The Self Injury Struggle

[Possible trigger] The below is a beautiful piece of writing shared on a self-injury support group I am a part of. I’ve gotten permission to quote her and share here. Bits and pieces of this I’ve expressed before … but to hear it said so perfectly and accurately by someone else who also has struggled with this addiction brings me a great deal of comfort. I couldn’t have fully expressed it any better. And I soooo appreciate her for sharing. Enjoy. I hope it helps my friends understand a little more why it’s so hard to “just stop.”

<3

So my name is Jill and I’m a recovering self injurer.

Well, I say recovering, but I feel like that’s a weird phrase for us, isn’t it? You think about other things you can recover from, drug addiction, alcoholism, a cold, and then you compare that to self injury. We have physical wounds with physical timelines and then mental wounds, which we’re not sure we can ever heal. A cold goes away. An alcoholic will always face his cravings, as will a reformed drug addict. They can help heal their wounds by staying away from their substances. It’s not easy for them, it may never be easy for the rest of their life. And then there’s us. I don’t know about you, but I can’t leave my body. I will wash my hands everyday and see the scars on my arm. Every day I will see my scars. And every day I will know that I can hurt myself. I don’t even need a blade. I will know that my substance is not only at my fingertips, it is my fingertips. It’s my hands. My nails. My teeth. It’s the corner of a wall. It’s an “accidental” fall down a flight of stairs. I don’t belittle the struggles of anyone facing an addiction. But to those who tell me to “just stop,” “find something else,” and “try not to think about it” I invite you to stop breathing because the task is just as impossible. The answer is that even if I never cut again, or stick my hand down my throat, if I never bruise my arms, or burn my skin, I will have said no at least once a day. I will have said no not to something apart from my body, but my body itself. I will not “recover” from this, but I will live in spite of it. I will not be better. I will never wake up free from scars and triggers, but I will wake up. I will live. And I will do it blood free.

I am feeling scared … I don’t want to sleep. I can’t say for certain that I am tired. I am triggered. I want to drink … I want to harm. I feel like I can’t own any decisions or be comfortable making any. I want to stay up till 2 am and than take 9 mg of melatonin. I want something to make me detach. Feeling alone … this time of night sucks. Needing affection … the loneliness hurts … but I don’t feel like I’d actually relapse … so calling ‘just to talk’ isn’t justified on a Monday night. So … I’m awake … both cats snoozing next to me, the TV illuminating the dark … and my eyes hurting.

I really don’t know what to title my posts anymore.

I gave up the 4 blades I was stockpiling the last month. As usual, I feel that tiny sense of loss and numbness … but not as bad as previous times. Meh. Feelings … silly thoughts and mixed up feelings and mixed up thoughts and silly feelings. Inconvenient. Numbness too. 

There is a cat in my lap. His name is Gandolph. He gives me lots of feels. Good feels. Everyone should have a Gandolph.

I have to give Ark an answer by Friday … it is possible it just a gateway opportunity and maybe I should treat it as such. I was reminded no position will be perfect … or permanent for that matter. The environment would be a great pace … a good beginner tech job … I’m sure I’ll love it for what it is. If I had nothing else on the line, I’d take it without hesitation at this point. Ark knows where I stand … I was clear I’m sure. They know my concerns. It’s not ideal but if I give notice and quit for a better position soon after being hired, it shouldn’t leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth. It is my reality … nothing is permanent. 

Wow, that is something I really need to realize for many aspects of my life … nothing is permanent. Nothing has to be …

I think I’ve so easily resigned to the thought that my decisions are final. This leaves me with a great big HMMMM

Opportunity

Ark called and left a voicemail. They want to offer me the position I applied for after my working interview last week. I am not in the frame of mind to call them back just yet. Some concerns are floating in my mind and I want to communicate them not directly after a funeral and in the midst of increasingly uncomfortable physical grossness.
I will tomorrow.

I did however reschedule tomorrow’s interview for Banfield for next week same day. Also I found out the clinic I externed at is hiring a tech again. Go figure …

The events of today have exhausted me further. I am in bed. All I really want is Hot and Sour soup from one of my fave local places. (Or Hot and Cold soup as a certain friend likes to call it … love her.) That would bring some comfort. However, I don’t feel safe to drive … and this headache is a clue to rest … which I’ve been ignoring. Soup can wait.

I got to see a whole slew of people today that I haven’t in a long time. Hugs long overdue. Sincerely.

Every part of me just wants to stop … still.

Communication will go a LONG way … if you actually SAY what you MEAN. I’m not a mind reader. You only have yourself to blame for not getting the results you wanted!! I am fully capable of following instruction and doing well. 

Man, am I feeling tested and tempted. Irate … inner boiling anger ready to burn.

It does not help that I am sick. Gag-on-my-own-mucus sick. But that’s not allowed. That makes it all worse.

I just want to sleep. I want to sleep for days.

I don’t want to go to my friend’s funeral. I do not want to go to this interview. I do not want to have dinner with a friend on Wednesday. I do not want to hear the noise. 

Is silence and stillness too much to ask for? 

Dating.

Maybe I’ve never put myself out there… maybe I have the calling for adoption for a reason other than I really really want to. Maybe its my only option … because maybe I am called to be single. I am 30. Age is a number sure, but I’ve never had a boyfriend that I can physically touch. Why is that? I am not getting younger. I am a 30 year old single female with 2 cats and a hermit crab. My protective semi-disabled dad lives with me … in a house I own but don’t want because I feel resentful and trapped. That’s attractive right?

I just wonder why. Why am I me in this place and time? Will this ever change?

Please pray for my future mate. I am ready for a change in this monotony. He must love animals and kids that he can cherish and accept as his own … assuming one day I will get to be blessed enough to adopt. And of course, I hope someone with a heart of that quality will love Jesus as well.

I am not perfect … but I just want to hope that there is more for me … ya know?

Watched the show “It Takes a Church.” It inspired this posting. All this stuff has been on my mind … for a very long time. I’ve never asked for prayer about it. I am asking now.

Do unto others

Every day I don’t cut is a reason to be thankful. I may not feel this way tomorrow … or the next … or hell, even an hour from now. I mean look at my track record right?

Walmart is not even on my top ten list of fave places. It triggers, it irritates, it’s crowded, the parking lot makes me want to engage in a brutal game of bumper cars … etc. Tonight, I had to go. While I had a good and more or less peaceful day today … I was still tired and wanted to get out of the store quickly.

Cutting is in the back of my mind constantly. It is often hard to shift the focus onto other tasks or people some times, even on decent days. Tonight, while exiting the store, it crossed my mind … there are people all around you, you don’t have to be stuck in your own head … everyone has issues. Be the blessing.

So maybe it didn’t exactly sound like that in the moment, but rather my interpretation looking back on it. There was an elderly lady who had 4 bags of groceries. She was preparing to load them into the car just in front of the door while her husband sat in the driver seat. I offered to help … she graciously accepted. I walked to my car.

I loaded my own things up, and I couldn’t help but notice a lady. She was parked across from me. I mustered up some courage and walked over offering help. She had a very full cart with probably 15 bags. She looked like the type that just needed someone to be mad at. I expected a rude or hostile response. Instead I was met with shock, smiles, and a friendly chat.

Why are you so nice?! You just don’t know how much I appreciate this. I love your toenails. I’m gonna make my husband unload them when I get home!

It was a sweet experience. Every day I want to cut or lash out in some way, I will try to remember that it’s not just me fighting to survive every day life. One small thing done for somebody else can be the difference. “Why are you so nice?!” Seriously … why not? We just expect people to be rude, uncaring, self centered … and the list goes on. Why not prove people wrong? It might not be a life changing event for anyone … but it’s a start to bless their day … and it’s a good reminder to reach out beyond yourself if you need to change perspective.

Maybe if I do something kind every day for someone else, I’ll better learn to appreciate what I have …

It’s a thought anyway. I guess I’ll see what tomorrow offers me.