Self Harm - My Hidden Addiction

It took me two years to stop self harming. It took me five years after stopping to tell my best friend. It took me 40 minutes of looking at a blank screen to start typing my story.

I'm not proud of that part of my past. Nor do I enjoy re-visiting it. But this is something I have to get out. Please bare with me.

There wasn't one, single, devastating moment that led me to repeatedly slice my torso 7 years ago. It was more like a cluster of minor events and emotions. My nan had been diagnosed with cancer, I was, as usual, being put down by my mum, I felt alone and insecure and useless. I was so angry and upset one night. I began to punch the wall. I was stopped by the shattering of the lamp I had just knocked over. I accidentally cut my finger as I was picking the pieces up. For a few minutes I just looked down at this cut, continuing to dig the ceramic piece into it. Honestly - it felt good.

I began to crave the feeling that I'd felt that night. It took the real pain away for a short while. I felt as though I had complete control over my pain and emotions. I didn't want to let anyone in on the secret so I avoided the obvious areas. I kept to the torso only. I'd kept that one ceramic piece in my childhood teddy. And I used anything else I could find around my room, mostly sewing needles. It started just as scratches, which I could barely feel. Gradually I started to cut deeper and deeper. I was scared every time I did it. But that sting that comes from it, the rush of pain to that one area - that felt good. The real pain I was feeling falling out of focus - that also felt good.

Just under two years later I got to the day that made me stop. I was feeling the lowest that I'd felt in a very long time. My nan was in hospital that day, whilst I sat in my room aggressively scraping away at my already sensitive skin. But nothing was happening. I felt all the pain. I needed it to stop. I needed that sting to be greater than the pain inside. I had a partially healed appendix scar. So I turned my attention to that. The moment the blood started to pour out, it was like someone had knocked the sense in to me that I had lost 2 years before.

I was overwhelmed with fear. I grabbed a jumper and pressed it against my scar to stop the bleeding. I opened my nans first aid kit and tried to stop the bleeding and cover it as much as possible. That included threading a needle and sewing shut the side I'd ripped open (It's not as easy as it looks in the movies trust me). I covered it with two more plasters, another large one on top, then a piece of bandage with nursing tape. It was an awful job but it did the trick until I could go to my aunties the day after. She is the only person I could trust to not tell the rest of my family. My auntie took me to the hospital straight away to get stitched up. To anyone else my had stitches had simply opened up.

That day I promised my auntie that I would never self harm again. I made myself that same promise. Last year, whilst in work, I had to brush up broken glass. I accidentally cut my finger - major de ja vu right? And again, for a minute I had started to press the glass further in to the wound. I realised what I was doing, so I just continued to brush the glass up and then put a plaster around my finger.

That was the closest I have been to self harming in the last 5 years. But I do get times when I have a strong desire to do it again. Because I am psychologically addicted to self harming. My common sense over powers that desire every time.

When I turned 18 I got my first tattoo. You know, I can't feel tattoos? I don't know if I've developed numb skin or just an insanely high pain threshold. Anyway, I got my tattoo placed just under my appendix scar. I thought it was pretty fitting considering the tattoo itself represents courage and comfort. Only my best friend knew the true meaning behind that tattoo.

And that's my story. A story that I have spent the last 3 hours trying to write.

All my love.

xx

If you have any questions regarding this post, require advice or just simply want someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to email me at - safehavenanonymousletters@gmail.com - with the subject 'Self Harm'.

6 comments:

  1. Wow, this was so brave of you. I know the real struggle opening up can be. Although our story differs, I can't help but relate to how you described the urge, the feelings it brings. I've never told anyone that I self-harm - even though I'm not free of it, at least not yet. But the fact that you just opened up, which was for you something that was far from easy to do, has encouraged me to confide in you. You are the only one that know as of now.

    I can tell you that I am proud you are free from it today and I hope you realize how incredibly strong a person it has made you. I hope you found relief in writing those words and sharing them, in the open space. At times, to some people it feels daunting but truly, it has made you inspiring, brave and so beautifully authentic.

    I wish you all the best. Lots of love.

    Giulia x
    http://thehighheeledpapergirl.com

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    1. Let me start of by saying thank you so much for your unbelievably kind words. It genuinely made me cry. I don't regret self harming because it is led me to be who I am today, it's part of me.

      I'm so glad that you felt you could confide in me. My email or social media is always open to you. Talk to me anytime, whether it be to confide in me, needing advice, to distract you or simply to chat to.

      Always here, thank you for putting a smile on my face and warming my heart.

      -SH;AL.xo

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  2. My God that took courage to share! Im proud of you for stopping! So many people out there should read this post to know that they are not alone. Its freeing to be able to tell the truth about our lives. We all have problems and need someone to just listen to us. This post will help people become free! Look foward to reading more of yoyr writings!
    www.Kingbraswell.com

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    1. Thank you so much! Your words mean a lot to me. Writing about my past made my soul brighter, I hope it does the same for others.

      Love, Han -xo

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