I hurt myself today to see if I still feel,

I focus on the pain, the only thing that’s real

Johnny Cash, Hurt

I am writing this now as a distraction; the urge to cut myself is here. I’ll barely edit this, it’s just going straight out. I won’t be trying to structure this well or add humour or make it flow, this is just raw and I need it out of me.

It’s been triggered by something I’ve seen on Facebook and it’s so ridiculous, it makes me want to cut deeper. Why do I react like this? I hate it. It’s always that familiar sense of my stomach dropping and my cheeks burning. Mental illness can be very physical.

This is pure distraction, I’m just trying to keep my mind focused on something. I’ve showered to attempt and calm down, as if the hot water would wash away the tension and the urge. Part of me wanted to turn the temperature up high to scold myself. I was recalling songs in my head, singling out lyrics to get me through.

I messaged friends and I want to read my book. I want it to take me someplace else and then I remember that it’s about two sisters, one of whom is desperate to kill herself. It can be both cathartic and painful when you relate to a character so much. The novel also brought my attention to another book called Final Exit. In all my numerous trawlings through Google, I find it hard to grasp that I did not come across this before; it’s a book on ways to commit suicide. This is literally what I’ve been searching for for what feels like forever, it resembles The Bible to me and, now I know of its existence, it’s taking all my willpower not to reach for my phone, open the Amazon app and click ‘Buy’. I read reviews for it earlier today from distraught relatives of those who put the book to good use and it’s fuelled the longing within me.

I don’t cut myself regularly. I scratched my arms and legs when I was a teenager if I was particularly frustrated or upset. The worst time was this year when I took a pair of scissors to the inside of my right arm at work. On good days, I wish the scars would fade away; on bad days, I want to make them deeper, to add to the collection.

Since using scissors, I’ve wanted to upgrade to a sharper instrument, and by sharper, I mean a knife. Sometimes I look at them slightly too long or find myself feeling how thin the blade is. I just want to feel that release.

Whenever I get to a bad place, I can’t think clearly. My brain is completely clouded and physical pain eases it. It’s something real and tangible. It’s like there’s a build-up inside my own head and as I press my fingers or the blade into my skin, there’s a release of pressure. Everything I’ve been feeling slowly seeps out of me and so does my desire to do it again. I wonder if self-harming has stopped me doing something worse. I wonder if self-harming is me preparing for something worse.

I’ve run out of steam and I don’t have anything else to say right now. I just hope I can keep this feeling at bay a little while longer. It’s times like these when I don’t want to wake up when my head hits the pillow.


One thought on “Distractions

  1. It takes someone strong to resist doing what they so want to do. I’ve struggled with this, perhaps not to the extent that you are struggling. And any encouraging thing that I could possibly say to you, you have most likely heard already. So all I will say is, you’re not alone. You have worth, you have purpose, and you are not a failure. I pray that everything goes well for you.

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