Last week I talked about suicide and it turned out to a pretty relevant topic that made for a pretty well-received blog post. Today I want to talk about another topic that is sensitive but desperately needs to be discussed:
I think the reason that fewer people take this as serious is because of the stigma of an angsty, “emo” teen slitting their wrist blasting “alternative” music when they don’t get their way. But the issue is so much deeper than that. Self-harm can look like a lot of things. It could range from moderate things like scratching, cutting, burning, and pulling out one hair to as severe as causing broken bones. It varies from person to person but doesn’t lessen the severity.
I remember when I first started cutting. I was around 12 and when my grandmother found out she took me to my pediatrician and told her that I was cutting. I’m not quite sure what my grandmother was expecting but I don’t think either of us was expecting what my doctor said next. She equated cutting to smoking, in the way that they were both addicting stress relievers. Once you get stressed out, you have to do the action again to relieve that stress. She then said that we have to find better-coping skills.
Things went back and forth over the next few years, I had really good months when I’d be fine. Then there were other times where my arm barely had time to heal before I was adding more scar tissue. Things hit a head during one summer but I think the lowest point was having my grandma clean my wounds after I had cut and then fell asleep because I had drained myself of all my energy.
We never talked about that night after that. If we had I wonder how that conversation would have gone. The only thing she ever said really in regards to the subject was that I was going to get an infection. I feel like at that point sometimes I would cut just to prove her wrong. I always used clean razors but cheap never the good one because was a waste of money. Looking back now I can see how easy it would have been. Funny how hindsight is 20/20 when you can look back and realize how misguided you were.
Now at almost 26, I can say that I’ve have self-harmed in a while. Most of the superficial cuts have faded away. I am however left with a very unsightly burn mark a year ago when I couldn’t find any razors. As much as I really don’t recommend self-harm, self-harming out of desperation is even less of a good idea. I’m lucky that this is the only real damage that I’ve sustained after all these years. If I had the chance I’d go back and talk to that confused and traumatized little girl.
A lot of times things like this aren’t talked about. How would one even approach the subject? Typically the times when you have to have these talks an incident has already occurred. How can we take a sort of preemptive strike? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Good evening as I am writing this after 10:30. Writing is a struggle. Like I love it and it’s my passion but it is not easy. Sometimes I wonder if I even measure up to “actual writers” because I mostly do editorial pieces and I don’t have a super-strong following. But this is my beginning and while building up my consistency, I know that these are the hoops that I have to go through to earn an established writing career and it’ll be well worth it when my words are used to heal people.
But I digress…
The topic of the week is trust. It is such a delegate fragile thing that we take for granted. When flourished it as mighty as an Oak. When broken it’s strong enough to destroy an entire city and the neighboring town. Trust can be salvaged but it will never be the same. It’s like a mirror that has been broken. It can be pieced back together but you can still see the cracks in the reflections.
I’m sure all this information has been regurgitated on one platform or another. Here is something that I’ve been contemplating, how many cracks are enough cracks? When do all the second chances stop? When is the breaking point?
I know I have written previous posts similar but this one has me truly perplexed. When you’ve noticed an established pattern that appears to have no end in sight, what makes you stay? What makes you think that trust can ever be repaired, especially when all the attempts are one-sided?
I speak from a place of pain and experience.
I’ve been in situations where I was giving too many undeserving chances. For the sake of transparency, most of my relationships were like that. Abusive, manipulative, unfulfilling, and one-sided. A good part of my marriage was like that. I often ask myself why I stayed so long.
Misery loves company but suffering doesn’t make you a martyr.
At some point you have to see that a mirror with too many cracks is pointless. It’s impossible to see through it, or a future for that matter.
I say all that to say this…
How many cracks before a mirror is rendered useless? I urge you to take stock of how many useless mirrors you have.
Pardon my may absences. Life is a bit overwhelming. When things get rough I tend to push harder to try and get past it. The harder I try to push past this pain the worse things seem to get and it only once I am stumbling and rocking back and forth on the breaking point that I start to question my methods.
Why is it that self-care is always last on our list, even when we’re staring at the barrel of uncertainty and exhaustion? Why is it that we are last on our list of things to take care of? We give precedence to everything but ourselves. Why is that? What makes us put ourselves on the back burner?
When our car starts to go wrong we give it the once over to see what the source of the problem. When things are going rough in our lives we never give ourselves the once over. At least, I know I don’t. We as a whole, need to start taking better care of ourselves. We need to put ourselves first and take care of ourselves. Again, I know I do.
Here are self-care tips that I use when I feel burn out.
Stop! I stop everything that I’m doing and take inventory as to how I’m feeling.
Take a walk. I get moving and try to get outside to clear my head.
Hug someone. Surround yourselves with those who love you and soak all of it in. Lean on each other.
Journal. I write out my feelings that I dare not speak to anyone else. I get them out of my soul.
Hydrate. The body functions better when it’s well hydrated.
Listen to music. Listen to songs to life your mood or that will help the bad ones wash over you and then dissipate into nothingness.
Bathe. Long hot showers and baths can work wonders on a wounded soul
Exercise. I sweat out the anxiety and the bad feelings. I relish the rush of endorphins.
Meditate. I try to focus on 10 minutes a day on my breathe. Longer on really bad days.
Logic. I know that these feelings are only temporary and they can’t and don’t last forever.
I hope everything is okay with all of you. I hope you remember to always check in with yourself. Remember, YOU MATTER. The world is more beautiful with you in it.