Why would anyone choose to hurt themselves? It must be the most asked question that ponders in peoples’ minds. I used to wonder the same.
*goes off to casually smack my head on the wall to make it bleed some more*
I’m sorry but this is going to be an honest blog post as usual, so THIS is a trigger warning.
The first time you could say I self-harmed was with Anorexia, but as this isn’t the intention for everyone with that diagnosis, or my Bulimia, I don’t class this as ‘proper’ self-harm in the way that it is known. The first time I tried cutting my arm was when I was in recovery from Anorexia (on the eating disorder unit) and was struggling with my body image. So I found something which would help me make marks on my arm, something sharp. But this never became something bigger, it was almost an experiment. I was left with light scratches. At the time I guess I was overwhelmed with how much weight I had put on and felt stuck inside a body I didn’t understand or one that reflected my mental state. So I craved feeling some pain and showing my body that I hated it. That much made sense.
As time has gone on, I haven’t grown to be a stereotypical ‘cutter’ of my arms. My behaviours have reflected other self-harm forms, such as taking an overdose, banging my head, swallowing items and pouring hot water on my arm.
Recently, it’s been banging my head that has become an obsessive habit. Banging my head until it bleeds. The pain is a relief and seeing the blood brings me peace. I can’t explain why, but I’ll try. I would say it’s like an itch that needs scratching. It helps to level myself out mentally through the day. You know if you were playing a computer game where you get boosters for your player as you go through, this is what it feels like to bang my head. I emotionally am more stable (in my mind) if I do that. But I also know that’s irrational.
It’s also largely linked with, at the moment, the fact that I am between 3 places so feeling unsettled – the ward, Hope Court (supported living) for day visits, and home. This is my trigger for it as a whole. Although I can go about quite a good day and get the urge to bang my head as though my brain needs a booster. So I then just do it and go about the rest of my day. Whereas other times it leads to crisis when I cannot stop myself doing it so staff need to intervene.
Self-harm is a tricky and misunderstood topic. It goes much deeper than the wound itself.