Right now i’m sat on the sofa. I’ve been here for a couple of hours and the past one has been a non stop struggle to keep from hurting myself.
I’ve been a self harmer for 7 years, though i stopped in September 2013 and have only relapsed twice since then.
My thought process is odd.
It starts as an all consuming need. All other thoughts disappear and it seems impossible to resist. My body tenses and adrenaline pulses through it. There’s nothing else in the world but that moment. I know i’ll instantly feel better and the shouting in my head will stop. I force myself to freeze. The moment i relax i’ll throw a punch at the nearest table or wall. The first part is all about impact and emotion.
If i can get through that stage, next comes the reasoning. I’m not yet unfrozen and my brain tries a different tactic. It tells me that i can have it both ways. I can hurt myself without the shame or guilt when someone finds out. I can harm my legs or the tops of my arms. It’s cold and i won’t get questioned if i wear leggings or pyjama bottoms for the next 3 weeks. My logical side mentions that i don’t even have a ‘weapon’. I threw my blades away months ago and i’d never be brave enough to push down with a knife. She knows that punching things won’t cut it now, i want instant marks, blood. My resourceful side says i should break open my shaving razor. I’ve done it enough times, i know how to get in while keeping them intact. My practical side says i don’t have the spare money for a new razor right now and would be giving up my option to remain fuzz free. And the rest of me understands this, but doesn’t really care.
I know that if i keep the voices talking long enough, if i can resist, i’ll get the strength to say no and resume whatever i was doing before. And yet i also know how hard it is to ignore the shouting, that it would be oh so easy to give in. Feeling that pain would make me feel human again. I’d be part of the world, grounded and present. It would be so easy to do and would help me for a number of weeks until it finally healed.
The only thing stopping me is how i know i’ll feel when i finish and look at whatever mess i make of myself. Disgust. Guilt. Anger. Disappointment. Nothing makes me happy like hurting myself and yet nothing makes me more depressed than having hurt myself.
This time i’ve distracted myself with writing this post. I’m not always so successful.
7 years and it’s still no easier to resist.