Since high school, I have physically and knowing self-harmed as a way to distract myself. It has been almost 7 years and right now I have only been a few months clean. In the past 7 years, I have relapsed more than a couple of times. I have gone months at a time and found myself at a breaking point.
I know it's nobody's business and it might be oversharing but this is meant for primary readers. For those who are going through recovery or just began today. If secondary or tertiary readers stumble upon this then I hope it helps you understand from the other side.
I am still recovering. The thing about addiction is that you can never fully be "cured." You can be clean for years and still relapse. The key is to decide to try again.
I call it an addiction because it was. I grabbed the razor before I could even understand why I was numb. I did it multiple times a day and sometimes I didn't need an actual reason.
It was a sort of ripple effect. I couldn't stop the ripples into turning into the next one and instead, I just watched as they spread. One second I was OK and the next I locked the door.
Some people smoke and some people drink. I hate the smell of smoke and can't stand the taste of alcohol but I often wish I could use those as a distraction for my distraction. I do many things now to distract myself from getting too close to another relapse. I let out a scream to alarm my family or I start running. The first few seconds of the attempt are the hardest. It's an internal pain that makes you itch inside out.
After a few minutes have passed I can usually begin to calm myself. I sit down and remind myself that everything is OK. It isn't always easy so calling a friend is always an option.
Sometimes I end up crying in order to release all the built-up emotions. When minutes have passed and I am still filled with tears I force myself to grab something to eat. I have realized that I can't cry and eat at the same time. I grab anything. Sometimes my siblings make me something instead.
I am seeking professional help for those who are wondering. I am almost half a year clean and I have two caring and supportive friends and a family who does their best to understand and support me.
Recovery is not easy when it comes to mental illness because the results aren't always visible like a broken bone. Any amount of self felt recovery is amazing. It's a step towards a better you. Talking to people and seeking professional help are all steps.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255