In It for the Long Haul

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NOTE: This post discusses self-harm. If this is a trigger for you, please do not read further.

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Photo credit: darranl on Visual Hunt / CC BY

As I showered this morning, I noticed that my razor was gone from the shelf in the shower. I had no intention of harming myself, but I did feel annoyed not seeing it in its usual spot. I admit that I still have urges to self-harm, and it’s hard to fight those urges because it’s like an addiction.

I asked my husband about it, and he said that he put my razors away (I bought a 4-pack) before he even took me to the ER this last time. And as I signed my discharge papers from Behavioral Hospital, my social worker emphasized that my husband should put away my razors and medications (so I can’t OD, which is what I wanted to do when I was hospitalized a month ago).

Not seeing my razor there felt like a violation, though I’m not sure why. I know I can’t be trusted having them around. Knives are okay, because I don’t use them to cut, especially since ours are pretty dull.

I’m hoping that I’ll learn other ways of coping that will work for me. Rubbing an ice cube on my arm or snapping a rubber band against my wrist don’t produce the same psychological effects as cutting, at least not for me.

It’s been over 10 years since I last cut, and I’m in this for the long haul — not cutting, that is.

What are substitute coping methods you’ve used to avoid self-harming?


Daily Prompt: Haul

Author:

I hold an MFA in poetry from The Ohio State University. I'm a fiction writer, blogger, wife, pet mom, and Ohio State Buckeye!

20 thoughts on “In It for the Long Haul

  1. I USE WRITING, MUSIC, AND EXERCISE, TO SOOTHE, INSTEAD OF SELF HARMING, I POUND THE TREADMILL WHEN I FEEL URGES COMING ON. ALSO DRAWING ON YOUR ARM WITH A RED MARKER MIGHT HELP? LIZ

  2. Noticing your razors gone would probably feel like a lack of personal agency. It would for me even if I understood why, like you do.
    I have never cut but I’m forever scratching and picking at myself. I think for me it is a stim but I want to stop but don’t know how at the moment.
    Sending love and hugs ❤💛💜❤ xx 😚

    1. That’s exactly it! I felt like I had a lack of personal agency. Tracey, you probably already know this, but scratching and picking at yourself is a form of self-harm, too. 😢

      1. Hmm…I just learnt that very recently. I don’t know what to do. I told my husband but he didn’t comment (he probably doesn’t know either). It’s certainly got a lot worse in the last few months. Sorry Barb, I didn’t mean to trouble you with this ❤

        1. No trouble at all! I’m sure you understand the compulsion, the addiction. Please talk to your doctor/therapist about it. ❤️

            1. It’s worth trying. And if she doesn’t take you seriously, please find a therapist who will. Please. ❤️

  3. I have never self harmed so I can’t comment on that. You didn’t self harm for 10 years, what brought the new stress in of feeling the need to do this? I hope you manage to cope in a safer way. Thank you for keeping us updated.

    1. As soon as we came home from Michigan, my husband left for Nashville for work the next day, and didn’t return until the following evening. Being alone, I was overwhelmed because I could barely take care of myself, let alone the cats. I fed them Greenies. Anyway, that was the trigger — being alone and unable to do what I needed to.

    1. I’m a big sweets eater, too! I’m planning to quit in about 2 weeks. I appreciate your concern and support. ❤️

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