I haven’t self harmed in 5 years?

This post is a little difficult for me to write about. Not because I find it hard talking about this subject, but because I no longer resonate with this part of my life; I simply can’t remember ever being in the mindset to harm myself.

TW! As from the title, you can probably tell there is going to be a trigger warning on this post for self harm, especially in the form of cutting, as I shall be mentioning specifics.

A little background; I began self harming around the age of 14. It was a very private part of my life, not a single person knew about it. I thrived of of having this dirty little secret. (looking back, I didn’t see how bad this was at the time) I wore only long sleeves; never took my jumper of at school. I would cut my left arm, and both of my thighs. I would take the blades out of shaving razors and use those. I would never use old ones/ reuse them as I didn’t want to risk infection and thus someone finding out from treatment or stitches.

I would sometimes spray hairspray into the fresh wounds to feel the sharp burning sensation; make it sting more. (my reaction now is what the fuck) I have scars now, it’s been 5 years, and they have improved. They are now thinner, and white in color, no longer red/pink or stick out lots. As I have very pale skin, they aren’t too noticeable from afar. I never wear shorts/have my legs out, but I do wear short sleeve tops now.

I’m not sure if other people notice? I wear a watch on my left wrist, where a lot of the scars are, but they are faint in color now, so I’m unsure if people look/ take that much notice in other people to see them. But I’m not sure, no one has ever mentioned them. I do wear short sleeves at my part time job, I haven’t told them about my mental health, so not sure if they aspect the scars to be from self harm? I’m not sure if the average non mental health educated person would understand/know the signs of self harm?

What do I think of my scars? This differs for me, sometimes I despise them, knowing that they will never disappear from my body, and hate myself for putting that upon myself. I didn’t think at the time how self harming would affect my future. But most of the time I accept them, I don’t often think about them, and thus no longer affects my life.

I’m not exactly sure why I self harmed. Is this normal not to have a ‘reason’? I have blocked/can’t remember this period of my life. I remember feeling numb, so it could have been a way to ‘feel’? I have had intrusive thoughts for around a decade now. They often tell me to end my life (I have many previous posts on my suicidal ideation) so maybe at the time I had intrusive thoughts to harm myself? I’m really not sure, but I guess I will find out in the future? This is probably something I should figure out in therapy, but I don’t think I am in the right stage on my life to begin therapy.

I’ve spoken about how I self harmed, what my self harm scars look like now , how I feel about them and the reasons why I harmed myself. Is there any points I have missed out/anything you would like to know about? I thoroughly enjoy reading comments on my posts. I was going to apologize for the negative posts, but I guess it isn’t, as I haven’t harmed myself in 5 years, that’s and achievement!

Why do I have low self esteem?

Firstly, I’d just like to put a trigger warning on this post for anyone who is sensitive to the topic of mental illness, especially eating disorders. These posts are written in diary form, therefore it is not necessarily factual/helpful to those who may be struggling, please take this into consideration when reading. If anything causes you concern, you are welcome to email me or reach out to a mental health helpline.

images

This probably sounds like I am going write a post on all the things that make me feel insecure, but no, that’s not helpful to anyone. It’s just a little ramble.

I have very low self esteem and image, and I’m not exactly sure why, or how to explain. Here’s an example;

Last week I had a job interview, I was very nervous and felt It did not go well, despite having a good resume and being able to answer all the questions. I pushed all thoughts about the job out of my mind, and forgot out it. I got a call a few days later saying out of the one hundred people they interviewed, they would like me to do a trail shift. This doesn’t mean I’ve got the job, as a few others also were going to do a trial, and they would then choose out of those on trial. I did my trial shift last week, and I enjoyed it, but knew the job wasn’t mine as I wouldn’t be better than the others. Yesterday I got a call,the job was mine, I stood out, they were very impressed. I start in a few days. One hundred people and they thought I was best? I still don’t believe it,maybe it was luck?

I know I have the skills, and I’m a smiley person, but I genuinely believe everyone else is better than me. I have no idea how to get over this? I don’t push myself as I’m afraid it’ll look like I’m over confident. I don’t speak up even when I know how to do something that someone else doesn’t, as I don’t want them to think I’m better than them. I overthink far too much. If I make a small mistake, I obsess over it for the rest of the day, and feel stupid. Yet in my mind, I know its very minor and everyone else has forgotten.

I have a very logical part of my brain, but the other half fails to listen to it.

It’s not just in work, in most aspects of my life too. It affects my study. I do well in my degree,I enjoy it, I’m always a week or two ahead as it makes me comfortable. But I still feel stupid. I get good grades as I naturally have a good memory, not because I’m smart. Yet I’ve never failed, I’m always up to date, I get relatively good grades, doesn’t that logically mean I am doing well in my education? Why can’t I have faith and confidence in myself and abilities?

Low body image:

I understand why this is an issue, it seems logical to me. I use to have an eating disorder. I can understand why I currently feel low about myself, but I can see a way to work towards it. I am finally in a place where I can eat food consistently, without consequence behavior, this has resulted in weight gain. I’m not overweight, but my bmi is high healthy, not what I am used to, or comfortable with. I want to lose weight, of course I do, its engraved in my thoughts, but I know now it’ll not be healthy to currently do so.

TW! I used to only eat once per 24 hours, and if I were to binge eat, I’d purge straight after. I haven’t made myself throw up this year, despite eating lots of treat food. I use to chew my food, but not swallow it. I only realized recently how disordered that is! I turned vegetarian to cut food groups out, not for ethical reasons. Again, I didn’t realize this was disordered until recently.  If I’m craving something now, I let myself eat it, even if it’s a little over indulgent.

I’m going to continue to let myself eat spontaneously, until I build a secure healthy relationship with food. I aim to have a consistent, healthy diet,but also includes treats. I’m not there yet. I can currently only believe a diet will consist of restriction.

I currently avoid thinking of my body, it’s working for me being naive. I don’t weigh myself. I avoid looking in full length mirrors. I wear clothes I am comfortable in. This isn’t a permanent solution, but one that is short term working for me.

This post makes little sense, has little structure but I shall still post as this is my blog, and therefore should not have expectations. Thank you for reading.

p.s- anyone who read my last post, I have an appointment to donate blood in 3 days(!!)

Giving blood and self harm?

Firstly, I’d just like to put a trigger warning on this post for anyone who is sensitive to the topic of self harm, suicide and mental illness. These posts are written in diary form, therefore it is not necessarily factual/helpful to those who may be struggling, please take this into consideration when reading. If anything causes you concern, you are welcome to email me or reach out to a mental health helpline.

images

I’m planning to give blood for the first time in a couple of weeks, and I’m anxious. Not because of needles, or going to a new place, but if they will let me. I’ve googled, never a good idea, and there were lots of comment, but none that I found particularly helpful. I haven’t self-harmed in 4 years now, so do not have any fresh wounds or risk of infection. Therefore, I assume that I will be able to donate? I still have visible scars on my arms, so I can’t hide them from the people who take the blood. I don’t speak about my past struggle, so I’m worried the questions the nurses may ask.

I haven’t been able to give blood until the age of 20, as I’m very short and you have to have a certain liters of blood ect. I hope they don’t weigh me at the clinic. I sound very negative around a situation I can easily avoid, but I really would like to give blood. I’ve always wanted to, but haven’t been able to because of my weight, now I am in my twenties weight/height is no longer a risk. I want to be able to walk in the clinic, donate, and return again every 3 months. Let’s hope its that hassle free. Am I being realistic? Any advice or experience would be greatly appreciated!

I will do an update post next month, once the appointment has been. Thank you for reading. Wish me luck!

My fear of mental health medication

Firstly, I’d just like to put a trigger warning on this post for anyone who is sensitive to the topic of self harm, suicide and mental illness. These posts are written in diary form, therefore it is not necessarily factual/helpful to those who may be struggling, please take this into consideration when reading. If anything causes you concern, you are welcome to email me or reach out to a mental health helpline.

word-antipsychotic-spelled-in-colorful-foam-letters

I suppose this is a weird thing to write as I have never actually been on medication for my mental health, this post is an attempt to explain why. My fear is large enough to have prevented me completely, even against professional advice.

I guess I’m afraid of the thought that the medication will change my brain activity. Even though isn’t this what makes me, me? If the medication changes my brain activity, my thoughts, then I won’t be myself. I don’t want to be controlled by chemicals. (this is ironic as my own brain chemicals are controlling me haha)

I do not like my current brain; the intrusive thoughts that control me, I want them to go, but on my own work, not that of medication. Well, if that’s possible… Can a chemical imbalance be cured without chemical medication? On talking therapy alone? I’m not sure, I should probably try and find that one out.

On another note, if I were to start medication, I would only want it to be temporary, I wouldn’t want to rely on medication for life. Would this mean I’d become poorly again as soon as I stop them, or is slowly reducing the dose until I adapt effective? Also, medication, as well as therapy is very expensive. Too much to think about!

This is not disregarding anyone who is on medication, if it works for you, that’s the most important thing, and I can ensure you it is nothing to be ashamed of. This post is very personal to me, it’s just my fear.

I currently don’t plan to start medication for my mental health anytime soon, I am currently doing CBT, so will reevaluate after a few months. I’m not going to say I am completely against the idea, if things got considerably worse, or my opinion changes, I will consider it. I forgot to write that the medication that has been suggested for me is antipsychotics and anti-anxieties.

This is just my personal view, I’d like to hear yours too, please comment them! Thank you for reading.

I’m not depressed but still suicidal?

Firstly, I’d just like to put a trigger warning on this post for anyone who is sensitive to the topic of self harm, suicide and mental illness. These posts are written in diary form, therefore it is not necessarily factual/helpful to those who may be struggling, please take this into consideration when reading. If anything causes you concern, you are welcome to email me or reach out to a mental health helpline.

images

This is probably really confusing to read, and I can’t find the right words to explain in well either. In simply; I often feel very suicidal, but in general I am not depressed. I know what depression feels like, I haven’t felt that way in a long time. I wake up everyday wanting to do things, I experience genuine joy in doing things. I have ambition to challenge myself everyday. I’m optimistic about my degree, I can study undistracted, I want to succeed.

I just spontaneously experience sudden intrusive thoughts, mostly of ending my life. They don’t happen often, but when they do, they occur randomly. I guess more so when I am stressed. When they do occur, they are so intense, they make me believe suicide is my only option.

Once the intrusive thoughts leave, I am usually fine again, simply just a few hours later after being very suicidal. It rarely lasts until the following day. Yet they are so overwhelming that I am afraid of acting on impulse. This is the main reason I am struggling still, despite feeling mentally well in all other aspects. I have been doing really well for quite a few months now, it’s truly an amazing feeling.

My therapist says there is a chance that the intrusive thoughts may never disappear. That frightens me a lot. It’s just a matter of learning how to control them. We are currently working on this. (Before I found out the other day that my therapist is leaving. Check last blog post). In therapy we call it SI; suicidal ideation. Is it possible to suffer with SI without any other mental illness? I have never been diagnosed with depression, but don’t know how to describe these suicidal thoughts. Opinions and comments would be greatly welcome! If you too are dealing with SI, Please seek help. My email is always open too! Thank you for reading my ramble.

My therapist is leaving me…

Firstly, I’d just like to put a trigger warning on this post for anyone who is sensitive to the topic of self harm, suicide and mental illness. These posts are written in diary form, therefore it is not necessarily factual/helpful to those who may be struggling, please take this into consideration when reading. If anything causes you concern, you are welcome to email me or reach out to a mental health helpline.

depositphotos_67297861-stock-photo-time-to-say-goodbye-message

Only a week ago I wrote a blog post ‘Therapy Update’, where I updated you all on my CBT experience, and how optimistic I was. Well.. my therapist is leaving. Next week. So soon. I was shocked, mostly sad, I am terrible at good byes, and now I’ll have to do another one.

This was very unexpected as we agreed to 8 months of treatment together, and I’m frankly not ready for him to leave. I’m not sure if I can handle starting new with another therapist, so I may be leaving treatment altogether. I haven’t decided yet, any advice would be appreciated. I feel like restarting with someone new, will be taking steps back from what I’ve already learnt.

He will still be in contact with my for the next week, where we will go over everything we have done together so far and finalize it all. He’ll also leave me with a few self-therapy tools, to work on by myself, as well as make sure my safety plan is completed.

I spent yesterday crying, yes; the entire day. I’ve woken with a clearer mind, but am still not sure what to do about treatment. I felt quite suicidal yesterday, but knew it was an irrational thought. I’m sure I’ll update soon,once I’ve decided.

I have some good news, my new semester has started and the module is really interesting. I also have a job interview this week, for part time work, which I need, but again not sure if it’s something I should do. I’m going on holiday next week, which will be a nice break before everything becomes full force.

I’m upset, and dreading the final goodbye, but know this is only a small blip. Thank you for reading.

 

Therapy Update

Firstly, I’d just like to put a trigger warning on this post for anyone who is sensitive to the topic of self harm, suicide and mental illness. These posts are written in diary form, therefore it is not necessarily factual/helpful to those who may be struggling, please take this into consideration when reading. If anything causes you concern, you are welcome to email me or reach out to a mental health helpline.

Therapy-logo

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about starting CBT; cognitive behavioural therapy. I’ve been doing it daily for two months now, and I am just starting to see some progress, so thought it time to update, as I would like to document my journey. It has made me realise how long I might actually be in therapy for.

It’s interesting, an odd way to describe treatment; I am enjoying learning new things, but is it very hard. Mentally exhausting. Too much thinking about my brain. I often have nothing to say other than ‘I’m not sure’ ‘I guess so’ as I am so overwhelmed at times. Overwhelming is the best word to describe my therapy experience so far.

My therapist is palling to leave in half a year, therefore I am hoping I will be stable enough after 8 months of daily treatment, as I really do not want to switch therapist and start over again.

I had a comment asking for a more detailed experience, I still feel like it is early days, and by no means an expert, but here is a little insight. I speak to my therapist daily Monday-Friday over 9 hours, including 1 hour video chat. We not only do CBT, but talk about how I’m feeling and day to day things; It would be too exhausting doing CBT constantly 5 days a week.

In CBT we are focusing on negative thoughts, in particular SI;suicidal ideation. We work out how truthful my thoughts are, and how much I logically believe them, and if they were truthful what would the consequences be ect. I’ve learnt about different cognitive distortions, and how to identify them. I have filled in a few work sheets; some on self worth, fears ect. Therapy is expensive, but I am hoping it will be helpful for life.

I’m still finding it difficult how to communicate, how formal does my language need to be, what information is relevant, am I portraying my emotions in the right way? I’m just trying to be myself, and not change the way I would say things. I appreciate my therapist , he changes his technique or method if he believes one way isn’t quite working for me.

Thank you for reading my update, if you have any specific questions I’m open to answering them in the comments or email.