Self-Harm Recovery

This is a story I wrote for a website.

Self-Harm Recovery

I started self-harm (cutting) when I was 15. It happened after a traumatic night in my house. I snapped and was looking for a way to channel the pain that I was feeling. I really wanted to die but didn’t know how to. So I decided to “dig” for a vein hoping it would kill me. I never got that far.

Over the years I changed methods, from scissors to razors. I found that razors worked best to alleviate my pain that I was feeling. I remember when I was 17 that I dissociated while I was cutting. It was the only time I lost time while doing self-harm.

During one distressing December, my therapist was on vacation and I cut to the point of needing stitches. I was a trained medical assistant at the time so soon after I got home from the hospital (which was my shortest hospital stay ever), I took the stitches out. I kept the wound open for a good month or so, cutting it every day. This was in 1997. By the time the New Year rolled around, I was getting tired of leaving the wound opened so I made new cuts. This went on for another month or so. I had changed therapists. The new social worker that I met was a DBT therapist and we talked about cutting in detail, such as why I did it, and the like. She told me something that no one had told me before: You can feel but not act on your feelings. That stayed with me.

Around this time, cutting lost its appeal to me. It no longer was the “drug” I was craving. Since then, I haven’t cut, though the urges are sometimes there when I am having a difficult time. I still have my “kit” but I hardly know it’s there. I suppose I could get rid of it as I no longer need it.

About G. Collerone

suicide attempt survivor writing about the hopelessness that accompanies depression that no one likes to talk about
This entry was posted in depression, mood disorders and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Self-Harm Recovery

  1. Sometimes I think having the kit and not using it is therapeutic in itself. I also have some self-harm tools, but interestingly I have forgotten where I put them. Every once in a while I run across them while looking for something else, and go, oh yeah, I need to remember where these are in case I need them. But then I forget about them again. So I guess I don’t need them 🙂 Glad you don’t need yours either!

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