stephiny: (dog ate it)
[personal profile] stephiny
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] scruffyduck for mentioning this, because otherwise I wouldn't have realised.

I also really appreciate [livejournal.com profile] ripley78 talking to me about this, because I wasn't sure at first if I was going to write anything about it or not.

Most people when they think of SI immediately imagine teenage girls scratching their arms for attention. They think it is just a phase that people will grow out of. Other people think that anyone who harms themself is suicidal. In very few instances, these assumptions are correct. Most people who SI though, they don't want everyone to know, they don't want attention, and they want to live.

I'm not f-locking this entry. Most of you are my friends and already know this stuff about me, but if even one other person finds this in any way useful, it's worth having it out there. This could also be somewhat triggery for some of you.

I'm 23 years old and have been cutting for over a decade. I don't want to die. I don't want attention. Cutting isn't the only way that I hurt myself, but it's the one thing that I always come back to. It works. I've also scratched my skin raw, pulled my hair out, burned my fingers, provoked people into fighting, stabbed my arms with needles, pinged elastic bands around my wrists, squeezed various body parts in vices, and even deliberately broken my toes so I could grind the bones together.

That's the what. They why is somewhat more complicated.

Anger is a fairly common trigger. Not so much anger at the world or at other people, but anger at myself. I'm never good enough, fast enough, strong enough, clever enough... I'm not particularly great friends with my brain sometimes, given the right circumstances I end up twisting any failure into personal shortcomings and end up taking my anger and disgust with myself out on... myself. I'm convinced I fucking well deserve it, and no amount of logic can overcome the emotion.

Numbness, dissociation, not being able to feel. That's another big one. I feel like I'm floating outside of myself, like nothing is real. Maybe something good has happened and I know I should be happy but I'm feeling nothing. Pain is an anchor to reality, a sensation I can identify and use as a starting point for coming back to myself. It proves to me that I am real.

Sometimes I feel completely overloaded with emotion and I can't cope. If I cut then, a rush of calmness overtakes me. If the manic overloaded feeling doesn't go away on it's own, and I don't do something about it, I tend to get reckless. Luckily this is one of the rarer reasons for me to hurt myself.

It's a coping method. Not the best one in the world by any means but some days it literally is a case of cut to get through the day, or slit my wrists. And I don't want to die.

Even sitting down and trying my best to explain why, I know I've missed out a lot. The reasons beyond these simplified ones really are complex.

So, do I think it's a good thing? I mean, I've been doing it for over ten years so obviously if I thought it was bad, I'd stop, right? Well, no. When I realised that I was hurting my SO by doing it, I stopped for roughly 6 months. She didn't ask me to but I certainly have no intention of hurting anyone other than myself. It wasn't as simple as all that though. A spectacularly bad day followed by an impossibly long and lonely night led to cataloging all the pills I could find in the house, just desperate for something to make everything stop for a moment so I could catch my breath, could begin to process all the shit. Well, every possible cocktail of pills to make things stop would be a little more permanent than I'd like. I felt dizzy, could hardly breathe and my hands were shaking, and I cut. It worked, it calmed me and got me through that night. And it's only happened once more since.

People that SI need better coping mechanisms, but they need ones that work before anyone can possibly expect them to stop with the only method they know. Control helps too, I have a small 'hidden' area on my body that I let myself cut. Because maybe I haven't been able to stop completely, but limiting myself in that way is something I CAN do, and limits possible damage (and scarring).

My Mum asked me once (after she'd discovered that I'd pierced my own ears. She doesn't know about the rest of it) if I like pain. No, I don't. I naturally have a high pain threshold and don't tend to notice much minor stuff, but I do go out of my way to avoid things that hurt. The only 'good' pain is the times I don't notice it with the emotional catharsis that sometimes occurs. Sometimes pain is useful but for me it is never pleasurable.

Some useful websites are:
FirstSigns
Mind
TheSite

Date: 2011-03-01 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] king-josie.livejournal.com
This is a really good explanation of SI :)

Date: 2011-03-05 12:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stephiny.livejournal.com
Thanks, I'm really glad it made some kind of sense.

Date: 2011-03-02 09:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zero2aries.livejournal.com
You are one gutsy lady.

Sharing this on a open post.

That took courage

Date: 2011-03-05 12:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stephiny.livejournal.com
Courage, or stupidity. I'm not sure which.

Hopefully someone will one day stumble across it and actually find it useful. Then, regardless of how hard it was to write and post publicly, it'll have been worth it.

Thanks

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July 2011

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