- Mental Health
Self-Harming helped to save my life.
Self-harming was the only way I knew how to deal with intense emotions that were in danger of overwhelming me. I remember the first time I did it and I felt the intense relieve throughout my body, all tension released. It was the only thing I did in life that I was sure would work and release me from the grip of severe emotional distress.
I have cut myself, including my wrists, beaten myself with my own fist, jumped off high walls, taken overdoses, developed anorexia, taken drugs, abused medicated drugs, had drunken unsafe sex with strangers, and, stood at the top of the stairs and hit myself hard enough to see stars so that I would fall down the stairs.
I was ashamed of my behaviour, thought I was abnormal as my mother had claimed when I was a child. I could not communicate to anyone around me what I was feeling and felt alone, the only one that felt the way I did. I lived in fear that I would be carted off to a mental institution never to be released and I was scared. Scared that one day I would go too far and kill myself. I did not really want to kill myself even though I am aware that to the hospital staff that's how it would appear.
In time I learnt better ways to deal with my emotional distress. I learnt to talk to others, to trust others a little more than I did. I found writing helped me to release any inner tensions. When I write my problem down and read it back to myself, its like I am my own counsellor. The problem, whatever it is, does not seem so bad if you can share it with someone you trust. At the time of harming myself I trusted no one. By writing and sharing with myself, who I trust, I learnt to find the answers and solutions to my problems, from myself.
At the end of each writing session I would ask myself, what do I want? What do I need to make me feel better right now? When I got my answer, I would imagine that I had what I wanted. I imagined how it would feel to have everything I wanted. The writing exercise can help to shift the focus to something more positive and most of all, help us feel better. Sometimes I rip up what I have written and sometimes I write in a journal. Later I might read the journals and look on my problems as if they were someone else's problem's and I ask myself, what advice would I give it I truly wanted to help them?
I do not self-harm now. I had friends who self harmed as teenagers, who do not self-harm now. I also know people who still self-harm. Instead of cutting they use excessive amounts of alcohol and drugs and then have involvement with the authorities.
I take care of my body now and know it serves me well. I feed my body a good healthy diet and I exercise regularly. I lived in an environment that is good for my body and I make sure I have fun in my life.
If you are self-harming know that you are not alone and you are not abnormal. If you hurt yourself remember to take good care of your wound, cleaning it and putting a clean dressing on. If it is possible keep your implements clean. (blades, knives, glass or whatever you use) Keep yourself safe and if possible talk to someone.