I feel as if I have come a million miles in the last forty-eight hours. Resisting SI for 45 days wasn't horribly difficult until the past few days. Sure there were days when it crossed my mind. Times when I wanted too. But nothing like the past few days -- TRIGGER WARNING - I realized the last two days that SI truly is an addiction with withdrawal symptoms. I have touched every sharp item in my possession over the past 2 days. Pressed my nails to my skin and wanted so badly to dig in. Written with a ballpoint pen and wanted to drag it across my skin. Reached in a desk drawer, seen a razor and visualized, in great detail the blood coming to the skin. Watched all the Halloween commercials and things and focused only on the blood. I have craved cutting like a dehydrated person would crave water. There is nothing else I wanted more in the last two days.
As I threw out the SI tools from work, I wondered why I had held on to them so long. I came to several realizations. There is no bigger gold star for resisting SI while having tools in my possession versus not in my possession. So why was I keeping them? To prove something to myself? To make it harder on myself? Keeping the tools around was just a different form of SI - it was mental SI. Making it harder to resist SI-ing. I don't need to have the tools around to celebrate being 30 or 45 or 60 days SI free. Handling the razors themselves would be a huge temptation. So why was I doing that to myself?
I would never tell an alcoholic to keep a beer in the fridge or go into a bar. Tell a drug addict to keep some cocaine in the desk drawer just because. So why was I keeping razors in my desk drawer where I reach every day? Or on the linen closet shelf next to where I reach for towels?
I have got to give up punishing myself. I need to stop feeling this constant need to prove myself. To try to do it all on my own. I don't get a reward for making it to the finish line all by myself - I just make it to the finish line slower and more alone, if at all.
This week I reached out for prayers and good thoughts. I received emails, IMs, comments on my blog, phone calls, and more support than I ever imagined. I reached out for help and got it. I didn't have to do it on my own. God works through people and circumstances and He sure did these past few days.
My pride makes me determined to do it all on my own. Not only that, but to make it as difficult as possible for myself. I have to maintain power, self-control, juggling every possible scenario. My attempts at self-preservation have actually been destroying myself slowly. Putting greater obstacles in my path. Why? To prove something to myself? I came to the realization today that I've just been really stupid. And making things so much harder on myself.
When I came home tonight, I gathered all my razors, large band-aids and other SI tools. I threw them in the bag along with all the red washcloths and stained towels. I drove to the grocery store and dumped them in the trashcan - far away from temptation. It's gone - all of it.
I'll still celebrate at 60 days, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year. But I don't need to have SI tools around to prove a point or make my SI-freedom more powerful. It's powerful enough on its own.
One of the biggest control techniques used by abusers is making us victims feel all alone. Along with the SI tools, I throw away that idea. I'm not alone any more. I have God on my side - who is bigger than anything the world (or any evil abuser) can throw my way. And I have my family and friends. I have the knowledge that I do not have to make this walk any more difficult than it already is. Life, in and of itself, is hard at times. I don't need to make it any more difficult on myself.