Self-Injury: What can I do to help myself?
Remember that you have choices: stopping self-injury can begin NOW.
Cutting is a destructive act, but if you are really unable to do anything else, you should use sterile, or at least clean equipment. Try to find a supportive GP who will give advice on caring for injuries.
Remember that you are not to blame for how you feel -- your self-injury is an expression of powerful negative feelings. It is not your fault.
Keep notes of what is going on when you feel the need to harm yourself so that you can identify, over a period of time, specific thoughts that come up. It is also useful to keep a daily diary, recording events and feelings. Powerful emotions, whether happiness or anger and pain, can be difficult to deal with. It is helpful to record how you cope with and channel these emotions.
Remember, even though you feel alone, there are others who can understand your pain and help to boost your strength and courage. Try to talk about your feelings with someone supportive, be it a friend, professional or someone else you trust.
Join or start a support group.
Try drawing or painting how you feel. Some people even draw on themselves using bright body colours.
Make lists of your feelings, then write positive statements about yourself or the world around you. If you can't think of any, ask someone else to write things they like about you. Keep these in a place that is visible.
Think about your anger and what you do with it. If you weren't busy being angry at yourself, who would you really be angry with? Write a list of people who have caused you to feel like this. You deserve good things in life, not punishment for what others have done to you.
Line up a set of cushions to represent people who have caused you pain. Tell them how they hurt you and that you are no longer deserving of punishment. Kicking or hitting cushions can also be helpful, but try to do this with someone else if possible so that the experience is shared and so that you don't hurt yourself.
Make a tape of your own voice saying something affirming. Sometimes people have favourite poems or stories which they record for themselves. Hearing your own voice can be soothing, or you could ask someone you trust to record their voice reading to you.
Creativity is the most powerful tool in gaining strength over despair. This doesn't have to be about making something. Whatever lifts you out of your pain and makes you feel good is creative.