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1 step forwards. 2 back. Health, guilt and self harm

Community Member

Hi everyone. I am pretty new here. Just looking for a bit of support as I feel I can’t turn to my family and friends.

Growing up, from an early age, I strangely had a lot of friends die through cancer or other illness. I had an eating disorder for most of my early 20’s. Then a benign health condition that I have had for years (which was incorrectly diagnosed as panic attacks, but ended up with me fainting regularly and having a procedure on my heart) left me with anxiety and depression like I have never felt in my life.

To be honest it’s not I even that bad of a condition to have in the scheme of things (fainting is not normal) + it’s actually quite common. But my family/friends never really seemed to care. I was told nothing was wrong and to get over it so many times. It took doctors over 10 years to diagnose.

I have heard of other people having the same condition and getting diagnosed straight away. And even have seen family members of people I know with the same (untreated) condition get so freaked out and worried and cry, which worries me because I feel like it must be really bad.

This has led to me freaking out over everyone’s health. If someone mentions something I wrong - particularly with their heart I go into full panic mode. I feel so anxious I could throw up. My legs feel like jelly and I can’t focus on anything but that. And I become convinced that someone is going to die. I spend so much time lying awake thinking about how I wish I could trade places with that person and bear so that they don’t have to. I wish so hard that I could make it better for them but I can’t and end up taking it out on myself through self harm.

I feel so guilty that my health condition was treated when others aren’t, either through choice or because they can’t I have recurring nightmares. I don’t understand why I am still here when others aren’t. This was almost 3 years ago that it all started and I feel like I just can’t move on. Especially when I get drunk (which is very rare!) I start getting urges to self harm and panic like crazy. My poor husband has been so amazing but I feel like he can’t take me like this forever.

I have been seeing a psychologist which is helping. I am on medication (but am backing off it as we are wanting to have a family), and I have been trying to meditate and journal every day. Some days I feel amazing but sometimes it is 1 step forwards and 2 back like today.

any advice or help would be amazing. Does it ever end/get better?

4 Replies 4

Hi Emily09,

Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums! We're glad you decided to reach out here tonight. We're so sorry to hear that you've been feeling that you need to take these feelings out on yourself. It sounds like you struggle with unhelpful thoughts and these sound overwhelming for you. Is there something that has helped you to curb self harm behaviour in the past? Please know that you're not alone and there will be members of this community who relate to what you are describing.

Can we ask if you are you currently receiving mental health support, or have you in the past? If not, we would urge that you do seek professional support to help you work through these urges that you're experiencing. If you are not sure of how to access mental health support, please contact the Beyond Blue Support Service anytime on 1300 22 4636 or get in touch with us on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST here: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport One of the friendly counsellors can offer you some support but also provide you with advice and referrals for seeing a counsellor in a more ongoing way.

You might also be interested in our page on "Self harm and self injury" -  https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/suicide-prevention/feeling-suicidal/self-harm-and-self-injur... Many of our members will understand and may be able to help. If you would like to post further, please tell us more about what's on your mind and how we can best help support you.

Community Champion
Community Champion

hi and welcome to beyond blue

I would always look at some goal line and it always seemed out of reach to me. Like you some days are up and some are down. I also had binary thing going on whereby if something went wrong, I felt I reset and things would never get better. I have a few ways of dealing with the goal line now, and the easiest two are:

  1. to look at how things compared to last week, month or year. People tell me that I am better compared to "some time ago".
  2. look at the journey as going to the top of a mountain. Sometimes on your way to the top you have to go down into the valleys to find get to or find a better path.

There is also a quote I quite like which goes something like "it does not matter how slow you go as long as you are moving forward".

It is saddening to read your family has not given you the support you are looking for. Perhaps you might consider the people here as a second family, abeit a virtual one - the people here are not judgemental and are very supportive.

There were/are many things in your initial post I could yet respond to. I wonder what thing(s) you would like to chat about first here? Looking forward to hearing more of your story.


Community Member

Hi Sophie.

thanks so much for your reply.
I am seeing a counseller every fortnight and she has been so helpful. To be honest I don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for her.

I am doing my counselling, have been on medication for three years (tapering off now as my husband and I want to have a family), meditating, exercising, reducing work hours and all sorts. I just don’t know what else I can do or what else I can try tI stop feeling this way. I feel so bad each and every day for wasting my life. I feel if I can’t enjoy it I should give it to someone else who needs it but doesn’t have the chance but unfortunately that’s not how life goes I guess.

Thanks Tim. I appreciate your answer and advice! I am always up for new ideas and that is one of my favourite quotes too!

yes I think support elsewhere could be good heheh. I have my husband but I feel like there’s only so much he can take and also I feel bad all the time because I can be so up and down all the time. I feel as well that he doesn’t understand all that well either. To be honest, I don’t understand myself most of the time 😂

I also feel so embarrassed about having him on this journey with me because he can be very logical and I can be so emotional so I don’t think he quite understands. And I end up trying to explain and just saying the wrong things. in all reality I love him to pieces but think about leaving him everyday to save him from the hurt of being with me, and saving myself from the hurt when he eventually has enough of me and leaves anyway.

I just don’t know how to move forwards