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Archive for "Adults Connection"

Touch

Posted by blueray | July 4th, 2016

I am in counseling again (after some major life challenges forced me to readdress some issues), which has been very beneficial this go-around. I have a new therapist who is great and I feel that I can be honest in exploring how I feel. Lately I have the urge to SI, but I couldn’t really figure out the real reason why. Although I have been depressed and feeling emotions surrounding that including loneliness and isolation, it hasn’t been too incredibly intense to the point where I usually experience self-harm urges.
But after 15 plus years of SI I am starting to understand and explore the origin of the urges a bit more. In that exploration I am realizing how much I crave touch. The kind of caring touch a loving mother/caregiver might give. A pat, a loving rub, a hug. Something. After dealing with sexual abuse as a kid, touch was kind of off limits. I didn’t want to be touched, and I did not have any positive caring adults in my life to fill the need for “good touch” even if I wanted it. So its always been a constant need, but one I hardly acknowledged. Now, I realize the urge to SI sometimes comes from that need for touch. Because I don’t get it anywhere else, perhaps I SI to have some sort of touch in a way – maybe it is in the care that comes from taking care of an injury. Recently I was in the hospital (a routine, non mental health related issue) and it felt good in a way to be cared for – to have the nurses touch me, even if only to adjust a blood pressure cuff. I know touch can be gained elsewhere like a massage, but getting a professional massage is hard when I have to explain my body to a stranger. I feel ashamed of my scars.

I sometimes feel very untouchable – especially the mothering kind of touch. My body is covered in very visible scars. I long for someone to just touch my scars and tell me they don’t define me. While I understand therapists have clear roles and boundaries to maintain, I can’t help but want this one person I am talking to, telling my secrets and working through some tough subjects, to take on a little of that mothering role. While I am sure this issue is not uncommon in counseling, I realize, again, that boundaries are needed. But sometimes when the one person I am trusting to listen to my darkest thoughts can’t touch me, it makes me feel even that much more untouchable.

I guess I am struggling with this feeling, especially now that I am beginning to realize why this urge to SI pops up sometimes. I wish I had a caring mother figure in my life to hug me and see my scars, and let me know that I am worthy of caring touch despite what I have done and what has been done to me. I don’t know how else to get this need met right now and it is upsetting. I am working really hard to understand and truly stop SI, but this is one thing/area in the healing process that has caught me off guard recently. And I am not sure if I should bring it up in counseling as I only have 2 sessions left. I don’t know where to go from here with this issue.

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Posted by healing | June 9th, 2016

I feeling a lot more emotion these days and I don’t necessarily like it. It seemed like there was a patch were there was a lot of emotion pain but urges weren’t really on my radar– that was ok, I guess. I decided to write as I noticing judgement in myself over what the biggest trigger for me at the moment– it’s basically a really good thing– something I’m massively proud of– the idea that I could be in the process of buying an apartment would have been beyond my wildest dream even a handful of years ago. And the fact that it’s underway is very outward reflection of all the work I’ve done to stabilize my life from the inside out. But I just signed the mortgage loan papers and really want to care for a SI– more than I want SI– I want to do the nurturing part. It’s scary and intimidating to go through this process– there’s no certainty– even as what I’m reaching for would be this big stable thing in my life– to have my own apartment– there’s getting the mortgage, which could fall through (though that’s highly unlikely) and it was just a huge, stressful decision– next will be getting past the coop board, which is also likely to be fine, but might not be. I don’t *want* to be triggered by a great thing that’s happening in my life. I want to be happy. I am also relieved that I will be leaving my current neighborhood and going to live in different neighborhood, but it’s a really different neighborhood a good distance away and I have been in my current neighborhood for about 20 years– my entire adult life– I couldn’t afford to stay here if I wanted to and I do want a fresh place to be– a lot of bad thing happened here– but, also, my whole life has happened here and it is outrageously painful to think of leaving, even as I want to go– I can’t process that conflict. A really healthy high-functioning, growthful thing like buying an apartment, too– ……maybe my brain will forever go to SI when it is uncomfortable. I’m 40 years old. That’s where it goes. It made some sense to me to go there over really hard-time things where I was in bad shape and my environment was dangerous and lots of illegal things going on around me/to me. But that’s not the case now. I can take care of myself. I can hold a job. A job where I’m very well-respected, supervise a large staff in a fast paced and demanding field. The outside of me moves on and on and on. But the inside still has a really hard time. As a teenager I was really high achieving too, but a wreck until it all just fell apart and I hide in a marriage and went into hibernation. I guess I just keep working on it all……. I’m also going to have to figure out how to accept that pain of this move, but I don’t know what to do about the anxiety of the uncertainty…..

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I give up

Posted by Catt217 | May 23rd, 2016

I have been trying so hard lately to see the good in life that the bad things in life are only temporary but I’m about to give up because no matter how hard I try its never good enough sometimes I think it would be a lot better if I just disappeared and went to live in the middle of no where so that no one could find me and I would never get let down again I think the only reason I haven’t done that yet is I met someone we r only I’m the getting to know each other stage but he makes me smile and laugh and feel special and I haven’t felt that in so long I just don’t know what to do I don’t wanna get my hopes up because this guy seems to be perfect I just wanna know what the catch is

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Struggling to keep up the momentum…

Posted by lyd_n92 | May 17th, 2016

This is my first time returning to this site in years. I struggled with severe self injury 7 years ago, went through the S.A.F.E. Inpatient & Outpatient programs, and have done so well since then, only having a small relapse once/year  or so .

However, I have had a setback lately… I wouldn’t say there has been a trigger, or an emotionally damaging situation that has made my thoughts revert to self injury.. I’m on medication for depression, and I feel as if it’s not working as well as it should. I’ve been consumed with the urge, and have finally found myself incapable of saying “no.”

I’m so conflicted, because I know I shouldn’t do it, I know it’s not the correct way to handle my emotions, and I know I should want to stop for me. Sometimes it just gets so hard to continue to be strong day in and day out, and consistently tell myself no. I have thoughts about it not every day, but at least two-three times a week. I have been so good at saying “no” but lately it’s just been so much harder..

I’m going to see a therapist again…I stopped going because I was doing really well. It’s discouraging to know that I can’t just keep the good momentum going on my own. It’s exhausting to think about being plagued by this need for the rest of my life. I know I will continue to say no to the best of my ability, because I am strong, and I am worth it, and I¬†know that.

Some days it’s just harder than others to believe myself when I say it… I’m a huge follower of TWLOHA, and I love their vision statement… “The vision is the possibility that we’re more loved than we’ll ever know. The vision is hope, and hope is real.” If only I can keep reminding myself of that every day.

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Living in between

Posted by goldenscribe | May 10th, 2016

So things have been really bad emotionally, yet somehow I haven’t self injured. Or taken up anything bad. And I feel like I somehow “should” because survivors of trauma and patients are “supposed” to do bad things to themselves. (There have definitely been times I wanted to self injure until I could not see straight.)

Sometimes I wonder if doing the self injury has any advantage—then I realize that numbing the pain is worse since when you feel it it is terrible.

I’m beginning to wonder if the repressed grief I have is finally starting to come forth. Somatic Experience is getting rid of some of it and has definitely helped me be triggered less.

Life isn’t easy right now. Thanks to my dad’s 30 years of smoking, even though he quit almost 18 years ago, he is now in the hospital with cancer and heart disease. This hospital stuff has taken over my entire life, despite doing my PhD.

I am still in regular therapy. I’m beginning to realize the patterns I have which is assume people know things, shut them off when they don’t, tell them to leave me alone or act so horrible they do anyway, and …… well, it used to be SI. Now it’s I have to sit there and FEEL it. And it sucks. And I don’t know how to go about life with zero expectations from others.

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struggling with urges

Posted by help127 | May 3rd, 2016

I have not self harmed for 7 months now.¬† THis is the longest length of itme I have gone without harming.¬† I thought as time went on that it would get easier and easier.¬† However, I have found that to be false.¬† The longer it has been since I harmed, the harder it is to not do it.¬† This seems backwards to me.¬† I don’t understand why it is so hard now.¬† Did anyone out there find this to be true for them?¬† If so, how did you make it through?¬† I don’t want my stretch to end, but I am feeling that it is going to.¬† The urges are getting so very hard to ride out and not act on.¬† I feel very alone and scared I am going to mess up again.¬† Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Struggling

Posted by esoper1976 | March 16th, 2016

I wish this site were more active. ¬†I really like knowing I can come to a trigger free place. ¬†Sometimes I purposefully go to triggering places, I guess as a way of mentally self harming, but sometimes (like now) I know I HAVE to stay away from the triggers, or my thoughts might turn into actions. ¬†Also, I’m a fairly creative person, and I often use triggering places to help me think of new ways to self harm. ¬†This is not good.

I was supposed to see my therapist last week, but I couldn’t. ¬†She is out of the office, and no one knows when she will return. ¬†(she injured her foot and had surgery). ¬† This is not great for me right now–I really need to talk to her, but I can’t. ¬†I know if things get desperate I can call and talk to the after hours person, but doing that scares me too. ¬†I have no idea what they will say. ¬†I did get to see my med provider this week, and he said if I need to talk before my therapist returns (we are both hoping she will be back in time for my next scheduled appointment on the 31st), I can always call and make an appointment with him. ¬†This is good to know. ¬†But I don’t want to need to do that either.

I have been clean for six and a half years, and I don’t want to lose that. I am also reaching towards some very good goals, and I want to make those goals happen. ¬†I am starting to think like I used to though–when I meet goal A, B and/or C, then I can injure a little bit. ¬†But, not until I reach those goals because injury could prevent those goals from happening. ¬†I know that if I give in even once to the self harm, my goals will no longer matter so much. ¬†I also know, that once I reach goals A,B AND C, I will have more goals, and injury will also not fit in with those.

The goals I am working on now are 1) buy a house–this is getting to the stressful part. I got the long application for a loan yesterday, and I have to gather a TON of paperwork to send in with the application. ¬†It is very daunting, but doable. 2) My roommate and I are planning a vacation. ¬†This will be a really fun time, and we are both very excited for it. ¬†It won’t happen until late June/early July, but I have to be healthy for it! ¬†3) Find a decent job. ¬†I have a great job. Well it was great. But, then I got a TON of hours reduced (through no fault of my own), and now it isn’t quite so great–I used to work 14 hours a week, now I work 3.5 hours a week. ¬†This means I need a job with more hours–especially if I want to buy a house. Sigh.

So, I’ve got some good goals, but my thoughts are turning to self harm more and more. ¬†I will be 40 on Friday, and I don’t want to harm myself after I am 40. ¬†But, my birthday is a rough time of year for me. ¬†I know if the thoughts get too bad, and I am too likely to act on them, the hospital may be an option. ¬†But I don’t think I’m there yet. (I went briefly last June when some serious losses were going on, and it helped immensely. ¬†I was in and out quickly, and it served it’s purpose well). ¬†I am VERY wary of the hospital, because I have been a bit of a hospital addict in the past. Also, I would HATE to go to the hospital when my therapist is out sick. ¬†I don’t want her to think she can’t be sick or have time away from the office without my going to the hospital. ¬†I have been seeing her about five years now, and I’ve only been in the hospital once, so I suppose that isn’t realistic. ¬†The first few years I did live in a residential care facility, which made hospitalization not as needed. ¬†I chose to make the RCF a safe place for me, even though at the beginning I didn’t want to stop injuring. ¬†I could have harmed myself there if I wanted to (we weren’t locked, there were things around to use etc.), but I chose not to. ¬†Also, there were staff there 24/7 so there was always someone to talk to. ¬†My friends all lived there too, and I could talk to them.

Right now, I know I won’t injure. I would hate to let my roommate down like that. I would hate to let myself down like that. I have too many goals. ¬†Hopefully by the time I reach my goals, I will have more goals, and less desire to harm myself.

Sigh.

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Motivation

Posted by esoper1976 | March 6th, 2016

I just watched a very triggering episode of Grey’s Anatomy. ¬†I have been doing lots of things to trigger myself lately. ¬†It doesn’t help that it is my bad time of year. ¬†It’s exactly 20 years since the really bad stuff happened, so it’s not as bad as it used to be. ¬†Time and therapy and such have made things better. ¬†Of course, there are some things going on right now that are not of my making that are triggering me. ¬†And, I guess that makes me want to seek out more triggering things.

I have not, nor am I planning to hurt myself. ¬†But, I am thinking lots of thoughts. ¬†And, probably feeling lots of feelings–and probably trying to avoid feeling those feelings.

I have come a long way in the last six and a half years!! ¬†Six and a half years ago, I entered a RCF (residential care facility) for the mentally ill. I was there for three years, and I have been on my own for three and a half years now. (with a great roommate whom I met at the RCF). ¬†Before the RCF, I was in the hospital one week every month (all self harm related, sometimes psych sometimes not). ¬†I have been in the hospital only once these past six years–last June, when I needed a quick med tune up. ¬†It was a quick in and out. ¬†I was going to think of it as a failure, but then I realized it was a success. ¬†I got the help I needed before hurting myself, and I didn’t stay forever–I left as soon as I was better.

Now, I’m trying to buy a house (and I’ll rent a room to my roommate, because I wouldn’t be where I am now without her). ¬†This is a good thing, but kinda scary too. ¬†But, it’s not what is triggering me. ¬†It is my goal that is keeping me going. ¬†Whenever I think about self harm, or other forms of self sabotage, I think about my goal of owning a house. Then I realize that if I do bad things to myself, I might not reach that goal. ¬†Right now, I am very close to reaching that goal (starting to fill out mortgage applications and look at houses), so I will NOT let myself get in the way of owning a house!!

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Adventures in safety….

Posted by healing | February 24th, 2016

I posted last week when I hadn’t posted in maybe a year. I still haven’t had a relapse in action and the relapse of repetitive thoughts/urges is less of a problem then it was last week. But last week I was attributing an uptick in urges to going off meds. I also said that my work situation couldn’t be more ideal. That’s has I was feeling. In retrospect I can see that as suspicious thinking because it’s very black and white– I was reporting All White. Yesterday my therapist pointed out to me that in my last job I didn’t have these problems… I was telling him I’m ok until the second I stop working then the urges rush in and are sticky and difficult and exhausting. My new job…. There are ways in which it isn’t very good for me. My last job was simple. I’ve now skipped way ahead in my career, but there’s a lot of pressure to do everything perfectly– with “perfectly” meaning to the specs of my boss’ whims. And my boss isn’t the most ethical person, which is a little hard for me too. Overall, I’m getting great experience and I’m building a department. I don’t want to leave. I think it would be easy for me to get a different job… I think I stand out at the level I am because I am someone who would be much higher if life problems hadn’t interfered so much… Which is a perfect example of feel great about myself (I’m smart, I stand out) and feel less than (I am what’s left of a person after going through so much)…. I really have no answer. If I had physical health problems it would be easy to say my limitation is X….. But I don’t know how to say, or it there is even a way to say- I have to leave the office the office at 6- cannot stay late because my mental health suffers too much if I don’t have time to meet my other needs…. I mean- no way am I going to say that. Is there some version of that that can be said? And there are big projects with fast-paced deadlines and I am in charge. …that sounds like it’s just too big of a job for my wellbeing. I can hire extra help, but as more people come on ideas get bigger and I am still in charge. I also get interrupted constantly- more often by my boss than anyone else. I’ve started to say to him – can’t talk now- I have too much work to do. That works. But the old job where all I did was focus was good for my mind. Interruptions and shards of experience aren’t good for my mind. I isn’t good for my mind to not have time to exercise. It isn’t good for my mind to work 6-7 days a week. Those are at least concrete bits of information that I have to work with. But I’m pretty confused about navigating.

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Posted by barista.steph | February 21st, 2016

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written on this blog. I think of it often and how it got me through so many rough times and so many sleepless nights. I feel full of thoughts tonight and like I need to let it go somewhere. I’m not as used to being as vulnerable as I was before. I’ve been clean and sober from drugs and alcohol for one year and three months, self harm free for two and a half years. I don’t keep track of it so much anymore but I wanted to say that for anyone who is struggling and feels like going 24 hours without it is impossible. That’s how I used to feel. I have self harm on the brain because I was at Michaels, the craft store, this afternoon and I saw things that I used to use as tools and it caught me off guard how it made me feel. Reminiscent, sad, excited, a little tempting. Then I moved on. I try not to let those thoughts dwell in my mind for too long anymore. I think a lot of my relapses with alcohol and self harm started with letting an enticing thought go on a little too long and not talking to anyone about it. I think another thing that led to some relapses was focusing on the quick relief I’d get and not the terrible things that followed. I used to feel like there were two parts of me, the good side and the bad side. The good side always wanting to do better and get better and heal and the bad side wanting to cause mayhem and destruction and sabotage myself. Now I feel complete, like one integrated being with good qualities and some things I can work on. Most days I don’t feel that self destructive little monster in my brain, I don’t know where it went but it’s gone and I’m so grateful. I think maybe healing the guilt and the shame by opening my mouth and shining light on all that twisted up darkness made it dissipate. Self harm was always my “go to”, it was my best friend, it was my escape, my punishment, my relief, my very biggest comfort before I found alcohol and then it was still there always along side each other working together to help me slowly kill myself. When I stopped self harming I still kept tools with me for comfort, on one particularly hard night I even slept with them, just knowing they were there but not actually using them. My therapist never told me not to, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t encouraged either. Tonight leaving a 12 step meeting, I drove past near the hospital I was in 5 years ago. That day I had a suicide plan and I didn’t care if I lived or died and I walked around downtown the city I live in very intoxicated and out of my mind and I was harming myself in public and I blacked out. My memories are still fuzzy about the hours after and then I came to in the hospital on the psychiatric floor. I stayed there a few days and was detoxed and rested for a little bit and wow, its been such a hard, winding road through recovery since then. Passing by that hospital tonight brought all of this back to me like it was yesterday and I broke down. I hadn’t thought about that time in a long time. Tears of gratitude just exploded from me. I have no idea how I got from that girl walking around downtown hurting herself, so intoxicated I could barely stand, to where I am tonight. If I had to guess its by a lot of uncomfortable work in therapy, a lot of uncomfortable things in general, learning to call people and talk when I don’t want to, using people as support when I need to, sitting through anger and sadness and happiness and anxiety and letting it flow through me even when it feels like it will kill me, and probably a lot of grace from God. If you’re struggling, reach out, there is always help. One of my most favorite lines from one of my favorite books says that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.

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