*This post come with potential trigger warnings.*
I wanted to tell you a little bit about what self-harming is like. To do that, I wanted to write about when it’s happened to me. What happens when I pick up that blade, what happens when I get the urge. So, I’ve gone onto my old blog and pulled a post that I wrote not long after it had happened. Here we go…
Blood and a Blade
There’s blood. So much blood. It’s fairly late on Sunday evening and I’m sitting in the bathroom looking at the crimson liquid running down my leg. Amazing what a razor blade can do to the fragile body I’m trapped in. Only three cuts but there is quite a bit of blood. Strangely it doesn’t bother me though. Is that a bad thing?
How did I get here? Right now my mind is whirling trying to remember as I write this for you. My day wasn’t a bad day, if anything it was a fairly decent day. By decent, I mean nothing too bad happened. Does that make a difference? For reasons that I still don’t know, however, my mood dropped like a stone. Overwhelming, it swept me up and washed me away in a torrent of despair and crushing darkness and a single thought pounded over and over in my head: you’re not worth anything. Just get it over with. End it. Finish it.
In that moment, as overwhelmed as I was, I felt as if I had two choices: either end it once and for all or take it out on myself. I’m not worth it so why should I care? Ending it all wasn’t an option, as there are reasons for me to live, so in my state at that point I only had one option, one way out of the crushing darkness and back into some state of decent emotional level: self-harm.
Slowly I pick up the blade. Almost absently, as though I’m not really telling myself what to do, I put the blade to my skin and slowly, ever so slowly, I drag it. Blood wells up immediately, as though the thoughts and the darkness is being carried out of me in that crimson stream. Quickly, without thinking, I add another. And another.
Hand shaking slightly, I put the blade down. Three cuts was all it took to shake me out of those thoughts. Numb, I watched the blood for a moment, feeling my chest loosen, my heart stop thumping as hard as it had been and my mind to slowly quieten. Then, as I watch the blood trickle across my knee, the realisation of what I’ve done suddenly sinks in.
Horrified, I drop the blade, which hits the floor with a clatter. Grabbing some toilet paper, I press it against the wounds and sit there, shaking. One thing I’d always said is that I’d never get to this stage and suddenly I’m there, swept up like a bit of driftwood in a current. In my shamed and slightly panicked state I nearly pick the blade up again to release those thoughts but instead I push myself up and hobble to the living room. Barely able to make myself work properly, I grab my phone and punch in the first name I can think of, It rings…and rings…and rings…and suddenly my friend is there asking if I’m alright. For a long moment words failed me. At least it seemed like a long moment to me. I remember uttering the words “I’ve done something stupid” and then, like a dam bursting, the words come tumbling out.
I have no idea how long I sat there, shaking on the living room floor, talking to my friend. All the while she tells me it’s ok, it will be ok and all the while I want to scream that it isn’t ok. But I can’t. All I can do is repeat that I don’t know what I’ve done. I answer questions, I comply with instructions as she talks me through stopping the bleeding but over and over in my mind is the thought “what have I done…?” I can’t explain it properly because I don’t understand it. I just know it’s happened.
Wednesday evening it happened again, once more for no discernible reason. At last count, I have sixteen cuts on my leg. Sixteen reminders that I failed to stop myself. Sixteen reminders that I fought myself and lost. Sixteen symbols that I feel worthless. Some would say it’s a cry for help, which maybe it is. Others would say it’s an attempt to get attention…but I don’t want that. I want to stop but deep down I know it helped. Even if it was only temporary, it stopped everything. I think, like stubbing one’s toe on a door would temporarily let you forget about a headache you have, this allowed me to temporarily subdue the thoughts in my head. It shouldn’t have helped…but it did.
And I hate myself for it…because I said I never would…
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