Cutting Relapse

Cutting Relapse

Just a little cut
Just a little cut: barely visible

It hardly broke the skin. (Probably just as well: the blade I used was a little rusty.) But I was in a bad place, my head scrambled by fear and stress: I couldn’t think straight. A tortuous feeling for one so reliant on intellect. So I gave in to the desire and experienced, in that instant as the blade sliced through a couple of layers of skin, a terrible clarity. A focus that cleaved through the turmoil. That intense instant of sharp, pure, cleansing, beautiful pain as I slowly drew the blade over my wrist.

Fully intentional, in control of my actions. No wild slashing for me: a slow, deliberate motion. Experience telling me just how much pressure to exert for the necessary effect without excessive harm.

What happened to cause this? I was cornered in my safe place, overloaded but going the way of dissociation rather than meltdown. But instead of being left alone to decompress I had to endure further provocation. I ended up with confusion rather than dissociation. The one beacon of hope, the one idea that my mind was able to present to cope was to relapse and cut myself.

I did it with the first blade I had to hand, on an old “waiter’s friend” bottle opener: I’ve used it in the past. I felt that same old release. The confusion sloughed away and my mind began to function again.

This wasn’t done for pleasure. It was desperation. I couldn’t see another way to regain control, to shock my mind back into its usual rhythm — just like defibrillation. It worked, and as the photo above shows I didn’t cause myself much harm. Not that I’m recommending this as a regular course of action.

I’ve had so much going through my mind recently; my blog posts didn’t give much away but I’m struggling: starting to feel burned out. I chatted to a few friends afterwards: they’re worried about me. A lot. They’re awesome and I don’t think I deserve them.

11 thoughts on “Cutting Relapse

  1. I’m going to ask you a really hard question: what made you post the picture? What did you want to tell others by showing that it was only a small cut? Think on that for a while before answering.

    Other than that, I want to smack the person who made you feel unsafe in your safe place. We already have so few places we can retreat to. Please don’t take those few away from us as well. We shouldn’t have to resort to desperate measures to be able to cope with this world.

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    1. My reasons? I wanted to show that I wasn’t suicidal. That I was in control. That I could stop now. That it wasn’t so bad and people didn’t have to worry too much.

      That I need help and support. That I feel alone and scared. That I’m not as clever or as strong or as good as I want to be. That I’m on thin ice and listening to the cracking sounds. That I’m lost. That I’m *begging* for somebody to take away my fear.

      I remembered to email my boss so work will still be there when I feel better. I have somewhere to go for a couple of days, somewhere away from here. Somewhere I can get support and relax in safety.

      Last night I was back in the place I was when I had my breakdown aged 13/14 and locked myself in my room for weeks. I *don’t* want to end up like that again. So I’m going to take some time out and try to resolve some of the problems that are crippling my mind with uncertainty and fear.

      I’m not confident that I’m wholly rational right now, so I’m trying to avoid doing anything impulsive. Except for running away. But I *need* to feel safe before I can do anything else. It’s that or curl up in a ball and hope that it all goes away, and I know *that* doesn’t happen.

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  2. I’m really sorry you felt this way. Life and problems can be so overwhelming, it’s ridiculous sometimes. I wish I could take away your fear and problems, and am annoyed I can’t.
    I read that you have somewhere to go and relax in safety, I really hope that works out for you. I also hope that blogging about this helps you (and others).
    Take care.

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  3. I can’t believe it’s taken me until today to read your posts thoroughly. I’m useless with reading stuff sometimes as mind tends to wander.

    I really feel like I can relate a lot with you. I like to scratch, especially in meltdowns. I tend to scratch until it cuts and it’s enough to take my mind off the matter and focus on something else. A therapist once told me I should use a newspaper and scrunch or hit a pillow. These really didn’t work for me.

    May I ask how long you’ve been slicing/cutting? And does your partner understand how you feel when you feel like this?

    I am really curious as I don’t know a lot about self harm in general. I went like 6 years without using a knife and would hit walls instead but the knife has came back. It’s very odd. Have you ever used any other way of self harm?

    If this is all too personal I won’t be offended 🙂

    I am rubbish at trying to get my words out but I feel like in these situations you really do need as much support as you can get.. I am always here as we probably have similar problems so feel free any time to email or comment!

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    1. I started cutting while I was at university, aged 22/23. I was overwhelmed by several aspects of it, not least trying to live on my own. The first time I was feeling pretty much suicidal: it was an exploratory cut (I believe they are referred to as “hesitation marks”) but it helped me a great deal. I cut myself several times until I finally dropped out and returned home.

      I really don’t know how well my wife understands. She’s seen self-harm in the past with her son, but I don’t know how well she can understand the almost-compulsion to do it.

      Hitting walls — yes, I’ve done that. A lot. No permanent damage to myself, luckily, but the walls and doors have suffered over the years. I’ve also tried to OD a couple of times using pills I took from my wife’s prescription meds. The other thing, which I do include as a form of self harm when I do it in that frame of mind, is excessive drinking. To the point where I pass out or poison myself and take a couple of days to recover. But drinking is more socially acceptable, of course. (sarcasm)

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