Self Harm & DBT

Apologies in advance if my thoughts are a little disjointed in this piece, I’m quite low at the moment, which messes with my concentration and ability to form coherent thoughts.

I’m not entirely sure what I am going to achieve with this blog but I feel like a post such as this is long overdue. I started self harming when I was 8 years old. No-one found out until my mid-twenties. It is a coping method that I have therefore used for a long time. I say have used now instead of had because I’ve fallen off the wagon.

During and after DBT, for a period of over 2 years (3 years for overdosing), I did not self harm. I thought I’d put it behind me, that I would no longer attempt to solve a situation or emotion by hurting myself. It was finally my past. It felt good, it felt as though I could achieve anything.

Then my world came crashing down around my ears. I hit a severe depression and self harmed a number of times. I thought I’d put the genie back in the bottle though and it was just a blip but then came the psychosis. The sheer fear the psychosis generated could only be quieted by the razor. I self harmed numerous times all over my body, and severely. Yet I managed a second period of psychosis without harming myself. Was that it? Had I finally cracked it once and for all?

No. This past week I have resorted to self harm again. I have self harmed twice, both times requiring A&E. I hate it, the long wait, the knowing look of the staff. Yet for some reason I feel ok with it in some ways. I don’t want to self harm but it isn’t the end of the world. Yet in other ways I feel like a fraud and a failure. The proud DBT wonder kid getting bitten in the butt.

I have today decided that it stops. It really does. I don’t want the increasing number of scars. My body is a mess and I don’t want to make it worse. I don’t want to have to waste my time in A&E, wondering if I am going to be treated with dignity on that occasion or not. I don’t want to identify as a cutter. It’s not me. I’m a fighter and I want to fight this. How? It’s back to the ol’ trusty DBT skills along with a healthy dose of will power. I have been choosing to cut instead of using skills, now I choose to use skills instead of cutting.


About Carrie Quinn

I'm a former solicitor whose life was turned upside down due to problems with my mental health. I'm now aiming towards recovery, which to me means rebuilding a meaningful life - not necessarily disorder free.
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