Before I begin this post please note that it could be a trigger to you if you suffer with self harming. Please look after yourself and if you are not in a ‘good’ or strong enough place then save ‘When self harm returned’ for another day.
I have been so long now without having to resort to any kind of self harm. It was so long without doing it that the thought of doing it again was so far off in my mind, I seriously could not imagine bruising or cutting my skin again. That is until just a few days ago.
Now firstly let me just put out there how terrified I am to post this. I am so scared that people are going to judge me. That they are going to laugh and mock me. What if they are disgusted by me? Or what if they just plain avoid and ignore me? Honestly my heart is pounding! But as I’ve said again and again I do this for the readers of this blog. So many of whom – I know because you contact me – say that these open and honest blog posts are what help the most. Not sugar coated or just part of the story, open, honest and real. So for you guys here goes…
Let me just say that I have spent the last 2/3 weeks surviving on around 2 hours sleep a night. My baby is teething and has had a cold and cold and then on top of that he can’t sleep because of the heat! I am so exhausted I am barely functioning. I am being let down time and time again by the sh**ty mental health team in my area and I honestly feel like I am drowning. I am clinging on for dear life but I don’t know how much longer I can physically hold on for.
Friday night hit a peak for me. I was exhausted, physically, mentally and emotionally. I had yet another of my CPN meetings cancelled even though I am desperate. My baby has spent the entire day screaming and my 5 year old whinged and moaned about everything the second i collecting him from school. I went to bed at 7.30 that evening with a headache and earache praying that I would at least get 3/4 hours in before first wake up – but no!
9.10pm he woke up screaming. I eventually got him back down, then, before I managed to fall back to sleep he was up again at 11pm. I got him down to sleep pretty quickly but he was awake again at 12.20. My husband had fallen asleep downstairs on he sofa so missed all of this. I then quite honestly – lost it! I went down to my husband and demanded he take over. How dare he sleep when I’m dealing with all of this (baring in mind he had done most of the night feeds the previous night and had no idea what was going on) I gave our baby to him and he went upstairs. I was so full of rage, stress, anxiety and exhaustion I felt like I might explode. I couldn’t catch my breath. I was pacing up and down the living room. The only one thing that came into my mind, the only thing I knew was guaranteed to stop these feelings was in the kitchen draw. So without a second thought I got it and self harmed. Over and over again until the emotional pain had stopped. And it did pretty quickly.
The thing with self harm for me is I can barely feel it at the time. I can feel it a little but not as much as if I were doing at a ‘normal’ time. I just seems to take the pain away. It was like a breath of fresh air. I could breath again and within a few minutes I honestly felt a lot better. I know it sounds stupid, ridiculous, weird even, but it’s true.
I felt better until I returned back upstairs to bed when it all started stinging and really hurting. But I did manage to go to sleep. I slept for 2 hours before his next wake up. Then the morning arrived when the realisation of what I had done hit me. My legs were now in such a mess I can’t wear shorts or anything above the knee. I can’t even go swimming with my sons now! This is were the anger and guilt kicks in. Anger because I hate doing this and can’t believe I ended up doing it again! And guilt because now when my little boy asks me to go swimming with him – like I promised – I can’t! I’m furious at myself. I’m disgusted with myself and what I had done!
When self harm returned this time it was the perfect solution to what was happening at the time. Until everything settled and I truly realised what I had done. I hate HATE the fact I self harm. I’ve done it since I was a child and it was and is my way of coping with very difficult emotions and feelings. I know I need therapy to help me but if you’ve read my other blogs recently you will now it’s impossible for me to do because I have children!
I am really hoping that this is not going to happen again for a very long time. I am well aware that without the right help and support it is not just going to stop so I know it’s inevitable that it will happen if I am overwhelmed to this extent again. It is so sad but it’s true.
My reasons for self harm may be very different to yours or to someone you know but I can almost guarantee that they are feeling the same as me; embarrassed, stupid, pathetic, alone, in pain emotionally as well as possibly physically. Please refrain from judging. It’s not a fun. We don’t do it to get attention. We are angry and upset with ourselves enough with out anyone elses judgement. If you are worried and do want to help then just being there means more than you will realise. Please do also be mindful of whether you or your friend/loved one need hospital treatment and seek this straight away. The hospital will not judge you. They are there to make sure you do not need stitches or further treatment to heal properly.
Self harm is a scary thing to talk about but hopefully this will help some of you out there. The more we talk and make things ‘normal’ the less stigma there will be.
Stay strong, stay safe,
Love Amy xxx