So I guess one of the reasons I decided to create this blog was because I found out recently that one of my best friends has been harming herself for a while. She says she’s stopped, and has been seeing a therapist, but this really struck a chord in me. She told me about this because she knows that I used to do the same thing mid-2013. (Happy 2015, by the way!)
Basically, I was doing really poorly in math, and ten hours of dance a week was killing me. I was constantly sore, and never good enough. I knew this when I was in dance class, rehearsal, when we performed… I felt like I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough, and then too hard that one time I fainted. Yay!
It’s complicated, because even though dance made me feel this way, I couldn’t just stop. My parents didn’t get this when I complained to them. They were growing more and more upset with my math grades as well, while my sister, who was still in middle school, kept bringing home A’s.
I was feeling so many things that I didn’t want to feel, or didn’t know how to feel, and so I tried it. Once. I took out a sewing needle, but it was too tiny, so I used my house key instead. I was actually super neat about it. I washed it with soap and ran it over a candle’s flame before bringing it to my left wrist.
It hurt (duh), so I stopped. But, it turned all of my feelings into a concrete, physical pain that I could register and comprehend. I remembered this, and did it again the next day. Three times. This went on and slowly escalated for about a week and a half, before I realized that this was like an addiction, and it wasn’t a good one. I had to stop. I told my friends, and they were super supportive and very concerned.
One of them even went to the trouble of looking up ways to stop cutting yourself:
1. PILLOWS. Screaming into pillows, punching pillows, throwing them across your room… this is mainly for if you need to DO something. This is the best option if you feel angry or aggression.
2. ICE. Putting ice on where you usually hurt yourself for an extended amount of time hurts, but doesn’t actually harm you. And the pain doesn’t last forever. The ice melts, your wrist/where you put it becomes numb. This helped me the most because it mainly only feels cold, then a brief bit of hurt, and then numb. So even if I would want to harm myself further, I wouldn’t be able to get the satisfaction out of it.
3. WRITING/DRAWING. I wrote a lot while I was getting over it. It’s a way to express yourself, get your feelings out there. I saw it as an alternative because it also made my feelings a real thing that was easier to deal with.
4. DRAWING LINES where you usually cut, if you need that visual. You can also draw or have someone close to you draw something where you normally cut. I don’t actually know why this helps, but it does. I did flowers 🙂
5. WALK AWAY from the place you normally harm yourself. Call a friend or take a shower or take a walk. Sometimes all you need is to clear your head.
I didn’t do all of these at the same time. I started with ice and writing. Which turned into writing and walking away. Which turned into writing and drawing lines. And now I’m writing.
I guess the point of this is to say that I felt alone, and I did something harmful. But I wasn’t alone and that’s what got me out of it. Is this where I say “you can do it!”?
You can do it! But seriously, tell someone you trust about it. And in the long run, it’ll all be okay.