NOTE: This post graphically discusses self-harm. If this is a trigger for you, please do not read further.
Even though my husband and I had a great time on our recent trip, I felt depressed during our time away, and now it’s worse. He usually works from home, not to keep an eye on me, but to help me if I need it. On Tuesday and yesterday he was in Nashville for work. He came home last night.
In no way am I blaming my husband for not being here for me. I’ve been experiencing a lot of emotional pain lately for no reason at all — as in, it isn’t situational. I just feel so much pain. The only way I know to let go of this pain is by cutting. I’ve written this before, but in my mind, transferring the emotional pain into physical pain will heal it — physical pain heals, after all. Except it doesn’t work. I know this. I knew this.
I tried so hard to resist yesterday, but this screenshot on my Instagram feed tipped me over the edge. I’m not blaming the image, either, because it’s meant to be uplifting, but the writing on a person’s forearm was, to me, a sign that I should cut. The image became a talisman that convinced me to self-harm. So I did.
I used a disposable razor to cut lines up and down my right inner forearm. Though I’m right-handed, I didn’t want to mess up my “warr;ior” tattoo on the inside of my left forearm, which is where I used to cut. Aesthetics are important, are they not? *eyeroll*
There was no blood at first, which wasn’t satisfying. To me, the blood is a sign that the emotional pain is being released. The only thing the razor scraped was dead skin, probably because I hadn’t showered in a week (yes, I’m back to that). I finally bled on the second try, and the tension I felt all day was released.
Today, here I am with Disney bandages (it was the nearest box of an assortment that I reached for) covering my inner arm. I’m scheduled to have a manicure and have no idea what to say to my nail tech, because there’s no way she won’t notice it. I know I don’t have to explain myself, but she knows about my bipolar.
My husband e-mailed my psychiatrist this morning, who replied:
“We’re still at a low dose of the lithium, but it is concerning to me that there is this degree of depression right now.”
He offered to see me sooner than my scheduled appointment, and made alternative suggestions to cutting like rubbing an ice cube on my arm, which, let’s face it, if you cut, you know this just doesn’t work in the same way (although it wouldn’t ruin my tattoo haha!). I realize, however, that it’s his job to make suggestions.
As I write this, I’m still in my pajamas and haven’t brushed my teeth. I have to get dressed today because, as I mentioned, I have a salon appointment. But I have no desire to get in the shower. I’m getting my hair colored bright red (hopefully it turns out!), so they’re going to wash my hair, anyway. And to be perfectly honest, I still feel like cutting and would rather do that than get in the shower.
I realize that my self-soothing behaviors leave plenty to be desired. My other, “safer,” way of self-soothing is eating chocolate. I tried doing that, too, yesterday, but it just wasn’t as satisfying as cutting.
Have you ever self-harmed?