How a grazed arm can remind me of self harm.

I fell over the other day outside and my arm hit the paving slab step, I looked down to see that my arm was cut/grazed and bleeding. It wasn’t a big deal and it didn’t really hurt, well to be honest in the scheme of things it hardly hurt at all.

I self harmed in the form of cutting for years, I was addicted to how it made me feel, the pain relief it gave me from my headache, how because of that it made me feel happy. How every day I woke up and the best part of my day was taking a blade and slicing my skin time after time, watching the blood drip out of my cuts. I remember the feeling of relief I got, I remember feeling pain free for them few brief minutes I was cutting, I use to cut a minimum of five reasonably deep cuts, not deep enough for medical attention (well most of the time, I did get stitches three times and steri strips on multiple occassions) but not scratches either, I would do that at least once a day without a doubt. If I was having a particularly bad day I would do it twice or three times a day. I use to take my case with all my old fashion razor blades in and plasters and bandages to school, so I could always do it as and when I felt I needed to. No one ever knew I sometimes did it at school in the bathroom, and if they did I would have been asked to leave school and wouldn’t be allowed to come back. Cutting is how I got through my day with the pain for years, it wasn’t healthy and it certainly wasn’t a bright idea, but I was addicted and it was the only thing that helped.

I’ve been clean since October 2013, it’s the longest period I have ever been clean for since I started self-harming in 2010. I’m always reminded of it due to the intensive scaring on my arms, wrists and thighs, but most days now I don’t even think about it.
It took a graze on my arm to bring it to the front of my mind and remind me fully of how it use to feel when I cut. Just to make it clear, I haven’t relapsed, I don’t plan on relapsing and this is just me being reminded of how it use to make me feel.
When I fell over the other day and I saw the cut on my arm and that I was bleeding, it literally gave me a flash back to when I use to cut; it felt very similar other than the fact that I hadn’t actually physically caused the cut on purpose. But I was instantly transported back to when I use to sit in my empty bath with a razor blade, carving what is now hundreds of scars on my wrists and arms. That graze gave me a similar rush to cutting.

I know that I’m better without self harm, I know that it wasn’t good and it wasn’t a healthy coping mechanism and that I have better ways to cope now, though at the time it felt like the only thing I had. And I don’t plan on going back to that place where I was attached to a razor. Self harm hadn’t really crossed my mind properly for a while until I grazed my arm. Sure I’m reminded of the fact that I use to do it daily due to all my scars but I’m not often reminded of the feelings it use to make me feel and that is not really a good thing to be reminded of because of how addictive self harm is.

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