I have been "cutting" (more specifically, picking) my skin since I was about 9 years old (maybe even earlier). I am at a point in my life where I am just starting to talk about it with others. Lately, I have been feeling more and more hopeless and alone. There are outside factors that I feel contribute to my self-mutilation, but I think I have been doing it for so long, I don't know how to live without it. Habit, I guess.
I want a change, but at the same time I am very comfortable with my routine. Actually, it's probably the only routine thing in my day. I am in desperate need of a story of hope, from someone who was able to change their thinking or behavior. I need a success story to know that it is possible to stop.
It is possible to stop. You have to take it a day at a time. I haven't "cut" since last september but the urges are still there and that is normal. Will the urges ever go away? It may for some it may not for some. But it is how you deal with the urges. If you keep having the attitude that I have to stop I have to climb this mountain and defeat this urge, than it will be alittle easier to not give in to the urges because the mind is more focused on alternatives to express the stress, the pain, the hurts. But don't give up if you get urges because I think that is normal, the sucess is not trying to get rid of the urges but to overcome them! That is on an individual level. So each person responds differently and at different paces so don't be discouraged if you fail one day, keep going the next and find support from a close friend you trust to help you overcome the urges. Hope that helps.
I find that distraction is a good tool to use. Find things that distract you from the urges and creat a "distraction tool box." Mine is filled with things like beads and elastic, especially those alpha-beads (I like to make bracelets with inspirational words), a book I like to read, some good music, and funny movie, nail polish, coloring books, word games, sudoku...). Things that will keep my mind busy. When I have urges I try something from my box, if it doesn't work, I try something else, then something else, then another, and another. Usually I don't run out of things before the urge is gone. Or I get tired and fall asleep or I keep busy until I have to leave for work or something to keep my down time occupied so that I'm not thinking about my urges. It has kept me in a state so that I only self injur about once a year. And yes, I wish I could not do it at all, but I went from doing it multiple times a day, every day to once a year, and that is such an improvement, and I have to focus on my improvement and give myself credit for that. Because through therapy, I have learned that I am really bad at giving myself credit and congradulations for the small battles and even the big ones. So, even if it is one day, three days, one week without self injury congradulate yourself because you are taking steps in the right direction. You have to want to stop to stop. That is the first step. Remembering that will also help you overcome your urges. I'm around for help, just ask
I'm new here as well, just posted a thread as an older woman who self injures. The extreme reaction I had today is rare, but I read your post and realized maybe 'extreme' is not the only or usual form of self injury. I've picked at sores, cuticles etc until blood appears, sometimes as if in a stupor, for hours, trying to numb myself or feel something-you know as I write this I actually dont know which one it is-trying to stop feeling pain or to actually feel pain to feel better.
But I hope some answers or support from other members will be helpful, to us both.