Journaling about life and mental health for whoever wants to relate or talk

Self harm ... why did I do it?

I would like to start by saying that I never actively tried to kill myself, because I never found a plan that would suit my requirement: my suicide looking like an accident. And for the longest time I also stopped myself from self harming, because I didn't want to worry whoever was close to me, in particular my parents. But in the end of 2019, my depression got so bad that mentally torturing myself was not enough and I decided to hurt myself by not eating when I was supposed to, or as much as I was supposed to, pretending I wasn't hungry. Luckily, I stopped before actually putting my health in danger, but I had lost over 6 kilograms and I am a rather thin person, so even if it was not under the minimum healthy limit for me, I came close to it. Then I used another couple of methods to self harm in ways that were not physically noticeable, like smoking cigarettes until my throat was hurting, or purposefully training until my whole body was hacking, even more when I was hurt, like when my back problems would be present. I am not sure that at the time I fully realised what I was doing but later on I did, and I know now that I was using these methods to punish myself whenever I would feel guilty. This is the first reason I think someone would look for ways to self harm, when someones does it, I think that the want to give themselves what they think they deserve... pain.

Another reason though, maybe the most painful of the two is the one I discovered this spring. At some point this year I was so overwhelmed by my anxiety and my depression, that one day under the shower, I was staring at my arm, wanting to cut into it, probably like I never did before, that I started scratching it in the region I wanted to cut, and I scratched until I saw red spots appearing on my skin. The red spots were a bit of blood, nothing too bad, just a bad abrasion. Afterwards though, the pain felt comforting. In some ways it was like I was finally feeling something, even though it was pain it was something; in some others it was like all of the mental pain I was feeling was finally justified, it was finally real because it had become physical, and it was a way to refocus all of my mental pain in one single point, instead of having it go all around my mind and my body, since depression and anxiety also make me have physical pain like heartache and migraines. It was liberating. It felt somehow releasing even considering how much it hurt. So then I did it again in zones that were more hidden since the arm was too noticeable. It was also easy to hide it to my parents since in September 2021 I moved for university and when they saw me again, my bruises were just scares at that point and I could lie to them about the scares.

I felt very ashamed though afterwards, like I had done something so wrong, this is also why I chose some spots that were more hidden when I did it again after my arm. Now though, when I look at my scares I feel kind of proud, proud that that is all I did to myself and I am still alive and fighting and they became a reminder of the fact that there are gonna be moments when I am not gonna be well at all, but somehow I will survive, a reminder of a place I will fight not to go again. I am also proud of the fact that these are now scares, which mean I was able to stop hurting myself physically and let my bruises heal; this gives me hope about the fact that somehow I will also find a way to stop hurting myself mentally.

If you ever did harm yourself, or are doing it right now, I would advice you to search for support, it could be in a friend, a medical professional, or an anonymous post somewhere. I would like you to remember, that it is understandable that you did it, and you don't have to feel ashamed, those scares might also become one of the parts you love the most of yourself, because they are a sign of a lesson you learned, and a phase you lived, you need to let them become scars though, because hurting yourself physically might feel comforting but it doesn't help you heal, and it doesn't help anyone else. I hope you will allow yourself to heal and realise you don't deserve punishment.

Lots of love, wish you the best

Maybe I don't have a soul