I’m one of those people who believes that you can’t understand something until you’ve experienced it yourself. I can never answer those hypothetical ‘what if?’ questions, because I just can’t be sure what I would do in any given situation, until I am in that situation.
So I can get why a lot of people why some people don’t understand why people cut. Why I cut.
And I really believe it is hard to truly explain the reasons behind why I cut, though other people may find it easier, their own reasons more tangible. I suppose mine aren’t are vague as I think, they just feel out of reach whenever I have to try and explain exactly why I cut.
Of course, I often think I shouldn’t have to explain why, and maybe I shouldn’t, but the problem with that is everyone asks. Family, friends, doctors, kids, partners, strangers. Everyone asks why.
And of course, sometimes there is no why.
I suppose there was in the beginning, a reason for every time I self harmed, but that as over ten years ago, and now we’re long past those days when it was a desperate course of action, the last course of action, and into the days when it’s become an addiction. When it’s addiction it just becomes something you do when in crisis, and on a normal day. The normal days when there isn’t a reason, except that you haven’t for a while, or you have been cutting every day for a long time anyway.
I managed to stop for over 18 months, what people call an accomplishment, and I don’t deny that it is, but I was so convinced that it was over and done with, gone, another addiction I have battled and beaten, and people told me the slip is nothing to beat myself up about. But, I see it different. Not necessarily as a failure, but nothing so simple as a ‘slip’. It was so much more than that, and another confirmation to me that self harm, self injury, cutting, whatever you want to call it, is addictive. You get past the place where you’re used to using it to cope, and get to a place where you can’t go without, regardless of what you may or may not be feeling.
Self harm, cutting, has a bad reputation, and self-harmers hate this, because we’re called attention seekers, emo, mental, etc, but I kinda realise that, it’s never going to be any better. It’s not like self-harm can have a good reputation. Like anything else, addictions are never good things. I can’t think of anything I’ve ever been addicted too that was good. I think what we want, as a group, a community, is understanding, support. As an individual I want a little latitude, a little leeway.
Everyone is different, everyone has their own reasons for starting, for continuing, for stopping. Their own triggers and troubles. There is not one answer for everyone, some people respond to therapy, some to medication, some a combination. Some people will grow out of it, for some it’s a phase, for some, they’ll be self harming until they reach the grave. It’s the sad reality of it, I have no rose-tinted glasses when it comes to this, to my own self harm and mental health.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Not for me, and no for self harm in general.
For me, I’m better, despite January’s ‘slip’, I no longer plan to kill myself at 35 if I’m not better, whatever that may mean. And I haven’t cut for a month or so, and hadn’t even wanted to for a month or so.
For self harm, the support increases more and more every year. The awareness continues to improve. It’s slow progress, and it’s always going to be constricted by the money available to charities and organisations, but I believe in speaking out, being honest, though, I do find that hard at my more vulnerable times.
This has not quite been the post I intended when I started at one this afternoon, and I didn’t expect to be writing it on and off all day, but here it is, a little ramble about self harm.
Self Harm Awareness Day is 1st March, and at the top of this site, you can see a new page, self harm links. A list of link related to self harm, sites, forums, etc. I’m always looking for new links, so, if you have one, just leave a comment on the page, or here even.
I’m always willing to talk about it too, and my email is scruffyxduck[at]yahoo.com (just replace the [at] with an @), though I am by no means an expert, just a woman who’s been self harming, on and off, for ten years now.
Some of my other blog posts about self harm and mental health issues I’d like you to consider:
- Take Me Seriously
- We’re Not All Spongers
- Here Be Mental Health Problems