I Don’t Know How I Did It

Anyone who read my last post (6 days ago) knows that this past week has been a struggle!  I have been struggling hard-core with self harm urges.  My main goal 6 days ago was to make it through the day without cutting, but what I really wanted was to make it at least until my next therapy appointment (which was this past Saturday, the 25th).  I made it without cutting.  In fact, I still haven’t cut.  And you know what?

I have no idea how I did it.

I mean, to be honest, I know the things I did: I used countless skills that I learned in therapy, even when I didn’t want to use them anymore.  I called my therapist… a lot… and called my friend Amanda a lot.  I literally was feeling so needy (but as my therapist would say, ‘I wasn’t needy, I was a person in need’).  That’s a much less negative way of looking at it.

I cried a lot… mostly while I was on the phone with either Amanda or my therapist.  And I was angry.  I was so frustrated that I was experiencing these urges again.  I was frustrated because I “wanted” to act on those urges even though I knew, in reality, I didn’t want to act on them.  Does that make sense?  The depressed side of me wanted to cut so badly.  I was telling myself that I needed to, that it would make me feel so much better.  Those were lies my depression was telling me.  Lies.  Lies that I decided not to listen to even though it was agonizing, going back and forth about whether or not I was going to go through with it and cut.   Words can’t describe that agony.  The desire felt so strong that I’m tempted to compare it to a compulsion.  But maybe that’s not fair – I don’t think I’ve ever truly experienced having uncontrollable compulsions.  I don’t know, that’s just the thought that goes through my head I suppose.  One night, after throwing my blades away I started physically shaking so badly, I felt it internally.  I felt as if I had hypothermia or something.  (When I talked to my therapist she told me that shaking was my body’s outlet of that urge and energy that I had wanted to direct toward cutting, but didn’t.)

In therapy on Saturday I sat down, smiled (although my smiles don’t always mean I’m happy), and said, “I have no idea how I did it… but I did.”  My therapist was visibly happy for me.  I mean, she was literally almost bouncing in her chair!  She was proud of me and you know what, at times, I felt proud of myself, too.

I almost gave in yesterday.  I was doing fine for hours, having been giddily happy the night before, when all of a sudden BAM! Self harm urges were back in full force.  I called my therapist – and then promptly walked up to the store where I bought “tools” to self-harm.   I was agonizing in the store.  I was pacing back and forth, almost screaming I was so frustrated.  But I bought them.  I walked home but didn’t use them.  My therapist called me back an hour and a half later and I cried a little, for sure.  I was so angry and frustrated and overwhelmed and just tired.  Tired off all this crap.  And yet once more I persevered.  My therapist stayed on the phone while I threw out my tools.  I colored mandalas and used the temperature part of the TIP skill to calm myself and stay distracted.

I also realize that perhaps these urges were so strong because we reduced my Abilify dosage a week and a half ago.  So, a couple days ago I talked to my psychiatrist and we changed the dosage of my Abilify back to what it was.  Hopefully, this will help.

Keeping my head up and trying to stay positive!

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3 thoughts on “I Don’t Know How I Did It

  1. Way to go with fighting urges! And I understand what you mean about the urges feeling like compulsions. Once, I read something that compared self-harm to OCD. That article was referring to how some people have specific rituals for before/during/after cutting.

    Like

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