Self Harm Effecting Other Areas Of Life

January 6, 2011

Chances are if you self-harm, it will be in more than one way. These types of thoughts can enter far corners of your life you never expected, and begin to break them down. That’s why it’s important to battle that philosophy. Back when I was cutting very often, hurting myself became a lifestyle. I was dependent upon the perminance of damage to confirm reality, and I would deprive myself of food and sleep and friends and anything else I could think of.

If you self-harm, ask yourself:

  1. Am I eating solid meals?
  2. Am I getting enough rest?
  3. Could I be sabotaging the only safe relationships I have?
  4. Do I dress well, sending the message to others that I matter?
  5. Do I carry myself with purpose, if not confidence?
  6. Am I deliberately isolating myself even though I know it’s worse in the long run?

“Why do I matter?” you might be asking. I never articulated that in my thoughts but that question was there all the same: under ever hesitant action, beneath every thought, and in every feeling. It was like a veil over my vision that literally made everything hazy. I couldn’t focus so I never took in details. Life was one big blur I couldn’t make sense of. The thought was with me through every inhale and exhale, and it sapped my strength and held my courage hostage. On top of everything else I was going though, it was hell.

Finally I stopped agreeing with that way of thought. I couldn’t take it anymore. It hurt too much. I had just started a new medication and I wondered if it might work, how would I feel about that? What if I stopped feeling so miserable? Could I deal with that?

One night when my voices were taunting me and pouring out pure hatred at the way-station between me and the rest of the world, preventing me from ever making it out of my own head, I realized: I would never agree with the voices if they were saying these things about anyone else. Why? Because they were human. All humans deserve respect and all humans matter because it is our birthright. Then came the crucial question that I struggled with for months: Was I human? My voices said no.

(I had different voices in the beginning. Shirley showed up later and thought I was a terrible person, but she at least conceded I was a person. It was easier to build a relationship on that foundation. Although it took years and a lot of direction from another voice who called herself Bella.)

Years later when I slipped up and cut again it would be because at that time I believed it would be better in the long run. I can’t always vouch for how right I was in this kind of thinking. Wouldn’t it be better to cut and calm down than to make a scene and let my secret out? Isn’t it better to give the anger a way out than to let it eat away at me? I still ask myself those questions. I don’t always answer them consistently, but now I take care of myself in all the ways I didn’t in the beginning, and I also respect my voices. They now extend the same to me.

Do I still consciously make bad choices? Yeah. It’s part of being human. But it’s no longer s goal of mine to sabotage everything. I try to avoid them for the most part. And life is much better now. I cannot stress enough how important it is to value yourself and assert your humanity. It may take a months or even years to change your self-concept, but it’s worth walking through hell to get out.


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