Disclaimer: This post contains material that could be a mental health trigger. It contains content about self harm.
I’ve been sleeping portions of my days away lately. I’ve been too depressed to try to fill them. I’m not quite stable enough to work yet, but I’m still bored and antsy. I feel like my life has no purpose.
This general state of being resulted in a catastrophe on Monday, which involved 4 bottles of imported beer, a cigarette lighter, and some very bad judgement on my part. I got drunk and gave myself a lot of little burns on the side of my hand with the metal part of a cigarette lighter.
I’m not writing this to recommend it. It was a really stupid thing to do. I have a history of cutting myself with razor blades. The last few times, I’ve done more damage than I intended to do. In my hazy brain, cigarette lighter burns were a safer alternative than possibly accidentally hitting a vein with a razor blade. This is, again, not something that I recommend. I hurt myself pretty badly. I have second degree burns that turned white and blistered. I would not recommend hurting yourself in any way, but that’s what I did.
When I cut or hurt myself, I don’t do it for a rush. I do it for a release of emotion. I feel like my emotions build up to levels that I can’t handle, and I then hurt myself to release them. To me, it’s like a surge of anxiety release. A massive wave of calm washing over me.
Until I see the damage that I’ve done. Then I start to freak out. I see that it’s more than I meant to do, and I panic.
So what is the positive in this? I turned to my support system, my family. My mother took me out to lunch at Cracker Barrel, lectured me about the dangers of self harm, brainstormed better ways to release emotion, encouraged me to discuss it with my therapist and psychiatrist, and even generously bought me Band-Aids and Neosporin for my burns. Sometimes you underestimate how much people care about you or what they are willing to do to help you when you are wrapped up in your pain. She also facilitated me in calling about a psychiatric Intensive Outpatient Program. I have a screening in a few weeks to see if I can get in. Last but not least, she drove my hazy self to the animal shelter to fill out an application to volunteer there to fill some of my empty time. Thank you Mom!
I am so grateful for my family. They are a wonderful support system. They always go above and beyond. It’s so easy to not see how much people care about you when you get wrapped up in sadness and the grind of drudging through daily life. I tend to curl in on myself instead of reaching out. They are reaching out to me more too, now that they see that I need it.
The moral of my story is lean on your support system when you really need it. That’s what I had to fall back on and I am so grateful for the support I received. There are others in my life that I would consider a support system as well and who also deserve a huge thank you. However, at this point in my blogging career, I don’t feel comfortable writing about specific people in my life unless I have nice things to say about my mother (which I quite often do).
I am trying to keep myself busy today and away from self harm and depression. So far, I have taken my meds, fed the cats, worked on my budget, mailed a bill, did some laundry, washed my CPAP machine, changed the litter box, did a little yoga, stopped in a consignment shop, gone to the gym and walked on the treadmill/used the exercise bike, taken a shower, read a few pages of my book, meditated, and written this. That’s a lot for me. I’m trying very hard to keep busy so the sadness doesn’t overcome me.
I’m also trying a technique I found from this YouTuber. I really love it.
As I write this, my hand is covered by a giant Band-Aid. However, I know that I have support and some tools to get better. I know that I won’t be left alone to do it. I know that I have people to help. I know that I can still experience moments of happiness. I know that I can have hope. I can fight this, the tattoo on my wrist screaming “contend” (inspiration to fight my mental illness) leading the way.