Ask Sam letter


To Sam

i don't want to relapse

please help me, i've not cut for 3 days and i know that's bad cause its only 3 days but i'm used to doing it every day, but you've got to help me, i don't want to relapse but i've had a really bad week at college and i don't know how else to let my feelings out - nobody seems to have time for me, and not even my teacher will speak to me
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your message and for trusting me with your feelings about this. I can hear that you're worried about cutting yourself again. It also seems like you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself to completely stop your self-harm all at once. You mentioned that you have not cut yourself in 3 days. This is a fantastic accomplishment given that you had been doing it every day. It’s something you should be very proud of.

It's important to remember that having a relapse can be quite common when you are trying to stop doing something that has been part of your routine for a while. You will probably find that some days are much harder than others, but that doesn't mean that you won’t eventually get to a point where you can manage without self-harming at all.

You’ve told me that having a really bad week at college has been making it harder to fight the urge to self-harm again. It seems like the build-up of negative feelings is one of the things that makes you feel like cutting yourself. Knowing which specific situations and feelings are more likely to lead you to self-harm might make it easier to find different ways of coping. For example, some people self-harm because they feel angry, but for other people it’s because they feel numb. It might help if you keep a diary so that you can write down exactly what was going on for you at college and the feelings and emotions that you felt.

It might also be worth writing down the things that you did to distract yourself from self-harming over the last three days. You could use those ideas to start a list of ways to manage any urges to self-harm. Take a look at the coping with self-harm page in Explore or the message boards for some more help and advice.

You could also consider speaking to someone about some of the things on your mind. Your thoughts and feelings are very important and you deserve to be listened to. It’s disappointing to hear that your teacher makes you feel they haven't got time for you. I wonder if there is anyone else you could trust at college, like a counsellor or pastoral support worker?

If you want to talk to someone in private, you are very welcome to speak to the counsellors at ChildLine. Finally, remember if you need urgent medical attention, it’s really important to speak to a trusted adult immediately, or to call 999.

Take care and good luck.


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