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Self harm and you - your stories. Part 2 *posts may trigger*

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:trig: maybe somewhere, probably - just in case.

I started SH when I was either 23 or 24 in 2003 / 2004.  I'm 38 now.  It was at it's worst when I first started so 15 or 16 years ago.  It was just cutting my upper left arm.  I didn't realise it at the time and, I've never actually said this to anyone (so apologies for dumping it on everyone here), but I think it's because I'm bisexual.  I've only recently admitted it to myself.  I always just thought the SH happened was because I had no confidence or wasn't enjoying my job or university or whatever.  There were lots of cuts on my arm but I always covered them up.

Then the SH happened again in 2009 and again just last month.  Both of these last two occasions have only been one cut each time.  Having this time frame has made me realise the one thing which was there in all 3.  There was someone I liked (a different person each time) and I could never tell them.  Mind you, I shouldn't be surprised, I don't tend to tell anyone anything.

But I told one of my lecturers about the SH last month (also the relevant person mentioned above in the last paragraph). 

There's probably a lot more to this but I'm being my usual self in thinking I shouldn't be wasting people's time so don't bother in case they are too polite to tell me to shut up or go away.  Ramble over.

Okay, this is the first time I've actually written all of this down, so let's see how this goes.
(I'm currently 16 by the way.)

I first started SH when I was ten. I didn't know what I was really doing. At the time, my sister had gotten drastically ill and was in the hospital every day. My grandmother was ill as well, and my parents got really depressed because of it. My little sister was too young to understand what was going on, but it was all enough to make her non-verbal at school. My dad had to work a lot more to make sure we could afford the necessary things for my family, and my mum was always at the hospital, so I didn't see a lot of them. I was really depressed, but I didn't have anyone to talk to about it. I had panic attacks at school a lot, and things were looking really bad social wise for 10 year old me, my anxiety never helped with anything. My friends didn't understand what to do or how to help me, so they just went along with whatever was happening and kind of ignored it, because what were they supposed to do really?

Two months before my tenth birthday, I was having a panic attack alone in my room. I remember feeling really numb, and feeling like I was past sadness, and I kind of just did it? It stopped me from crying, and that was the only thing I took away from that experience at first, so I started using. I didn't know it was an issue, or that it was bad. I saw it as a good thing? I would SH to stop myself from crying and that was that. I thought my friends knew, but that they just didn't say anything because what would they say, and they'd never really said anything about the panic attacks before. So this went on like this until I was about 12.

That year, it had got to a point where I knew my friends understood what was going on, but they just didn't think I was worth helping. I thought that no one cared, and panic attacks became a daily thing, with my friends still leaving me alone to deal with them. I would SH a lot, and everything got worse with my sisters' health, she got taken away by an ambulance in the middle of the night, and then my grandmother died, and my aunt got cancer, and my dog died. It really wasn't the best year, and this heavily affected my mental health.

It got to a point where I asked my mum for therapy because I thought I was depressed. I still didn't fully understand the SH, but at that point, that still wasn't an issue for me. We talked about t, and she said I was too young to be depressed and didn't let me.

In school, I was kind of known as the person who had anxiety attacks and panic attacks a lot. I had a lot of girls who used to bully me. They'd be rude about the death of my grandmother and would generally be very mean and make my life a nightmare. When they taught us about mental health in school, they brought in these people who did a play on mental health and drug abuse and they explained it all. I was so, so scared when they talked about SH. I didn't know really what I was doing before that, and it terrified me so much that I had an anxiety attack and a memory blackout for the rest of the play. I didn't know what to do. I thought I must really mean nothing if my friends knew about what SHing actually was (which they all seemed to) and didn't do anything about it. This brought me to the darkest place I got to in my life, and I stayed there for about two years until I was 15.

It got so bad that sometimes I would bang my head against a wall until I felt I wasn't alive or wasn't there and felt really dizzy.

The next year, I decided to open up to one of my closest friends who had experienced the impact of illnesses on families first hand and I was telling her about my SH, and she said she didn't know. I was so confused, because I SH'd in front of people a lot, but she really didn't seem to know. She then told me that no one knew, and I realized that maybe that was true and had a panic attack. She asked me if anyone knew, and I said, my parents and my therapist (I didn't have one and my parents had no clue), and she said she wouldn't tell anyone.

A couple of weeks later, I was talking to her about it and my other really close friend overheard. She was the only person who actually knew, but she had a lot of mental issues going on. She told me she knew, and I completely freaked out. I thought that everyone knew, then no one, and I didn't know how to feel. So I emailed friend 1 to ask for advice. But, that email got flagged, and that's how my parents found out about the whole thing. I was traumatized by that conversation, as I've always been very closed with my emotions.

In January of that year, there was a new girl in our class. I thought she was the most beautiful person I've ever seen (and I still do), and this led to my realizing I was gay. I fell in love with her, but she was in as bad a place as I was. We started talking, and I told her about all this ^^. She was the first person to ask me to stop cutting. That really meant something to me. We became best friends, and it was really painful and hard being in love with her, and I didn't tell anyone for a year. That summer was a very bad summer for me, and I had multiple attempts to end my life. I would've too if it hadn't been for her and my sister.

So I had an attempt and didn't see this girl for a week afterward. When she saw my wrist she genuinely sobbed. I promised her I wouldn't try again and I never did. (we later came out to each other and I've never been happier then I am dating her).

Being gay also made me more nervous and anxious, and all throughout I SHd and spiraled. I felt really uncomfortable saying I love you to people, but I made new friends who helped me through it, and I got better over time. I feel a lot happier now, but I can't seem to stop SHing. I don't know why, I just don't have any other coping mechanisms besides banging my head and cutting.

I feel like I could stop, and I should, but it's been so long that I don't really know who I am without it, but I think I'm getting better on all other fronts of my mental health, so that's good. But now I suffer a lot from body issues and hating my scars, but I never feel comfortable talking about it with everyone. And my derealization have gotten a lot worse and I still get a lot of panic attacks.
(Maybe I'm not doing as well as I think but at least I don't want to die anymore so getting a bit better?)

I used to have therapy, but I never could really open up, so there wasn't really any use in it for me. And my anxiety is still really strong. I think I've had to give myself four pep talks to write this. But again, I think I'm getting better on that front. My main problem is I don't know how to not be sad and I think I like it that way, even though I feel happy more now.

(I'm sorry this is so vague I have a lot more things to say but I'm very tired and this is a mess I'm sorry)


I started to SH using 'tools' somewhere around age 17 or 18 I think, although I can remember using fingernails as young as maybe 9 or 10.  In any case, it was always done in total secret.

By my early twenties I was hurting myself regularly in places where the cuts could be easily hidden.  I've never been diagnosed with anything like depression or anxiety but whenever I did feel down, SH took the edge off those feelings.  Having a secret also appealed to me, as though knowing something that no one else knew made me somehow less inadequate than I already felt.

I stopped SH altogether when I met my wife-to-be.  I wanted to be able to tell her that it was an old habit, not a current one so I made myself stop and never hurt myself again while we were together.  The day she left after over ten years of marriage, I started again almost immediately.

I wanted to hurt myself so many times and didn't, because I'd promised her that I wouldn't.  I was proud that I'd stopped, and I'm ashamed to have gone back to it after so long but I've lost my reason not to.  In an attempt to get the habit under control I've started counselling this week and have also seen my GP.  I really want to beat this habit again.

Self-harm Mind-body Treatment


Hello. This article is about my own successful resolution of a personal mental health issue, namely the presence of a specific self-harming thought. I would like to share my personal experience of successfully resolving an event triggered self-harming mental thought through an effortless mind-body health solution that simply, spontaneously arose in my mind one day whilst observing in my awareness the distressing self-harming thought.

The same self-harming thought would come into my mind daily or so continually for about a few months from its initial unwelcome onset late in my life until it was spontaneously resolved, eliminated by this simple mind-body awareness process I will explain in some depth here in this article. The negative thought to self-harm appeared in my awareness each time as a result of the same physical trigger event associated with the specific self-harming thought impulse or urge. More specifically, when holding a tool such as a cutlery or kitchen tool in preparation for a kitchen chore or eating, I would have a strong thought or urge to put the tool into my left eye. Of course, put the tool down you say but the self-harm was more present and the thought to put it down mostly did not initially arise in my mind, although when it did gain entry to my thinking I would do that. Eventually, the thought would lessen in intensity and leave my mind until the next thought impulse triggering event.

To help give you more idea of what was happening in my experience of this thought to self-harm, have you ever stood on the edge of a cliff and wondered about going closer to the edge and what it would be like to fall off? Imagine this curiosity being stronger turning more into an urge creating fear and distress so you quickly move away from harm as you feel somewhat out of control of this mental compulsion. My event experience trigger was somewhat like that, but stronger and more common as there are many times and occasions in daily life to use a tool than to approach the edge of a cliff.

If I had acted on the self-harming thought, which always took the same form as above, it may have resulted in serious injury or worse. Of course I have never physically acted on the thought as otherwise I would probably not be writing this article if I had. Nevertheless, I was somewhat concerned, worried about the negativity of the thought and that the urge could get stronger. So my story is not about actual self-harming but rather the thought or urge to do so and how I successfully dealt with it. Fortunately, the issue was resolved before it could have turned physical if it ever did.

This self-harming thought did not appear to be related or linked to coping with or reacting to stressful events that I was aware of in the present or past or guilt over such. I was not aware that it was an urge to create or result in some kind of relief of stress. Rather the self-harming thought had a simple physical event trigger, as indicated above. Generally my life, and I am in my seventies now, has been quite balanced both from a physical and mental health viewpoint. However, the fact that this thought was coming into my conscious mind and its somewhat disturbing nature made me think I needed to address it, whether psychologically, emotionally, physically, or whatever and especially if it appeared to get stronger.

I also appear to have periodically in my life mild tics or habits (undiagnosed Tourettes) and perhaps some limited degree of undiagnosed obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) type behaviour, but these symptoms have not been medically diagnosed and were more frequent in my childhood than adulthood. They are mild and not problematic for my life. I am unsure if these above termed psychoneurological conditions are related, although medical research suggests they are. The unconscious and the conscious minds are constantly changing the physical activity of the body for better or worse. Conscious and unconscious negative thoughts, emotions and experiences can cause various problematic symptoms in our life experiences through compulsive behaviour.

So what is this insight, this subjective mind-body help or treatment for the thought, urge to self-harm and how is it achieved? It is somewhat vague and difficult to explain to those who have not experienced it, as it is like describing what is spontaneously happening in the individual awareness rather than giving instruction on how to create it. It is the spontaneous simplicity of the process in our awareness that makes you wonder what you have just done to remove the thought and distress. It is an eye opening, transforming, eureka-like experience albeit subtle. It is the simplicity, spontaneity and present immediacy of the experience of wonder. A kind of instant wonder difficult to describe, but the experience although subjective is very real. You are left wondering what you have just done to bring about this change in thought awareness. Nevertheless, in my opinion and from a layman's experience and limited point of view, I can try to explain what is happening in this subtle mind-body process, and awareness of that may be able to precipitate the subjective experience of the momentary transformation in the mind-body experience. So here goes.

It is a psychological process of subtle change in awareness and effortless transformation of our thinking. It is a present, simple, effortless thought to remove a present self-harming thought in a moment of quiet observation. It is a subtle change from a self harming, strained, unnatural emotional thought to an effortless, quiet state with the absence of the self-harming thought in the mind's awareness. Thinking which replaces thinking, a new thought or experience of absence replacing another previous thought of self-harm but in an effortless, watchful, quiet manner with no emotion present in that moment of experience, such as fear. There is no strain in this subtle change in the thinking, awareness process. Simple awareness in the present moment is enough to create the change in thinking, to release the self-harming thought. A thought whether conscious or unconscious precedes our action. Action can be started or removed by a thought, a simple command if you like. The simpler, frictionless, innocent, effortless, relaxed, emotion free, unstrained and unforced the thought is the greater the power, strength, effectiveness and positive the result will be. It is a quiet moment of subjective observation in the mind that precipitates the experience.

How to do this? How can you in a moment of time transform your thought of self-harm to a thought of no self-harm which will actually work to stop in an instant the self-harming thought before it takes hold of the mind? By letting go of the thought of the particular act of self-harm. By taking away your attention from it in the present moment. No conscious self-harm can come without first a conscious thought of self-harm. A conscious thought precedes a conscious action. No conscious experience of a self-harming thought can occur without a thought of self-harm arising in the conscious mind. No action can occur in the body without first a thought, an impulse of intelligence, whether in the conscious or subconscious mind.

Thoughts are powerful and the quiet mind gives strength to the thought to fulfill its purpose through conscious or subconscious action. Simple, effortless intention in a state of calm mind can work wonders. Resistance, strain replaced by effortlessness, tension replaced by relaxation, failure replaced by success, unhappiness replaced by happiness, fear replaced by peace, complexity replaced by simplicity, harm replaced by harmlessness, hate replaced by love.

Rather than thinking, simply be. Be aware in the present moment. It is a process of quiet observation, relaxing, and a consequent subtle change of thought in the present moment. There is no judgement, no resistance, no strain. Be aware of yourself. Moving gently from the thought to awareness of yourself in the moment you are in. Moving gently in your quietly observing mind from a thought of self-harm to a simple state of awareness which does not allow the thought of self-harm through a delicate, simple shift in awareness of thought. A releasing, a letting go of the negative thought of self-harm. It is the experience of a natural, delicate shift in mind-body self awareness, of thought, of attitude; a subtle process of release in the mind. A spontaneous process that takes seconds. When it happens a sense of wonder arises as to the simplicity and effortlessness of the natural mind when it is allowed to function in the state of simple awareness.

Being natural, simple, effortless, delicate, subtle and effective the process does not go well with strain or effort. It is best used and applied sitting or lying quietly in safe, comfortable surroundings. It is a subtle process of effortlessly letting go. When a fearful thought comes into your mind to self-harm, and it does not matter how that thought is created, simply be aware of it and immediately, effortlessly change it in thought and feeling to a new thought and feeling of the absence of it. Be no longer fearful of it. In your subjective observation of it, let it go. This is a very subtle change in thought and feeling. A change from fear to joy, to love.

Every thought, an impulse of intelligence, has a meaning and feeling attached to it. The thought healing process is a simple shift in thinking and feeling in your awareness in a quiet moment. It is a subtle experience of letting go, of relaxation of the mind-body. Be aware of your thought, desire and feeling to self-harm and especially any resistance to that self-harming thought. It is fear, resistance and struggle that can lock the mind into the self-harming thought. Whatever we resist we attract and through fear, resistance and struggle with the thought create conflict in our mind. In the process of observation, release the self-harming thought by simply removing resistance to it.

It is a simple, effortless, instant change in attitude. From resistance and struggle to acceptance and effortlessness. Simply aware with no strain or resistance. From mental strain to relaxation. By simply being aware in a quiet reflective mind of the thought and associated feeling we change it.

Through the process of observation the observer affects the observed. Our mind-body system functions quantum mechanically. It deals with infinities. There are trillions of living cells in the human body and every cell knows what every other cell is doing. It is a mind-body system. This is quantum mechanical functioning on the level of mind-body intelligence. Note the three propagation, maintenance and destruction operators in quantum physics. Compare in ancient Indian Vedic philosophy where in sanskrit they are termed rishi, devata and chandas. The subject, process of observation and the object. The three in one. The observer affects that which is observed through the process of observation. Nothing can exist without the presence of all three. As the quantum physicist Prigogine pointed out, if there is one photon of light in a closed box it cannot be said to exist unless it is observed, experienced.

Utilising this three in one mind-body process, in this simple, unstrained state of mind we are replacing the twisted unnatural thought of harm with the natural, frictionless thought, experience of acceptance, release, love. The self-harming thought and feeling melts away. It is just an effortless shift in thought and feeling in an instant. We do not resist the self-harming thought, we accept it and in that moment of acceptance we simply are aware that it is not necessary. We do not need that thought. Instantly you feel a change, a very subtle change in your mind and feeling. Simply by that alone you have changed destruction to creation, self loathing to self love, conflict to peace, strain to effortlessness. Observe innocently and release innocently. Simple, effortless, no strain. Simply choosing a different thought, a different attitude. Love instead of non love. I choose love here. I choose love here. I choose love here. In this way we simply, effortlessly remove the problem. Just the experience of this once may stop the self-harming thought ever coming into your mind again. I remember watching a movie once where an actor spoke some very upsetting ungodly words. Immediately, spontaneously with a very alert focused, determined mind I prayed to God to remove those thoughts from my mind. To this day, from that moment I cannot remember them even if I tried. However, if the self-harming thought comes again, repeat the effortless process.

When in a moment of insight this experience first happened to me, spontaneously and immediately, all fear of and resistance to the self-harm thought disappeared. The obsessive self-harming thought melted away. I was thrilled with this self insight, a moment of clarity, with a sense of wonder on how such a simple effortless switch in awareness, thinking and associated feeling could produce such an immediate transformation in my mind. I have tried to explain this as best I can, but only the direct and self experience of the effortless mental process would bring true self understanding and fulfilment. Understanding is one thing and direct experience is another. Both are important.

Repeatedly doing this simple mental technique using thought and its associated feeling whenever the instant the serious self-harming thought came into my mind has resulted in a cure. By which I mean the self harming thought no longer comes into my mind. The distress has gone. Mostly by far from the time of the first experience. The simple healing process may help with other similar psychoneurological conditions: the coprolalias, obsessive compulsive disorders, Tourettes for example, perhaps depending on causative factors. However, I do not like putting labels on symptoms and my experience is somewhat limited in such mind body or psychoneurological disorders. Perhaps this simple technique could possibly be used experientially in many mind-body disorders, and there may be variations of it already being used therapeutically. I cannot possibly be the only one to have subjectively discovered this simple mind-body healing process. The most natural insights can happen in an instant. Those who have made wonderful breakthroughs in life giving innovations for mankind will agree with that. Where there is a will there is a way. I am just expressing and writing about my experience. Not making any claims as to treatments and cures.

As said earlier, there are trillions of living cells in the human body. Every one of those cells knows what every other cell is doing. Communication of intelligence is instant. This is the unified field of creative intelligence at work. This is quantum mechanical functioning on the level of consciousness, intelligence. This is simplicity, innocence, love, God, the unified field, pure consciousness, pure awareness, the soul, samadhi, harmony, natural law, life, or whatever else you want to call it that indicates its nature, at work. A simple desire, this direction instead of that direction. A simple awareness of a thought and its associated feeling, a subtle tweaking, and this may change the biochemistry in the mind-body relationship from destructive to creative, from imbalance to balance, from suffering and strain in our present moment of experience to joy and effortlessness in our present moment of experience.

This is my experience. By repeating the healing, transforming thought awareness process over a few days whenever the need arose, which after the initial first experience was almost nil, I now consider myself cured. I hope others can replicate my healing experience and results from this simple, subtle, delicate, directed thought feeling technique. I do not presently have anything to add, although I may do so in the future. Perhaps if it works for you, you can share your experience. It is good to share. I thought I would put it all in words to you in the hope it will help you. I wish you well. Feel free to share it with others if you find it also works for you. God bless.

I choose love here. I choose love here. I choose love here.

David J



NOTE. For those adults and young people with thoughts of self-harming see your health practitioner as self-harm can be a sign of other disorders that you need help with such as depression or anxiety and other psychoneurological conditions including the coprolalias, Tourettes and OCD. Medical doctors can refer you to the right people for treatment including mental health services so you can have an assessment for the right treatment for you.


Helpful websites:
Self-harm - Young Minds
https://youngminds.org.uk find-help


Here goes nothing..

First time I self harmed I was 13. I remember what day it was and what I was wearing - I can't remember all the individual times i did it but this one always seems to stick out.

I never meant for it to become this big addiction, I thought I would do it a couple times then in a few weeks time I would do it again as a pick-me-up. At the time I had been in the closet as a bisexual for 2 years and it made me feel very lonely. I think that's what kicked off my depression. I also hated my body and everything about myself. I was obsessed about what people thought about me. It often makes me very angry, if the people that laughed at me knew the pain I'm going through and the pain they've caused me, would they take it all back? Anyway, I very quickly became addicted to self harm and the cuts rapidly got very deep. This period of self harm only lasted a week but I cut myself more than 10 times. My parents found out and sent me to councsling. I didn't open up to her, I wasn't comfortable talking about it, it was all so new and overwhelming, she also kept advising me to tell my friends but i was so scared of being judged, at the time me and my friends never talked about mental health.

So, a year went by and school started again in year 10 when I was 14. My depression and anxiety hadn't gone away but I hadn't cut myself since. When school started it really triggered me. The urges were so strong, I had to give into them. I cut myself regulary over a period of 6 weeks. It was awful. The cuts were so deep, I hated being alive, i had no where to turn to. I would sleep all day. My friend saw the cuts. She got her mum to tell my parents. It was horrible. I understand she was concerned about me but we had been friends for 10 years I thought she could have at least given me a heads up. We have still never spoken about it.

The week after my parents found out was the hardest. I had become so addicted to self harm I relied on it.I didn't know how else to cope. It was difficult my urges were so intense. I would spend all day thinking about ways to harm myself, and about ways to end my life. I managed to go a week clean, then two weeks. Eventually I was clean for 5 months (149 days to be exact). When I broke it I was so dissapointed by myself. I then cut myself two weeks after that, and then two more times in the next few weeks. I have managed to talk to some friends, some conversations go better than others. I always feel annoying when I open up.

I guess that brings me up to pretty much present day. I've asked my parents if i can go to therapy so currently waiting for lock down to be over. I've been trying to manage my suicidal thoughts, they have been very overpowering. I sometimes wonder if i could've been spared all this pain if the first time i cut myself, i just decided not to, who knows.

Although there is some good news I'm now out of the closet!  :yahoo:

Well done if you made it this far and thanks for reading :)


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