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Posted by: only me | 2007/04/21

Just a note

Hi CS,

I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to listen to everyone who comes onto this site looking for advice, and for making it a safe place to talk. The responses from others have also become much kinder than in the past, and this is a good thing.

I am 18 now, but came on here when I was around 14 i think, looking for help because I knew how i was feeling wasnt normal or right. I explained my situation at home and how i was feeling inside, and i got such horrible responses from people, telling me to "grow up" and "get over it" as i was "too young" to know anything about what i was experiencing. I was so hurt and confused that i bottled everything up again, which only made things worse for me. Since then, after lots of things happened in my life, i have been put on various different anti-depressants to try and find the right one that didnt make me physically ill, have been for 'shock therapy' (ECTs), been in hospital twice for overdoses, and am still struggling to try and get my life back. What made me decide to talk about this all today i dont really know. I think because it was my birthday recently, and i have started varsity this year, ive realised just how much ive missed out on in life because of all this, and how hard it is for me to try and be normal around people who know nothing about my past. I feel like im just drifting through life on autopilot, and i dont quite know how to get involved again, or if i even want to. I also started cutting myself just over two years ago, and i dont know how to stop. Although i have been seeing a psychologist, i still cant talk to her about this and i never bring it up, even though i cut myself every day. Im just too ashamed, and need some way to make my pain visible to myself. I no longer cut my wrists, but my arms. I know you've talked about this before, and im not necessarily asking for advice, i just wish sometimes that someone could help me throuh this because i have horrible scars and burns, and i dont think i will ever be able to get into a costume again. I just sometimes think that this is the life im destined to have. Im just so confused about everything, but as people have told me in the past, only i can make the changes i need in my life.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hello jm ! Pleased to hear you find this service usefulnow, but I'm really sorry that you had an unfortunate experience in earlier years. Some of the nastier people tend to climb in AFTER I have responded to a emssage, so that I'm unlikely to see their later acts of unkindness. You've certainly been through a lot in the meantime.
I'm sorry, too, to hear that you began cutting again. I understand that urge, which you so well describe as " some way to make my pain visible to myself" --- and that's where I have recommended, with success ( it works if one doesn't simply reject it out of hand as silly ) replacing the cutting, which as you find leaves unpleasant scars that limit one's options in life --- and instead, to slash one's arm with a red ( non -permanent !) felt tip pen, koki, or whatever --- it makes a dramatic mark, very visible, but one that can be washed off in due time, and the surface re-used. This, so far, is not "the life you're destined to have" --- it's the life you have, for various reasons, had so far. You can ensure that it becomes a much better, more positive and constructive life from here on. I wonder if they have anyone doing CBT counselling through student health at your uni ? A good CBT counsellor can help you identify the changes you need to make, help you develop the skills that help you to make them, and enable you to go ahead and change.
Good luck with this worthwhile project --- and do keep in contact on the forum and let us know of your progress.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Britty | 2007/04/23

Dear Sam

You know Sam, your last posting sounds so much better than your very first one. You are right in that helping others helps you but you have to be strong enough to do that which you aren't right now and I feel that right now you are your number one priority. But as you say you are making changes no-one else can see but its really not important whether others can see those changes or not as its what you think and can change about yourself that is important to you. Hopefully you will continue to make progress with your counsellor but do investigate the CBT counselling that CS suggested as well. I haven't had experience with CBT counselling but trust CS's advice as its always spot on. Take care.

Reply to Britty
Posted by: Only me | 2007/04/22

Dear Britty,

I know i said i probably wouldnt write again soon, but i just wanted to say thanks for the encouragement. I do feel like thats one thing that keeps me going - helping others. In that way i know im still needed. Ive tried to help some of my school friends through different things that they've had to deal with, because ive learnt that the best way to cheer yourself up is to try cheer up somebody else. It really helps me to focus on other people sometimes, and at the same time i was just starting to open myself up again when the school year came to an end. I was so upset after school finfshed because i felt like i just needed one more year there to get myself back on track again. But i guess it just wasnt meant to happen that way.

I am seeing someone, a clinical psychologist, have been for the past 2 years. In the beginning i didnt care enough to talk to her because i had had enough, but i slowly started talking and i know its helped with many things that most people know nothing about. Ive had to make lots of little changes this year that many people wont even have noticed, but i know i still have a long way to go. So like you said, i will just take little steps. And i know that I will have to get to the stage where i can talk to the psychologist about the things i do to myself, logically i know that that is the next step to take but i dont know how to do it. In a way this life has become my comfort zone, im almost afraid to be happy. I dont know if youve heard the song Lithium by Evanesence - its a lot deeper than the ordinary person might think. Some of the lines are a good way to describe how i feel - "I want to stay in love with my sorrow... but how i want to let it go".

So i just wanted to say thank you for caring, and maybe one day i can come back on here to listen and help others, but i also know that i can only truly help somebody else if i have myself sorted out first - i just feel thats so selfish though. Thanks again.

ps: My real name is sam.

Reply to Only me
Posted by: Britty | 2007/04/22

Dear Only Me.

You wrote of "suffering out there" and "woudn't wish for anyone to feel that way" means you understand human pain and suffering and who better than someone experienced to write on forums like these but obviously when you have sorted yourself out with a CBT counsellor- just think of how you could listen and help others with their pain if you could only rid yourself of your own. I sometimes read on this forum about baby steps and I love the expression as it means that you are not getting worse but you are making small improvements to your life which will have enourmous significance on your life for the better. Sometimes when you can't see your way any change is a good change.

When I speak of change I am speaking from experience as my home is rented, we moved countries, had to get rid of pets, learn a new lifestyle battle with new red tape and guess what? I am just taking it step by step. My husband on the other hand get anxious and wants our life to get re-established in 3 months. But change takes time and I am happy just to carry on with my baby steps as I know the bigger picture is around the corner and I will get there.

So take that first baby step and make an appointment wtih a CBT counsellor as CS suggested. Good luck.

Reply to Britty
Posted by: only me | 2007/04/22

Hi Britty,

Thanks for the reply. I have been reading messages on this site for a while now before i eventually tried again, and you're right because most people really are kind and caring, and im sure many people have been helped through this.

I know im still so young, thats what sometimes gets to me because when i think back of what my life has been like the past few years, i cant even say its been a life. Believe me, i know there are so many people who are suffering out there, and that makes me sad because i know how bad i have felt and wouldnt wish for anyone to feel that way. In a way it helps to know im not alone, but at the same time it just means there are more people in pain when they shouldnt have to be.

I dont know how soon i will post on here again, im not very good at opening myself up to people, but thanks for caring. Hope you'll look after yourself too.

Reply to only me
Posted by: Britty | 2007/04/21

CS's advice is just so good isn't and he is kind with it!

Its upsetting reading your story as you are just so young to be in so much pain. Yes, sometimes people say idiotic things here but they are outnumbered by the many kind people here who will support you and CS will answer you. So when you are feeling "blue" write to us here - I have found this column so wonderful as I read my own problems so many times here and I find it comforting knowing I'm not the only one to feel the way I do - Take care of yourself.

Reply to Britty

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