Is It Normal to Miss Hurting Yourself?

October 13, 2022 Kim Berkley

Relapse is a possibility every self-harmer faces during recovery—but is it normal to miss hurting yourself once you get clean?

Do You Miss Hurting Yourself Now that You're Clean?

If you've stopped self-harming and thought to yourself, even once, "I miss hurting myself," know that you're not alone. Yes, it's normal, and it's completely understandable. After all, you turned to self-injury for a reason—and if that reason, or one like it, persists, it's only natural to miss the emotional outlet that self-injury may once have provided for you.

So please, don't get caught in the trap of thinking that it's wrong, stupid, or messed up to miss hurting yourself. Healing isn't easy, nor is breaking a habit—particularly one you may have relied on for months, or even years, on end. It's okay if you sometimes feel like it would be easier just to give in and go back to hurting yourself. Many people do. Why else do you think people relapse?

Rather than shaming yourself or falling into the trap of guilt for feeling this way—which can potentially cause you to spiral right into a relapse—try to accept that you feel this way and then ask yourself why you miss it. Chances are there's something difficult that you're struggling with. Instead of turning back to self-harm, consider other options for coping, such as journaling, mindfulness, exercise, or cognitive behavioral therapy exercises. Consider, too, whether it might be time to reach out for some extra support from a friend, family member, support group member, or mental health professional.

Do I Miss Hurting Myself Now that I'm in Recovery?

Personally, there isn't much I miss about hurting myself. I don't miss the pain of the act itself, nor do I miss the pain I was in that led me to try it in the first place. I don't miss feeling torn between wanting scars and wanting to keep my secret, well, secret. And I definitely don't miss those first long years I spent trying to recover on my own before I finally reached out for help.

But am I still sometimes tempted to turn back to self-harm to cope? Yes, I am. I'm not sure that's something that ever fully goes away, though it sure would be nice if it did. The difference is that the temptation is so much easier to ignore now that I've had years of practice doing so—and building a recovery toolbox full of healthier alternatives.

APA Reference
Kim Berkley (2022, October 13). Is It Normal to Miss Hurting Yourself?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, February 25 from

Author: Kim Berkley

Find Kim on Instagram, Facebook and her blog.

Leave a reply