1. How long have you been self harming? Discuss why you started.
I started cutting when I was 13. We had moved into a new house with my mother’s new husband that year. I started because it was something I could control. I couldn’t control who was hitting on me. I couldn’t control that I didn’t feel safe in my own home. I could control hurting myself.
2. What part of your body is most affected by it?
My thighs are scarred the most. I also have scars on my hands but I haven’t cut there in a really long time so those aren’t that noticeable.
3. What is your motivation to recover?
I would like to be in a relationship some day and I don’t want to explain all the scars. Many of the scars on my thighs are permanent though.
4. Do you consider yourself “addicted”? why or why not?
Yes, cutting is my go to behavior when I am overwhelmed by life. I’ve had to get stitches. I can’t wear shorts that go above my knees because there are so many scars. I actually take Naltrexone because it takes away the endorphin high from the pain of cutting.
5. What part of self harm do you dislike the most?
Other people’s judgments.
6. What about it do you enjoy?
I used to like the sweet relief after I cut. It felt so good to release all those painful emotions and watch the blood running down my leg. I liked the pain. There was a time that I liked the scars and I guess a part of me still likes the scars.
7. List 10 activities that help you calm down.
Unfortunately I am not here yet. The only way I have prevented self harming was to give my therapist all my tools and to white knuckle it until the feeling passes.
8. What the most supportive thing anyone has said to you about self harm?
I showed my therapist the scars on my thigh. I was very embarrassed by them. He asked me if he could touch them. I said yes and it made me feel good that he was willing to touch my scars. It was a powerful moment for me.
9. Have you ever taken pictures of your wounds? Discuss.
Yes. To show my group in group therapy in the winter time when I was wearing long pants. I posted them on twitter once or twice.
10. How do you feel about your scars?
I love them and I hate them. They are my war wounds. They are the proof of my pain. The are reminders that I am not healthy.
11. Strangest place (home, park, etc) you’ve ever injured yourself?
I only self harm at home so this isn’t an issue for me.
12. Where do you keep your ‘tools’? (Your room, in a box, disposed of them?)
Right now all of my tools are in my therapist’s desk drawer.
13. What is the biggest realization about self harm you’ve had?
That I can not control it. It controls me.
14. Is there anyone you consider to be an inspiration in your recovery?
No, I don’t know anyone else my age in real life who self harms. I am 43.
15. Do you visit any websites about self harm? If so, what are they?
I visit http://www.psyccentral.com. They have message boards and there is a section on self injury.
16. What advice would you give to someone about self harm?
If you haven’t started; don’t. It’s like smoking cigarettes. After you start it’s so hard to stop. It will own you.
17. Do you know anyone else who injures themselves?
I know young people who self harm. Teenagers and twenty somethings. I don’t know anyone my own age who does.
18. Write a letter to the future (recovered) you.
I don’t think I can because I don’t believe that recovery is possible. I haven’t self harmed since New Year’s Eve but I still think I will again.
I’m going to finish the rest of these later.
19. List 5 reasons that recovery is worth it.
20. What is the most vivid memory you have of self harm.
21. Have you tried to stop in the past? What are you doing differently this time?
22. Where do you feel the most calm?
23. What is your favorite inspirational quote?
24. What are some of your main triggers? Why?
25. Do you know any statistics about self harm?
26. What is something that makes you the most happy?
27. Discuss any and all progress you have made.
28. What short-term goals do you have?
29. Do you follow any self-harm blogs?
30. Post your favorite picture of yourself and write a positive message to look back on