I am a member on www.suicideforum.com and use this quite a bit when I feel bad. I blurt out all I am thinking and what is going through my head and I get support from other people who have been in the same position. I think it's a really good idea. When I am not feeling as bad I am often one of the people that provides support to others.
It's kinda like what the NHS does with some mental health services. It encourages people who have experienced their own mental health demons to apply for jobs. If you think about it, imagine you are sectioned in a hospital. You are feeling suicidal and can't see a way out. Now who would you most likely want to take advice from...some person who has never had any problems with their mental health, they may be a lovely person, good at their job, but really do they know what they are going on about? Or, the person who has been there themselves. That can turn around and say "actually, I do understand how you are feeling as I have been there myself". I have actually found working in mental health most of the staff I have met through the work I have done have had their own problems. One of my closest friends through work self harms, has attempted suicide, has had eating disorders, has depression and fights her own demons. Another friend was sectioned and was placed in one of the hospitals I work in. I went in to mental health as of my own experiences. I chose Social Work as a career as of the SW I used to see a couple of years back. He was amazing. Ok sort of gone off course there.
Anyway, I have been using SF quite a bit recently as I have not been doing well at all. I have never had any problems with it until yesterday when one guy made some horrible comments such as
" You are a drain on society"
"You are a waste of space"
"You are wasting everyone time"
You, only do it for the attention hence writing on here and keeping a blog".
He wrote quite a lot of hurtful abusive comments about the self harm and that anyone who does it only does it for attention.
Well I was quite upset about it and it really made me question if using those forums was the best thing to do. I spoke to a few other users and made me feelings known to them that I was upset and he had made me question if I was doing the right thing in using them.
It also made me think about why I blog and why I use SF.
I remain anonymous on here. I don't know if people will actually read this. I know no one I know would do. I did mention to one friend that I blogged and she wanted the address and I said there was no way I was telling her. I use this as a diary. A sounding board to get my thoughts blurted out on. It helps me keep it together. I use it as a distraction technique for when I am feeling like I want to harm it keeps me away from it. Also, if by some chance someone does read it, someone who doesn't self harm and has all these misconceptions about it, well I hope that by being brutally honest about it it will help them have a better understanding. Sometimes I just write on here as I just feel like writing.
I use SF in a slightly different way. Sometimes I need support. One of my issues is that I am overly bothered about peoples perceptions of me. So if I am struggling, if I do something then I can't tell them. Even the professionals who I have met numerous occasions I can't even be honest with them. In fact, there is stuff that I have not even written about on here as I am worried about peoples perceptions. I like to be liked. But then don't we all. But I will do anything to ensure that I am liked. I will go out of my way to help people and not accept anything for it. I really struggled at first working in mental health when patients didn't like me. It took me ages to get over it and realise that they didn't like me as I wouldn't let them have something they could self harm with, or just that I was seen as a professional, one of them! It took me ages to realise it wasn't actually me they didn't like, it was what I was doing. Anyway, with SF I use it to blurt. To voice my thoughts and get feedback on them. Short, not thought out thoughts. I know it doesn't look like it but I do actually think about what I say on here. If looking for advice it attention seeking, then maybe I do that.
Another thing about this self harm thing, no one close to me knows the true extent of it. I have friends who know it's something that happened in the past, friends who don't have a clue that I ever have, friends who know it's something that has happened recently. But no one knows the true extent of things. I don't talk about it with people. If a friend asks me about it I change the subject. I don't like talking about it with people I know. I know there will come a time when I know Sam and Mike better and I will close off to them. No one who knows me knows that I spend my time trawling the net looking at ways I can die that will be a) painless b) quick c) look like an accident d) wont leave someone else thinking it was their fault (so rules out falling in front of a train as it approaches the platform) e) doesn't require an act of bravery on my part as I am a wuss.
So yeah, I have quite a lot of criteria there. I am a wuss. I really am. Although I plan the OD's I always drink before taking them.
So why do I self harm?
I really don't know. I know while doing it I get a rush. It's better than sex (maybe I do need a new boyfriend and sex may help slow down the self harm a little lol). The feeling of the slicing of the flesh. It's like releasing something and I can feel it escape. The cutting is quite a long drawn out process for me. For instance last week I was there 4-5 hours cutting my leg and I didn't realise where the time had gone. I go in to a disassociative state where I lose track of time. It was quite bad last week and it is usually only a couple of hours. When I blood let that is a quick fix. It takes about 30 minutes when I do it properly. There is something about seeing the blood coming out the needle which makes me feel as though I have smoked a spliff. When I want a quicker fix it's just about 5-10minutes of it.
I have been asked so many times about my childhood by different therapists, doctors etc that I have questioned it. I have always before been of a very it's a very freudian way of therapy wanting to relate it to childhood. But the more and more I get asked it the more I think, maybe just maybe those few incidents have had a much bigger impact on me than I realised. I have never shared them with anyone. I am not sure if I will do on here one day.
So my last question is...When do you call in crisis team?
They gave me their number on Monday. I was told I could call them 24/7. But why would I call them. Because I am thinking of cutting, because I am thinking of death? Well I'd never be off the phone would I? Then perhaps when you have made the decision you are going to cut, made the decision you are going to OD yet again. Well, I know myself. Once I have made that decision I will not tell anyone as I will not want anyone interfering with my plans. So the number is sitting there and I wonder, when exactly would I call them? And, I have already opened up to Sam and partly to Mike. I don't want to speak to yet another person who I don't know. I don't want to have to keep explaining over and over again. So for these reasons, I really don't think I will be calling them or making any use of their services.