December 4, 2011
November 8, 2011
It was horrible. I think the reason that I don't really tell anyone is because of the fact that I worry that they will freak out and think that I am going to cut myself all the time. The reaction of my mom in my dream is probably my second best guess as to how she would react, the way I could really see her reacting is by pretending the conversation never happened.
I think I wrote about that before. I don't remember though. My mom tends to react to hard situation by pretending that they don't exist. For example, when I tried to tell her that my best friend was doing drugs in middle school she told me my friend was probably lying to me and to just go to sleep. This is the reaction I would actually probably expect. However in high school when they (my parents) almost, sort-of-kind-of, found out via the school counselor and computer tech guys at school (long story short, I was posting on one of my blogs at school, and because of some research I was doing for a paper about eating disorders and pro-ana/mia websites it put up a red flag and they found my blog as well). Anyways, they took me out to get a smoothie and basically started yelling at me. That is why I could also see them to get into that place where they are angry at me and overreact.
Anywho, I need to start thinking about heading off to my internship now.
Oh wait, but I never told you that over the weekend I sort of told one of my friends about my self-harm, actually he sort of guessed. Yikes! I was a little bit tipsy and sort of lost my filter, whoops. Anyways, so now he knows, and I am mostly ok with that. I will add more detail at some point maybe if I decide to blog again soon.
November 6, 2011
November 5, 2011
What is the Transtheoretical Model of Change?
It is a way to outline how ready a person is to end a negative behavior in their lives.
- Precontemplation – a stage where people are not planning on taking action to change things in their lives. Generally people are not aware that their behavior is a problem
- Personal: I don’t know that I have been in this stage, I think for the most part I knew from the beginning that what I was doing was not ok, hence trying to hide it from the very beginning, however I wasn’t planning on taking any steps to change my actions.
- Contemplation – a stage when people are sort of beginning to recognize that they have a problem, and that they need to change their behavior. The look at the pros and cons of continuing their behavior.
- Precontemplation to contemplation.
- Increasing knowledge about self and problem
- Beginning to express feelings about your problem
- Thinking about how your behavior impacts yourself and those around you
- I think that this stage for me was when I was a sophomore in high school, or year 10. I was realizing that I had an issue and considering the possibility of change.
- Preparation – a stage where people begin to have an intention to take action soon. May make some small steps.
- Contemplation to Preparation
- Thinking about yourself with regards to the behavior.
- This was probably also during year 10. I made personal steps and sought out help from people who also struggled with self-harm via the internet.
- Action – a stage where you make obvious changes in your life and positive change is visible.
- Preparation to action
- Thinking about freeing yourself from your behavior
- Committing yourself to taking action steps
- This was probably the summer after my sophomore year when I first made a step to ask for help with what I was doing. I talked to a youth leader and was not able to tell her everything, but I was seeking out help on a greater level than before.
- I might still be in this stage, or between this stage and the next.
- Maintenance – a stage where people are working on keeping from relapsing. A person could be in this stage for the rest of their lives.
- Action to maintenance
- Substituting thoughts, activities, places, people and things that could influence you to use the old behavior with new things
- Having someone who can help keep you accountable
- Remembering the positive benefits of change
- I could be considered to be in this stage, but not always, because I have relapsed in the recent past, but I am also working towards not relapsing again.
- Termination – This is a stage that some people add on to the model, where a person is no longer tempted to go back to their old behaviors. They are completely sure that they will not go back to their old way of coping.
- I am not sure how this stage fits in to my life. I would love it if I could be here someday, but a large part of me wonders if this is even possible for me.
- Relapse – some people also include relapse as a part of this model, it is not considered a “stage” but rather what happens when someone moves back to a previous stage.
October 16, 2011
I take buspar (buspirone) for my anxiety. It is one of the few non-addictive anxiety medications, which I really like about it. My psychiatrist back home has me on 5mg of buspar up to three times per day (as needed). One unfortunate side effect for me with the buspar, is that I get really dizzy when I take it, particularly if I take the doses too close together (any less than 2 hours apart) which can happen if I am feeling particularly anxious and I don't remember the last time I took a dose. It might sound ridiculous but, sometimes one pill just doesn't help enough to bring my anxiety down. Like I said, buspar is non-addictive, so you don't build up a tolerance to it like you can with many other anxiety drugs, which is why it seems so weird to me that the buspar just will not kick in sometimes to help take the edge off the anxiety.
I know that medication for anxiety is not the only option and I have also been using techniques that I learned in counseling in order to help me calm down. Deep breathing is something I use every day, usually constantly during the day (the people I work with closely at my internship probably think I am crazy because they hear me breathing really deeply constantly...haha). I also use visualization exercises, or an exercise where I go through my whole body little by little relaxing the whole body (this one is harder to do, because I don't really have the time to sit down and do that, but if I can find the time then I do use it because it works better than just the deep breathing, though if anyone would walk in on me while I was doing it then they would probably think I was sleeping or something...and that is not good...haha). Anywho, I have been using alternate ways of getting myself to calm down, but at this point I think that I need to get on a new medication or something.
I made a doctors appointment for Tuesday the 25th of October, and I think that I should be able to get on a new medication hopefully for the anxiety. I will also keep you updated on how that all works out (:
So C wound up telling Sh in her supervision later that day. On Tuesday I asked C how that conversation had gone and she said that it was fine, and Sh didn't pry or anything and just told C some things that could be helpful for us to discuss together at our next supervision, which will be this coming Thursday.
I will keep you updated on the progress with that and how this coming Thursday goes. I am feeling a lot better about everything right now though, and starting to feel less anxious about the idea of C knowing about it, I mean it still bothers me, but less than it did right off the bat since I have had some time to get used to the idea.
October 9, 2011
Ok, so basically here is the background to the story, on my very first day at my internship, about four weeks or so ago, I was helping out with this program which is for first time shoplifters. (I was working with St**) The clients get referred to our program after they have been caught shoplifting and they can get it expunged from their record by attending a group and basically learning about some different things like peer pressure, self-esteem, etc. The goal is not to talk about the actual issue of shoplifting, but rather to help them with other areas of their lives which could have influenced them to make that decision to shoplift. Anywho, I was observing the group and it was cool to see the clients and to just interact with them a little bit. Afterward we had to do an "assessment" which basically is that we just ask some questions of the client, like medical history, any mental health issues, any drug/alcohol use, any family history of that sort of thing etc. Just a brief assessment of that because the program is considered "mental health treatment".
We started the two assessments with a male client and the assessment went well there wasn't much to say. Then we did an assessment with a girl. That one was a lot harder. We sat down and basically everyone was just talking about the basics (information about the program, dates and times, general feelings about the program, what had happened that had brought her there etc.) As we were having those discussions I noticed that she had scars all over one of her arms, it sort of messed with my head and I was feeling sort of dizzy and I was like sort of mentally checking out a little bit. I was worried that I was going to have to mention it to St, the girl I work with on Mondays. I was also feeling really triggered by it, which was strange because generally talking about self-harm or seeing images of self-harm is not something that really triggers me. Anyways, she had written down that she had a history of self-harm and several other mental health issues. St, noticed that she had written that down and was asking her questions about it. (i.e. was she seeking treatment, when was the last time, etc.) I was just internally freaking out, like a lot. It was pretty intense. After that was done I pretty much just headed back home, still feeling really triggered.
The next Sunday I went to church with a friend (I don't usually attend church, but he had an LGBT friendly church he wanted to check out, so I decided that I really had nothing else to do so why not? haha). The church had a really traditional feel (I am not a huge fan of traditional churches and like hymns and stuff) so I was a bit uncomfortable. We found a seat and the service started, we sang a few hymns and listened to doxologys and whatever else and then the sermon began. I don't really remember much about it except at the end the pastor started talking about self-harm (calling it self-mutilation which I HATE with a passion) and he was talking about anorexia and like saying how we need to give it all to God and that sort of stuff. Basically, I was just really uncomfortable with the whole thing. I didn't expect it to be talked about in church, let alone after I was still sort of shaken by what had happened on Monday. It pushed me over the edge and I did wind up self-harming later that week.
Ok, so back to Thursday. On Thursdays I have this thing called supervision where basically I meet with one of my two supervisors (C**, the one I spend the most time with, and Sh**, the one who is the one who is really in charge) to discuss what has happened in the past week. I wasn't exactly sure what I was supposed to talk about during supervision, so I asked C about it and she basically said, supervision is a time where you can bring up anything that you think is important, any progress you have made, anything that jarred you or any questions you may have since the last time we met. When she talked about stuff jarring me I automatically thought of the situation from my first day. I had already sort of been wondering if I should talk to her about it, and had discussed it with a friend of mine (an internet friend, Amy). Basically I wound up deciding to mention it in a very vague way, like "So what should you do if something you come across while working sort of messes with you because it might be something you struggle with personally".
I went into the meeting thinking that I would probably talk about it in the vague sense. Basically, when I did say it in the vague sense she didn't really understand what I was saying and just thought that it was like the fact that it is hard to see some things, like for example when she was younger C used to run away from home a lot because she didn't have a good home life, and the building we work in also houses a homeless youth shelter or another example she gave is that it is just hard for her to hear about kids who have been sexually abused because it just is not easy to hear about. Because she wasn't really getting my point I wanted to be clearer and basically everything just spilled out. I told her I struggled with self-harm and that there had been a client who had talked about it on my first day when I was with St. C told me that she had struggled with it too in the past and that it is something that will come across fairly often with the populations that we work with, so we sort of have to be able to handle it. She asked me how I felt about self-disclosure (using personal stories when talking with clients in order to be able to relate to them). I told her that I would probably not ever be able to talk to clients about it because it seems like the wrong kind of relationship to have with clients. She talked about how she might share her story with a kid from youth group, but not really with the clients at work. I agreed that the situations were very different from each other and that I wouldn't share with a client, but would be more likely to do so with a kid from youth group. She also mentioned how we just need to rely on God about stuff like this or something to that effect (the organization that I work for is not religious, however C is and because I go to a Christian University, she probably just assumes that I am as well) So basically we ended the discussion with that, and then moved on to discuss some paperwork that needed to get done.
After the paperwork was done I drove back to school to work at my on-campus job. I was still a little rattled from the conversation with C, but I sat down at the work computer and started working on stuff for work, but after a little while I was just really starting to freak, out my heart was beating fast, it was hard to breathe and my thoughts were out of control. I am pretty sure it was an anxiety attack, but I am not a doctor or anything. I was freaking out about it and so I decided to text C because I needed to find out if she was going to tell anyone about it. Below is what our texting conversation was.
Me --> C: "hey. i just wanted to ask you something real quick about supervision. are you going to need to talk to Sh about what we talked about?"I felt a little better afterwards about the fact that C was not going to just tell Sh about everything until after she talks to me. Now I am worried that C will really want me to tell Sh myself, and I just don't know if I want to tell her about it. I didn't want to tell C in the first place because I just don't really want the people I work with to know something so personal about me. C has mentioned to me on several occasions that their last intern was a "hot mess" and I don't want her to think of me that way, not that they will think that because of this but it is just awkward to have people know this huge secret about you (something that almost no one knows about you).
C --> Me: "Not necessarily, just only if i feel like i need direction, r u talking about the self harm stuff?"
Me --> C: "ya..."
C --> Me: "Well, wuld u rather tell her urself or do u not feel comfortable with her knowing period"
Me --> C: "if you think she needs to know i would rather tell her myself i think..."
C --> Me: "I agree, it wuld be helpful 4 u just 2 get more tools* but wuld it b ok 2 chat about it monday and decide the next step 2gether"
Me --> C: "ya. that would be good i think. thanks."
C --> Me: "Np lady!!!"
*side note: by tool she does not mean "tools" as in things used to self-harm, rather she means like ways to deal with triggers...
First I think I will ask C why she thinks it would be good for me to talk to Sh about it. Like in what ways does she see it being beneficial to me? I also think that I am going to ask C if she ever told Sh about the fact that she struggles with self-harm. If she hasn't, then I want to know why she thinks I should if she has not. If she has told her I want to hear about how Sh reacted to C telling her and if it has really been beneficial for C that she told Sh.
At this point in time I am just feeling really anxious about the prospect of even talking to C about it tomorrow. I am also super anxious that I am going to be expected to tell Sh about it, not that they can force me to tell her, but something along the lines of C saying "you tell or I will" or something like that. *sigh*
Anyways, this post is getting long and rambly and I need to finish it. I will try to update tomorrow (or soon) as to how it goes with C and Sh, I hope it goes well.
Talk to you later!
**initials used instead of their full names...just because I am paranoid...
September 10, 2011
Sorry about making two posts in a row about this. Hopefully my next post will be a happier one. I really do hope so. I could use a happy post! haha
September 3, 2011
people always tell me, "just wait, the right guy will come along soon enough"...but i think guys are just not attracted to me...i meam being 21 and never even having a guy express interest in me has to prove something right? for a while i told myself it didn't matter and that i can do everything i want by myself, and that is true, but now i just feel like an undesirable piece of shit, i would love to know that someone could be attracted to me, that i am not a complete loser. just knowing that it could be a possibility would be nice. unfortunately guys don't even try to take advantage of me when i am drunk...instead they go after my best friends and even my little sister, proving that noone really likes me and i am undesirable to anyone. i mean is being hit on by one person in my life too much to ask for?Most of the time I don't care about the fact that guys have never seemed interested in me...but sometimes I just get fed up with it. When I am home I have relatives constantly asking me when I will start dating someone, or who my boyfriend is, and every time my answer is the same "Who knows" and "I don't have a boyfriend"...it is pretty ridiculous, if I had a boyfriend I would tell you, stop asking every time you see me and making me feel extremely inadequate, like my value depends upon being in a relationship with a guy.
Like I said, a lot of the time I could care less, I know deep in my heart that my value does not depend on finding a life partner, or even dating someone. My value is defined by me and what I choose to make of my life, I will do great things I am sure, and I don't need a man to do the great things I see in my future. (that being said, I don't mean that I don't want a guy in my life, I just know that I can do great things even if I never wind up with anyone)
*sigh* it still makes me sad though, because my whole life I have been told that I will get married, but yet apparently I am so undesirable that no one is interested...whatever...if the right person comes along then then will, if they don't they don't...
i feel so conflicted...
I am out of here. Hopefully I will post again soon.
July 18, 2011
I hate where I am, but I have no energy or desire to move forward from this spot.
Cutting has been on my mind constantly lately, I have no reason really to do it, I am just feeling so down and tired and I feel like cutting would be an action which would make me feel better, or at least less numb than I am now. I don't think I have ever cut for feeling numb before, so it is quite strange for me right now to feel this way. My reasons for cutting have always been because there has been too much emotion, I was feeling out of control, but right now I just want to feel something, anything, and that really really scares me...
(Story that randomly just popped into my head:) When I first decided to stop self-harming I made this bracelet out of duct tape, it was just a simple circle of duct tape layered double so that it was not sticky. On this duct tape I sewed the words "reasons why" along with a whole bunch of initials of people in my life who were the reasons I wanted to stop self-harming, like people I cared about and who cared about me. My mom found the bracelet at one point and sort of freaked out about it a little bit because she thought it was like reasons why I wanted to kill myself or something I think, but I hid it away and we never talked about it again...
(A random rant:) I am one of five kids in my family, so having people be around me is not something that is ever hard to come by, on the other hand, getting time where you are truly alone is one of the hardest things ever, right now for instance, I might be along in my room but I can hear one brother yelling about some computer game he is playing and the other brother calmly explaining something else, the voices of the people around me are a constant thing, at any moment someone could come knock on my door and ask me to do something. I really miss my ability to just hide away in my room during the school year and just get some me time. Not that I did that all the time, but right now I just feel really drained and like I need some time to myself, I need a day away from all this, something always constantly going on. The loss of my ability to be alone I think is also contributing to my desire to cut, I just know that that has helped me to feel better in the past, and I know (even if only for a moment) that it will help now too, so something is fighting inside of me that I just cannot seem to understand which way is the better way. That is where I am right now, I just don't know which way I want to head, I know where I should want to head, but the desire is just not there and that scares me...
Ok, I am going to be done with this really random and depressing blog post right now, and I think I am going to head to bed...
Hopefully I will post again soon, but no promises...
April 25, 2011
The stuff she said on there really resonated with me.
I think that I have been trying to act happy for so long that when I do feel happy it just feels so fake...
I dunno, maybe this feeling of fakeness will go away someday, and maybe I will be able to actually feel genuinely happy and accept that someday...I sure hope so, because this is getting a little old...
This past weekend was Easter weekend, so I went to my aunt and uncle's house for the weekend and hung out with them and my cousin. It was nice to be at their house, but I am also happy to be back to my dorm room. I have about 3.5 weeks left of classes and exams, so life is a bit crazy right now getting ready for the end of the year and doing all of the last minute papers and tests that professors seem to cram into the last few weeks of the semester...
Anywho, I am not in a particular mood to write a long blog post, so this is pretty much all you are gonna get...
March 30, 2011
First off my counselor, Cindy, asked me, as she always does, what had gone well during the time since our last appointment. It is sort of strange because sometimes in our meetings I can barely speak, like pushing the air from my lungs and past my vocal cords in order to make sound just takes too much out of me and is too hard, that and also I freak out about what I should say, I am always worrying about how what I have to say sounds, or if it is right and whatnot.
Anyways, she asked me what had gone well since our last session, and I squeezed a few words out, saying things like "I spent time with friends" and "I tried to exercise several times" (both of which are things that we have discussed in our meetings as ways to combat depression). She asked me if there was anything else and I sort of shrugged, and then she reminded me of the idea to work on visualization that we had talked about previously and wondered if I had worked on it. I told her I had, though not every day like she had suggested.
So just now I am realizing that I am making a totally boring post outlining every little detail of our appointment today, which was not the point of this post. I think I was sort of procrastinating on getting to that point by just saying everything that happened. Enough of that, I am going to go on to the parts that are really rolling around in my head.
First off I want to say something she said to me that really is messing with my head, I don't even remember the context for this part, but like I said it is really screwing with me. She told me that I don't have to stop self-harm. I was like wait a second, hold up, isn't the whole point of the appointments to help me find "tools" to use to keep me from self-harming. I didn't actually say this though, I don't know if I even ever responded, but it is still screwing with my head now.
A little farther into the appointment she said she wanted to ask me something. She asked me what my emotions are about stopping self-harm. I told her I didn't really know if there was a specific emotion that I could pinpoint. She then said "ok well we are going to go simple then, sad, mad, glad, and bad: those are the four emotions that I want you to use to tell me how you feel about stopping self-harming." I told her that it was sort of a mix of sad and glad. Part of me knows 'I should not be self-harming' and 'normal people don't do this', and that part of me is happy to be working on stopping self-harming, finding more tools to use to keep from cutting. The other part of me is sad, that part of me is missing self-harm. It is something that has always been there for me and I don't particularly want to have it completely gone and no longer an option. She then asked me what the ratio of the two are, which one is stronger? I told her it was about 50/50, but tonight, mere hours after the appointment, for some reason I feel like the sad part is getting stronger.
I just don't know anymore. I know what I should feel, and in my head I know that self-harm is not a good way to be, I know that it is something that I should want to recover from, but in my heart I just am not there right now.
So that is basically where I am feeling right now. I have never felt this negatively toward recovery in a long time. It used to be that I really wanted it, but now I just don't know. I feel like I am slipping deeper and deeper into depression right now, just not doing well in general, and I don't know that the exercising and being around friends is really helping right now. I don't particularly want to spend the rest of my life medicated, but I am beginning to wonder if I will be able to pull myself out of the hole I feel I am in right now.
Sorry to anyone who reads this about such a depressing post, but I am just not in the best of places right now, I mean it has been quite a while since I last self-harmed, but I am just not feeling happy at all.
I need to head to bed now. I suppose I will post again sometime in the near future.
March 23, 2011
I am not worth the effort of stopping self-harming
It isn’t hurting anyone
I try to stop self-harming because I know in my head that I shouldn’t do it. I know in my head that I should find better ways to cope. I wonder how I am supposed to translate those feelings to my heart. How can I actually let myself believe them deep inside of me? I have been repeating the ideas that I shouldn’t self-harm over and over, I say it so often, I tell myself I shouldn’t do it and so I don’t, not always. But am I doing it for myself? Or am I doing it for others? Is it ok if I am doing it for other people? Can I really have healing if I do it for others? I tell myself that if I just repeat it enough it will finally sink in, and I will accept it as truth, but will I? I have been telling this to myself for nearly 6 years now, almost as long as I have been struggling with self-harm, will I ever be able to believe it really?
February 23, 2011
I had an appointment with a counselor at school today. I am not sure quite how I feel about it. I am sort of extra stressed out about it all right now. I feel very vulnerable and out of control right now. I mean I know I don't have to talk about anything I don't want to, and that I am the one who signed up for the appointment in the first place, but I just am feeling in a really bad place right now. I made an appointment with her because I have been in a really bad place lately, and I am worried that I might be depressed. I come from the idea that I would like to keep from being medicated if at all possible, so I want to try out some other options before resorting to medication.
The last time I had been to see her was near the middle of spring/second semester of last year. I had gone because I had had a really close time when I was feeling extremely triggered and wanting to self-harm, I had kept from self-harming but wanted to talk to the counselor. When I came in earlier today, she basically asked me why I had come in and I told her how I was feeling depressed, and just not good lately. After discussing that in general (symptoms, how long had I been feeling that way, any life changes that could be causing it, any medication changes, was I suicidal etc.) and some ways to help combat depression (without medication, things like more regular exercise, trying to be more involved in events, spending less time alone and more with people, etc.).
She then told me that she had looked over the notes from our previous sessions and wanted to talk about self-harm. How long had it been since I last self-harmed? I told her it had been about a month give or take...then she asked me how many times during the school year I had self-harmed thus far, I took a rough guesstimate and told her that I had probably self-harmed 6-7 times in the last school year. She looked down at the sheet she was writing on and jotted something down (as she had been doing the whole time) then looked up at me and said with a sort of disappointed tone, "that is a lot more than last year". The way she talked about the self-harm in general is sort of bothering me. She almost seemed sort of dismissive of it, and sort of said things to the effect of well don't do it again before our next meeting. It is just causing me to sort of freak out about it. Because, not saying that I will, but what if I were to self-harm, how am I supposed to come back and be honest about it afterward and face all the disappointment in her voice? I guess going to counseling in general sort of stresses me out, I find it so hard to talk about these sorts of things, and it is really taxing for me to be talking to a stranger about them.
The whole confidentiality thing sort of freaks me out too. The form we have to fill out at the counseling center has the confidentiality rules on the back and you have to sign the paper to agree with the terms, usually there are three things on there, first is that if you tell the counselor you are planning to harm someone then they have the right to break confidentiality and tell the person you say you want to hurt, and also to tell the police to protect that person, if they suspect abuse of a child or of a dependent elderly person, and if they suspect that you are going to harm yourself. The first two are pretty straight forward to me, but the last one really freaks me out. What do they mean by harm myself, what happens if the counselor suspects that I will self-harm, will she have to tell someone? Or is it only if she thinks I will kill myself? I just don’t know and that is what worries me.
So basically, all in all, I am just feeling a lot more vulnerable and out of control since the talk today, I feel closer to self-harming than I have in a while. I am in general a people pleaser, and the pressure I am feeling to try and please her by not self-harming is sort of causing pressure that I would normally relieve by self-harming…it is sort of crazy really.
Anywho, I really need to head to bed now, it is getting late. Hopefully I will be back soon enough. My next appointment is next Friday, so I will probably want to blog again then. One last thing, I mentioned to the counselor that I used to journal a lot, but it doesn't seem to do as much good anymore, and she said maybe we could talk about journaling next time and more ways to journal that might help.