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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.

self_harm_2

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.

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21 thoughts on “Addictions- Self Harming

  1. This was a very informative post, thanks for sharing. I didn’t have good coping mechanisms either, not for a long time. But they can be learned. I’m glad to hear you’re doing better.

  2. I hate hearing this, but I admire your courage for putting it out there. I agree there’s not always a lot of compassion for this when it’s just another symptom of a sad soul. xo

    • Thanks Jay. Life happens. I’m learning that, no, I have learned that. Trying to find ways to deal with it is the new step. After how people treated me, I felt that maybe if they understand a little, they may feel differently about others.

  3. I am a functional alcoholic (one year sober last month!) and I have bulimia, which is a whole list of different self-harming behavior issues right there.

    One day at a time ❤

  4. I really enjoyed this so many people thought I started cutting out of no where but I started getting tattoos at 13 just to feel something. And till this day nobody understands why it’s still such a struggle not to. It’s the same rush as when you do drugs. Now at least twice a week I have to sit on a cold tile floor to try and ground myself . Ugh stay strong everyone

    • You’re welcome. My tattoos are the same. They stop me. I just added a new one as I have been having the worst go at life lately. Bad memories and anniversaries running a muck. I feel a release. I’m glad you have a way to ground yourself. I’m always here if you need something.

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