Self harming, cutting up, bloodletting, tearing up, slashing. All names for drawing blood with a object on your body.
In medical circles its widely thought to be attention seeking, and is treated as such which means the root cause and the underlying problem are not dealt with and so the self harm continues.
I was 18 and sectioned when I discovered blood letting. Stuck on a ward with other mentally ill people it was inevitable really that habits would be passed on, like tricks of the trade.
I was suicidal and being watched every 15 mins. I was desperate for something to make my bad thoughts stop. I wanted to hurt. I deserved it.
I was given a razor blade and shown what to do. Something sparked in me.
The first time I sliced it across my arm it burned. It burned and hurt, and I quickly found the harder I sliced the more it bled. Then I realised the more I bled the more my bad thought seeped out of me, it was like my blood washed the bad away. It quickly became addictive and my coping mechanism. My arms, legs, my stomach. Every day.
The hospital staff were horrified when I showered and they saw. They bandaged me up and medicated me but i would keep the medication and sell it or swap it for blades.
It got so bad I relished the thought of sharing a razor, of my cuts getting infected as that meant more pain. I needed the pain. I was put in ICU for the psych ward soon after I slashed nearly every part of my body with some broken bulb glass.
There I was with four members of staff 24 hours a day. I was in so much pain, all my tears were opening when I moved. I picked at them desperate for my blood to run, and they had to bandage me to stop me. My only thoughts were where the next razor was coming from.
Back on the main ward three months later I was given vinegar . I cut my arms and poured vinegar. I remember screaming.
When I moved on from blood letting I found tying things round my neck was a new. Escape. I would go light headed and twice I nearly died having effectively hung myself, but that soon passed. It was always cutting up I needed, the pain, the burn, the blood.
It called to me and I couldn’t stop it.
Eventually they trained me to rethink my whole approach, and I found over time it wasn’t the release it once was. The pull was gone.
My arms healed all but for a scar up my wrist from the lightbulb glass, and one on my hand from a razor. During my worst I would use anything I could break or fashion into a sharp object.
By the end I have quite a few scars and sometimes people see them.
People who don’t self harm have no idea just how powerful the pull is once it hooks you you will struggle to fight against it.
Its very persuasive. The urge has never left me. I fight it these days but its always there.
This inspirational post was written anonymously by a mum who is either a member of my Facebook mums group, a Twitter follower or has been submitted to me via email. I have full permission to share her story. If you can relate to this post and would like to share your own anonymous post please contact me. You could help us share the blogs love to helping others by sharing via the social sharing buttons.