Sunday, 1 October 2017

Self harm, why?

Self harm, for most, might seem like an extreme path. You might find it nauseating, stomach curling and just plain uncalled for.

For me it has been an escape route. A fight for control.

I first turned to self harm when I was 15.

I remember the day vividly. I got home from work, the sun was bouncing through my bedroom window. I was meeting a friend later and I was quite excited. The memories of the previous nights disco dancing were still fresh on my mind. I called him from outside the club. I thought he too might be out chasing the night.

Back to that day, the bedroom.

The phone rang and I took the call.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

He's dead.

Bobby is dead.

Bobby was a friend of mine. We had romantic feelings for each other but I was taking my time. Just the other day he was on the phone asking me over to his house for dinner with his family. I was scared of things moving too fast, so I made an excuse.

The caller continued telling me the reality that hovered over that day.

I had a glass candle holder. It generally sat looking out the window but through the course of the conversation I found it grasped in my hand. My grip growing tighter.

I could see the blood trickling down my hand but I felt nothing.

That's where it began.

When the pain set in I wasn't in control. When the pain from the glass set in, I was.

And it continued. Every time I found myself loosing control of my emotions I turned to self harm. Glass, razors, keys, paper.. anything that would bring the release, the comfort.

I wore long sleeve shirts and lied about falling into stock cages at work.

I hid it well but they found out eventually.

I'm not proud of my coping mechanisms but they were exactly that, they helped me cope. I can only hope I never go back to that place. If self harm is the pit stop before a suicide attempt, then I'll take that pit stop. Regaining control, or what it felt like at the time, gave me enough space to not want to proceed to a suicide attempt.

If you are struggling with self harm please reach out. Talk to anyone, talk to me. There are better ways of coping.

love xo

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