When the Urge to Cut Becomes a Memory

I cried in therapy today discussing how I wished I didn’t still get the urge to cut.  I wanted it to be a distant part of my past, like the days when my OCD was at its worst.  He asked if my OCD was gone and I said it was mostly, but not entirely.  He told me:

“It will always be a part of you.”

I feel like for the first time I can accept who I am now, but my history of OCD and self harm and all that…that’s a different story.  I  wish I could extract it from my life like it never happened.  My therapist said

 “How could you cut off a limb and not expect that to still affect you in some way?”

His point being that my past is not some attacker that I managed to destroy and walk away from, but rather its a set of experiences that lead me to who I am now, a person I am happy to be.  And, wether I like it or not, the OCD is always going to be a part of me.

I have managed to employ strategies that are very helpful in keeping me from cutting.  One thing I do is write a word (“Strength”) on my arm. It helps me to feel like I’m marking my body in some way and the word is a mantra for me when I start to feel wilted.  I am so glad I have been doing so well not cutting, but I am upset the urge keeps bugging me.  My therapist addressed this too, saying how practicing self harm for so many years, how could I expect everything to change overnight and isn’t the self anger what provoked my self harm anyways?


I am continuing to practice abstaining from harming myself and this week, the new thing I am working at is accepting my past as well as accepting that the urge to cut is going to be around for a while and me getting angry at myself for that is not going to help.  One day at a time.

5 thoughts on “When the Urge to Cut Becomes a Memory

  1. hi! yeah strength is good, haha its all about controlling it imo, thats what acceptance is, control, we have control. One thing Im unsure of is how much my OCD is anxiety because Im not realy getting much anxiety over the thoughts if any and how much of it is just an addiction to certainty.

    • i think the addiction to uncertainty is an interesting point. i often think that i need something to worry about; like if im not worrying, thats when i let me guard down and then something might happen.

  2. OCD will always be a part of us, but you know what: FUCK OCD. And fuck cutting as well. Julia, when I watch your videos, I am heartbroken at the thought that someone as intelligent and sweet as you has to go through this pain. I have much faith in your ability to keep from cutting. I know sometimes you must feel alone and helpless, but all of us who follow your blog care about you a great deal. We are here for you! 🙂

  3. hi yeah Im pretty sure mine is anxiety otherwise why would I do it lol, Its like I could be in the middle of somthing and then feel the need to do it just to feel normal lol. Maybe it is some kind of self punishment thing, Im not sure about depression, I’m always happy, I think even if I was in a dark room I’d still be happy. I think I went through some depression growing up but now I’m always happy, I think its just my nerves which is my main thing. Ive been not doing the reassurance to an extent but I think thats only going to manage it, I guess I gotta get over my fears which are usually death and appearance one could be post traumatic stress I had from a situation which I thought I could have died in and my appearance one could be from bullying I had as a child not sure. Im not really afraid of either how I’m percieved and or death, Im not sure how calm I’m supposed to feel. Im not sure whether I should get help, I would have to wait 6 months for help anyway and yeah, the worst thing is when you ask people about it and they say your just thinking too much, it leaves me confused as to whether or not I actually have anxiety which I obviously do. sigh! I been trying to get a better understanding on whats a compulsion and obsession and I realise how much compulsive behaviour I do, like googling and constantly signing in places to check for mail etc, Im trying to cut down all my compulsive behaviours. I havent checked out what you said about sugar but I often find I get a bit tense after drinking too much soda, Ive been thinking of quitting coffee but I dont think I can its like a hard drug, infact they say when your craving caffeine that your actually craving sugar 🙂

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