupid I’m not dumb although I feel it sometimes I’ve been OK but I’m just spiraling….. That’s all I can really say for now my thyroid is Out of wack my glands are swollen so it’s hard to talk just give me a break that’s all I need

1 reaction 2 comments

Cut after 3yrs last week. Possible TW. No details just mention #Selfharm

Last week I cut for first time in three years. Prior to 3 years I had 10yrs. Cut twice.
This is me telling on myself. I cut days ago and I want to cut again. My anxiety is off the charts. Have read several studies and been at several mental health sites. All say high anxiety and stress not dealt with can cause selfharm. More so if theres a history. My doc. Is making me go through this process which I honestly get. However I'm suffering greatly in the process. We have my bipolar and severe depression in a very awesome place. Been years since I've been here with them. All that's left is my anxiety. So far nothing has worked. It's hard. Been doing this process for months. It was very weird how quickly I went to it last week. Was very surprised and still am. Also, my selfharm took a very odd turn last week. I have some fear about it. I'm not comfortable talking about it in a open forum. Hopefully I get past it or I'm screwed. Dont remember if messaging is here. But if anyone whom has or even is self harming mine is open. Especially if yours got dark, pleasurable. Or any other weird thing. I dont see myself talking to my doctor about this weird turn. I can and I trust him. There is just alot of crap behind it. I'd rather find someone here or elsewhere first. That's just part of my preferred process. For me its always worked.
#Selfharm #Cutting


Self harm

I'm 42 years old. Why the f**k do I still have urges to cut myself?!?!?! I gave in recently. Abiut an hour or so later I regretted it and felt like a fool! I cut in places most won't see.
#Selfharm #Cutting #AdultSelfHarm #AdultCutting #Bipolar #BipolarDisorder #BipolarDepression #Depression #bipolarmania #Mania #ADHD #AdultADHD


A downward spiral

I feel like I’m drowning and everyone around me sees it but all they do is remind me that I know how to swim. But they don’t acknowledge the chaos I’m swimming through or that a person can’t keep swimming forever.

I feel like I’m broken. I’m not me anymore. I’m not motivated by my dreams of my future career anymore and it’s getting so much harder to keep living. I know to my core that my death would shatter my family, but for the first time that knowledge doesn’t always feel like enough of a reason to stay and that terrified me. I’ve also self-harmed five times in the last month when it had been years since I gave in to those urges. And I’m loosing sight of why it matters. What’s a few more cuts, a few more scars no one will see? Why does it matter so much to my friends, to my therapist? I don’t get it. I fight the urges because I know it’s what I should do; it’s what’s expected of me. But I don’t want to fight anymore. I’m too tired to care and besides, it’s not like I have much to offer the world anyway. I’m slipping away and I’m afraid someday I’ll fall deeper then I ever imagined with no way out.

#SuicidalIdeation #Cutting #Selfharm #Depression #CollegeMentalHealth #IAmNotOkay #Anxiety #CheckInWithMe


I’m dreading what I have to tell my therapist

Y’all, today wasn’t good. I cut for the first time in five years… so many things happened that led to it. But I can’t help feeling ashamed and like I failed. Failed at using my resources, failed at being a good friend/sister because I did something I know will hurt/disappoint those I love and feeling like I failed myself. Though I don’t care about that last one as much as the first two. Last week near the end of my session I was able to tell my therapist I had been thinking about SH a lot and she tried to quickly set up a crisis plan but we were able to get very specific and I didn’t use what she had suggested anyway. But now I have new wounds and a very uncomfortable conversation ahead of me… I’m dreading it so much. I’m so tempted to make some excuse to cancel my session like citing too much homework or something (I’m a full time college student). How do I tell her? Also, how do I live with myself now? I KNOW better, but I didn’t do better.

#Selfharm #Cutting #Relapse #Therapy #DBT #Therapist #Depression #Anxiety #ADHD #CollegeMentalHealth


I'm over it... #Depression

I wrote a book about my life and I used to have a blog. 🥴 I used to tell people that community is important, but I don't believe it any more. People treat you weird. I am tired of having one sided relationships because they don't think I have anything to give and even when I express it trying to be transparent, I get a proverbial pat on the head like a puppy. So today, I say forget it. I'm over it.
#Depression #Cutting #Insomnia #tired #venting


Am I hypomanic or actually turning my life around

Don’t get me wrong I’m still suicidal and wanna die. But the past couple days have been so different. I’ve been more productive in 4 days than I have been in a year. It’s crazy. I’m losing a bunch of weight. Washing my face. Showering. Even brushed my teeth. Laundry. Cleaning. Shopping. And I’m close to getting my license and car. I’m trying to pull off a big facade I’m referring to as “summer of fun” because I’m kms after summer. So trying to make this summer a positive last 3 months. But wow didnt think I would actually pull it off until the past 4 days happened. And it’s weird I have no idea where the energy and positivity came from. And I barely have any schizophrenic symptoms. Well not the noticeable ones anyway. Dissociation is a bit better & Adhd finally feels “manageable”. All I’ve done different health wise was smoking a different marijuana strain (on accident too lol) and drinking cucumber water. Obviously only one of those could be a game changer lol. But it’s so weird. I have had lows though. Right now I’m having a low and really wanna cut myself and cry, pretty depressed. But it’s been mostly highs. Maybe I shouldn’t question it and just roll with it. I’m not trying to jinx it or anything. Just thought it was weird lol. Unfortunately whatever it is isnt strong enough to numb my thoughts.

#Hypomania #SchizoaffectiveDisorder #dissociativedisorders #SchizophreniaSpectrumPsychoticDisorders #Depression #BipolarDepression #Suicide #SuicidalThoughts #SuicidalIdeation #BipolarDisorder #DissociationDisorders #CheckInWithMe #Cutting #Selfharm #empty #lonely #ADHD