Addictions- Self Harming

You’re just trying to get attention. 

It’s a stage, you’ll grow out of it. 

It’s not that bad, so you must be ok. 

You can stop anytime.

self-harm

Hi, my  name is Not Quite Alice and I have an addiction. I am addicted to self harming. I will find ways to harm myself to make myself feel. Sometimes I cut, sometimes I will hit myself or burn myself. A few times I have been known to drink to levels of poisoning.

Wait, you didn’t know that this is an addiction? You didn’t know that self harming is more than just cutting? Oh you thought I wanted attention and would grow out of this or stop whenever I felt like it? Maybe you should know the facts and not just the myths.

I won’t bombard you with facts, as that’s not what I want to express today. Yes, this is an addiction, that even if one stops, they always have that tendency to go back to it. I fight with it every day, especially on days I have flare ups, don’t feel well, or the depression takes a dip. This is not get attention, never was. It was a way to express and feel when my entire body is numb and cannot feel anything. It controls when and what I feel, as well as helps to hide the mental pain.

So here is what I do want to share with you.

Self harming takes many forms. 

I did not just cut myself. I would burn myself, hit myselft (I’ve had quite a few black eyes at points), broken fingers (they’re actually quite easy to break), hair pulling, and toxic ingestion. These are all forms of self harming. Not just someone whom others refer to as a cutter.

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This is not for attention.

I did most of my wounds, or would try to explain them away when others asked about them. It took a lapse of hiding it from one of my doctors for this to be discovered when I was in therapy. I didn’t want to show others. I was just seeking a release and didn’t want to bring more negative feelings my way.

Just because you Self Harm, does not mean you’re suicidal.

Yes, I have had suicidal tendencies, and have tried before, but they do not go hand in hand. I had other things that pushed me to the corner I believed I was in. Self Harm was a release, it was a way to try and cope with what was going on. Suicide was not the plan. Suicide was not an option when I started. This did not lead to my suicide attempt,  but according to studies, those who suffer from self harm are at a much higher risk for suicide.

I’m not crazy, nor am I dangerous. 

Again, this is a coping mechanism. This is not because I’m crazy, this is a result, a sign of something deeper going on. This is a symptom of depression, anxiety, or other similar issues. I have a full time job, friends, good relationships with others. I have never caused others around me to be in harms way. I go to extremes to make sure others are not harmed.

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I cannot stop whenever I feel like it, and this is not a just a stage. 

Again, self harming is a symptom of something else that is going on, something serious. Something that I needed, and others going through the same thing need help to cope and work through. This cannot just be stopped. Just telling me to stop it, would make it worse. I didn’t know how to and you’re just telling me to stop it like I was biting my nails, or something similar. I would go to extremes to hurt myself. It wasn’t until I was taught other coping mechanisms that I was able to slowly stop. This does not mean I still don’t want to. When things feel like I cannot cope, I want nothing more than to hurt myself, but I work to keep myself from doing that. Relapses happen.

It doesn’t look bad, cannot be serious.

Self harm, no matter how it looks, from a nick, to a bleeding gash; from a burn blister to a black eye, is serious. Just because it doesn’t look bad, does not mean that the person does not have unresolved issues that they need assistance with. How you react to the harming, taking it serious or brushing it off, affects how I feel about it. If you brush it off as nothing, it pushed me to do it more. I cannot comprehend in my brain why, but it was like it was nothing, so I felt that I could keep it up. It was like taking an alcoholic to a bar and buying them a drink, you encouraged it.

Your Body is a Canvas

I’m about to add to the artwork on my body again. I love tattoos. I feel that the body is just a blank canvas waiting to be filled with the journey of your life. It’s been quite a journey, and I’ve only begun to describe and share it.

My first tattoo was on my wrists. Why there? My wrists is where I first started to self harm with cutting, as I was already self harming in other ways before then. When I looked there, and hurt myself there, it was something I was in control of, gave me a strength in a way. So why not replace the bad with a good. Now I have a strength that shows something, shows hope. It also means a successful voyage. I guess after what I’ve been through, and what I’ve attempted, I’ve survived. I was successful at living so to speak.

Sparrows on Wrists

Sparrows on Wrists

The next one to join the ranks is my upper back tattoo. What better place to have a quote about hope.That no matter how bad things get, there is a light, a hope, that things will get better. Ralph really had a way with words. Fist bump it boy.

Ralphy (Emerson) on my Back

Ralphy (Emerson) on my Back

So that leaves the one I got last. As you all know, I’ve been in my rabbit holes and now I’m at a tea party. To commemorate my favorite books, and my acceptance of my past, my imperfections, the mental health states I go through, I have a quote from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on the inside of of my arm. For honestly, I cannot, nor will I, go back to yesterday. I’m a far better person I think, for what I went through, and can share this with others.

I cannot go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.

I cannot go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.

So that leads to the newest bit I want to add. I have mental issues from PTSD due to rape. I deal with depression and anxiety on a daily basis. I’ve attempted suicide. I’ve planned other suicides as well as debate if I should. I have what the doctors told me is an addiction, self harming. Yes, an addiction, but I’ll write more on that later. So why this information? The simple reason is, I’m going to get a semicolon.

Why?

Because of a group I found. The Semicolon Project, not to be confused with a similar one, Project Semicolon (this unlinked one is faith-based group, which I’m not into, no offense anyone).  As they state on their home page, “A Semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but chose not to. That author is you and the sentence is your life.”  I’ve chosen to not end my sentence when I could have, so I shall make the most of this second portion of my sentence.

semi

What does your art show? What is your story?

A New Beginning

All of my trips down the rabbit hole have lead me to this mad tea party in my head. I’m more than depression, PTSD, suicide, and rape. I’m more than that. I have many things going on from art and photography, tattoos, animals, writing, video games, friends, new lifestyle changes, and just living in general. I am this crazy in my head, this mad tea party.  So instead of tripping through the rabbit holes, I know who I am, and am ready to accept that and share it.

I’ve started up this party to share what I’m thinking, the good, the bad, the crazy, all of it. I’ll share some of the posts from the previous blog, but I think it’s time to move on and start a new.

Welcome to the party and enjoy your Unbirthday with me.

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