**TW - SI**
I picked up a new book at the Family Christian Store, called "Inside a Cutter's Mind" by Jerusha Clark with Dr. Earl Henslin. It's geared less toward those who SI, and more toward those involved with them - like counselors, clergy, loved ones, family, etc. But I found the book wonderful. It was less graphically descriptive and talked more about the WHY - from all angles - mental, physical and spiritual. The book put many of my feelings into words. It also caused me to re-visit some of my older posts about my own SI experience (Here, Here , Here , Here and Here) for just a few of them) Sad to say that things have gotten "worse" and I'm now more entrenched in SI-ing. Because, as this book says, it works. On some fundamental level, it works.
Some of the things from the book that spoke to me -
"The desire to cut is like longing for sleep after a tiring day - cutting seems more like than a want."
Yes, it is a "need" for me. Sometimes just thinking about it and knowing I can do it later when I get home, is enough to bring the panic down to a manageable level.
"Self-harmers on the whole 'are either too numb to cry or find tears woefully inadequate to express and release the overwhelming; pent-up emotions they feel.' As another self-injurer writes, "I need to see [the] bad feelings bleed away...I couldn't cry and bleeding was a different form of crying.'"
I don't cry often. I used to not cry at all. Now I will cry some - only on my own. Not in front of anyone. It's never when I want to cry though, or need to cry. It's always when I don't have time to deal with my emotions or am not in a "safe place" to cry. So I push the tears away. Then later, when I am in a place I feel "safe" enough to cry (at home usually) I find myself unable to cry. So, I use the SI to cry instead. SI is my way to express myself since I find myself woefully inadequate at expressing myself verbally.
SI is a way to keep from killing yourself. Rather than an exit strategy, self-inflicted violence serves as a life preserver for people drowning in emotional pain. In the words of one self-harmer, she is slowly "dying to survive."......Self-harmers often believe they are preserving their life by cutting, burning, or breaking pain from their body.
SI is my preservation. When the lure of the pills becomes strong and the concrete bridge pillars look too enticing, I cut instead. I cut the bad feelings out. It's like I live on a 1 - 10 scale. Levels 1-3 I have no desire to SI. Level 4-5 I start feeling urges. Level 6-8 I actually do SI. Level 9-10 I do not SI because I know it will be way out of control and bad. It's like I have to get down to a 6-8 level first - sort of a self-protection type thing.
I was reading a prior post I wrote (here) about WHY I SI. I wrote then, I've never ended up in the hospital, needed stitches, gotten an infection, or anything else dangerous from SI-ing. In fact, at this point I have no scars (well, maybe a few from picking on my arms). I keep myself supplied with band-aids, antibacterial cream and mederma anti-scar lotion. That wasn't too long ago. Actually it wasn't too terribly long ago that I didn't cut with razors - instead I pinned (back in February when I "just" poked with a safety pin). Then I "graduated" to razors. And now, while I can say I've never had stitches - I can't say I've never needed them. There are a few that probably did. I definitely have scars - lines as well as words - ugly words - that will be on my body forever.
Excerpt in book "From A Million Little Pieces" - "It Flows through my veins like a slow, lazy virtue, urging me to do damage...I want it to go away. I want it to leave me. When [they Fury] is at its full, I am often at it's mercy, but not now. I know what to do to make it go away; I know how to make it disappear. Feed it pain and it will leave me. Feed it pain and it will go away."
That spoke to me - that is exactly what I do. Feed my emotional pain - replace it with physical and it goes away.
I have been looking back through old blog posts, journal posts, emails, etc (I think Beauty is the one who started this reminiscing thing!) In some ways (a lot of ways) I'm pleased at my progress. In other ways, I'm sad. Especially on the SI front. I've "progressed" to where I (somewhat) freely talk about it. I've even worn shorts out in public and gone swimming in a bathing suit. I still panic about it though. I've "progressed" to where I actually inquired of a store clerk where they keep the razors in their store. But then bought other, more generic, things to hide the fact that I was buying band-aids, a red washcloth and razor blades. I've "progressed" to where I actually bought this latest SI book in person at a book store and not anonymously online. But then panicked when the name of the book popped up in big letters on the register. I'm not so sure how much of this really is progress??
The book says that "I just want to let you know that I've never seen anyone fully recover from the urge to self-harm." That's a disheartening thought. I guess maybe it is like smoking - something I gave up a long time ago. But the urge strikes on occasion, when the environment is right. I guess SI really is like other addictions (drugs, alcohol) where you are always "recovering" and not "recovered."
I'm disappointed in myself for ending up here. I promised people (especially T) not to use anything other than a pin, to take 5 minutes before SI-ing, to only do it at home, to take meds first. I broke my word - repeatedly. Not something I take lightly. I feel like this method I use to control is controlling me. It's like a train running away without brakes down the track. I'm not sure where to go from here. I don't want to make more promises I can't keep.