The self harm game is strong right now. It’s fighting a fierce battle to take me down. I’m spiraling. It was a subtle swirl that started a few months ago. I didn’t notice or recognize it at first. But in hindsight, I see it rearing it’s ugly head. Tightening it’s grip. And somehow, just like that, it’s programming has taken over and I am it’s prisoner trying fiercely to get free.

I had gained a lot of headway in my life last fall. I had taken control of my health. I had reversed illness that had plagued me for years almost to the point of complete body failure. My anxiety was under control. My body was the strongest it has ever been. Emotionally, I was steady and grounded. Therapy was productive and introspective, hard, but tolerable and progressively helpful. I was taking steps forward. So I thought. But somewhere in that process of healing, things went awry. My healthy habits of eating well and exercising turned compulsive and into an eating disorder with a frightening diagnosis of atypical anorexia nervosa. Exercise turned into an addictive drug and eating became a punitive practice, a means to relive past trauma in a covert way.

Feelings that had been stuffed and buried under the guise of my new leaf on life began leaking. My body is trying desperately to purge the memories, to make sense of them, to bring them to my awareness. I don’t want to see them. I’m scared of what I see. I don’t understand. I don’t feel safe. I don’t feel in control. And the more I try to “be in control” the more out of control I become.

In therapy a couple months ago, I began moving my fingernails back and forth on the top of my hand. Digging deeper as the distress and memory erupting from inside intensified. I was completely shut down as I recounted what happened with my therapist and after I got into bed later that night my husband pointed out the cuts across the top of my hand. Like a perfect four lane track…bloody and raw. I had no idea I had done that. I didn’t feel it. I was still numb. And then it happened again in therapy a few weeks later. This time, my therapist caught it, but not before I had dug so deep into my skin I now have a scar to remind me daily of the turmoil that brews inside of me.

I haven’t cut myself since I was a teen…over 25 yrs ago. Now, I have to fight the automatic response to do so when I feel overwhelmed and go numb. Is it a way to try and ground myself? To feel something? A punishment I inflict on myself for telling secrets I’m not supposed to reveal? I don’t know. But I want to stop doing it.

When I was a child, food was both restricted and tightly controlled. It was also offered as a reward for compliance. Eating became a confusing practice. I was punished and food was withheld if I did not obey or if a lesson needed to be learned. But I was rewarded with food of I did obey or my training was successful. It was used as bribery to do things I did not want to do. It was used as bait to lure me into vulnerable situations where I became trapped and used. When I realized my eating was becoming an issue I sought out help and the anorexia diagnosis followed. I agreed to more therapy. And I started. But then something weird happened. I did a full 180 and self-sabotaged/self-harmed again. I stopped exercising. I stopped all self care. I stopped eating well. I stopped every “good habit” I had put in to place and went backwards. I stopped restricting and ate everything. I ate all the foods given to me to lure me into abuse. Ice cream, candy, fast food…whatever it was…things I have long avoided and refuse to even look at, I eat and relive my trauma. I also suspect now as I contemplate this, I was trying to regain control. Trying to prove there was no eating disorder, I got this, I’m not wasting away, I’m not restricting on purpose, I’m not punishing myself…

I’ve made myself sick again. I’ve spiraled down fast and furious, after I swore I would never go back to feeling that way. Every day I subconsciously look for something to do to hurt and punish myself for being so awful, for failing, for remembering, for telling my secrets. I don’t know why I do it and I don’t even know I do it sometimes. It happens automatically. Like a different person has taken over my body. I don’t feel like me anymore. I’ve lost myself. I feel so much shame and guilt. I feel like a failure. I feel small and vulnerable and afraid. I’m afraid of myself and what this might escalate to next. I’m alone in a darkness I haven’t seen in a very long time.

25 thoughts on “A Slow Suicide…

  1. I’m really sorry you’re struggling so much. I hear how hard it is to be in that place and after so long of doing so well. My therapist often reminds me that recovery isnt a straight line. There are dips and valleys. Maybe that can be a valuable reminder for you, too. You deserve kindness and gentleness as you get through the valleys.

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  2. It sounds so frustrating and discouraging and frightening. I’m really sorry you are in this space. KD’s T says “dips and valleys.” Mine says its a spiral. – when you reach a plateau where you feel pretty secure, you take a deep breathe and and dive in to work at a deeper level. And of course the symptoms come back out of fear, as a sort of protection against learning something horrible. I found it helpful to tell myself I didn’t have to go there, it was my choice, the grown-ups were no longer around to force me. Whether I believe it or not it is Me who is in charge of MY LIFE now! And somehow that calmed me down and made things easier. Not easy, just easier.

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  3. Hang in there my friend, I completely understand. I went yeats without cutting and now I find myself cutting again. It’s horrible and I hate it yet I struggle to stop it.

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  4. I’m afraid I don’t have any sage advise. Just know you are not alone in the dark. Nor lost. I will pray for you. Perhaps we will find our way out in tandem.

    Kyrie Eleison, Christie Eleison
    Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy

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  5. I do believe when we start to hit intense past memories/repressed energy of fear, rage, sadness or terror we naturally tend to resist which is what the self harm is, its actually a kind of avoidance while trying to express the energy of how it feels deep inside. What happens in the body mind during healing can be so intense and difficult to understand let alone explain. I hope you find your way through and to find the courage to face what lies underneath Self sabotage can be so profound I know it is in my own life, its almost at times as though I would rather stay in the painful place at times than risk reaching for or trusting in something good. Sending you courage light and love.

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  6. I am very sorry that I didn’t see this earlier. Healing is quite a difficult path. I have gone through severe depression, but somehow I have never gone to the level of suicide. I know it is easy to say, But “YOU MUST REMEMBER that YOUR LIFE IS PRECIOUS AND VALUABLE” Please do keep up with your “Counselling and Therapy” they are very helpful. You are very welcome to contact me anytime, it need not be posted for others to see. If you are on Face Book or messenger I will be very happy to talk to you. I will write an article which will be helpful, I have written so much on my blog. Please do hold on. I will be praying for you and send you Healing Energies your way. May God Bless You. BE STRONG ALWAYS. And know that YOU ARE ENOUGH and VALUABLE ALWAYS ❤

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  7. I just found your site. I hurts me to read of your struggles. I can offer a bit of insight into this back & forth madness that seems to be going on.

    I have a friend that is an astrologer…amateur. He doesn’t practice for money. The astrological energies now are intense. This post was last month…right about the same time I was intensely struggling with loads of anger and suicidal thoughts. It has since dissipated on its own but, MAN what a screaming nightmare that was…for about three days.

    I don’t know if you believe or care about astrology but, the planets, the sun & our moon affect us, greatly. We’ve got something like 4 or 5 planets in retrograde right now. And, energetically speaking, every single one of us is being pushed to deal with the darkest parts of ourselves.

    My life wasn’t nearly as bad as yours…I feel the pain & confusion & fear thru your words. But, some of your recent struggles aren’t your fault, really. We are all being pushed…to deal.

    You are clearly a fantastic writer. It might help you in your journey to put pencil/pen to paper, dig this crap out of you and then watch it burn. It’s called the ‘giveaway’…Native American custom if you are new to the idea. It does help. I have filled up four journal books of garbage. And, the burning is cleansing.

    I hope this helps. Sending you positive energy & smiles.



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