Monday, August 15, 2016

What's With The Cutting?

The number one question I get, besides "Are you ok? You look like shit..." is "What's with the cutting?" I know, unless you've been there it's a super hard things to wrap your brain around. There are a lot of questions people have. Why do you do it? Are you trying to kill yourself? Why would someone purposely hurt themselves? What do you get from it? What about the scars? Why would you ruin your body like that? Doesn't it hurt? I don't understand, why?!

Well, I can't speak for everyone but I can give you some insight into why I do the things I do. So let's do the damn thing, shall we?

Are you trying to kill yourself?
No, I'm not. I think cutting and bleeding out is not a good way to end it all and because it does not hold that significance to me, I would not choose that route. Yeah, that whole sentence is kind of fucked up. Unless you're brand new here, you should know by now it's par for the course.
Why do you do it? Why would someone purposely hurt themselves? What do you get from it?
Like I talked about here, I have a disorder that likes to fuck with my life. Long story short, my brain feels emotions much more intensely than a regular brain. So much so, that when these emotions kick in it's very overwhelming to me. Some studies I have looked into say it has to do with abnormalities in the amygdala and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex areas of the brain, density and what have you, therefore completely fucking with how people with BPD process emotion. Which is why very unfortunately, this disorder can't be treated with any medication, only the triggers can, the anxiety, depression, that jazz. So what does it all mean? It means once I get triggered, it is extremely hard for me to calm myself down, which affects my thinking. It feels like the most angry or sad you've ever been times 100. Like my heart is going to burst, there is so much adrenaline, followed by confusion and an internal battle of what the fuck to do. The rational part of my brain fights with the crazy part and it really is exhausting as shit.And all this can happen over something little, like a break up or if I'm particularly emotionally vulnerable that day, an disagreement on the pronunciation of a word. It also takes my brain much longer to calm down than a normal brain, just peachy.

So why cutting? Because when I was younger, I somehow discovered that I could reduce the overwhelming inner hurt by replacing it with physical pain when these episodes happened. So pretty much when I get to the point of pacing back and forth, feeling like I'm going to literally explode, I try to replace that feeling with pain, that compared to the emotions, doesn't last long at all. It also takes concentration, I have to focus on something other than the emotion and the situation. Starting to get it yet?

Doesn't it hurt?
Well...yeah. Or course it hurts, haven't you ever accidentally cut yourself before? It hurts a lot, usually for several days after as well. Unfortunately, that's the whole point so....

What about the scars? Why would you ruin your body like that?
I can't say there aren't scars. I have scars. Mostly on my thighs but some on my wrists and a couple on my upper arm. Any of the visible scars were done impulsively, the others were more planned out. Sometimes I would hurt for hours and hours before finally being able to self sooth. I am lucky that my scars are not bad, I have seen a lot worse. Yes, I've had people noticed them. Yes, I usually would lie about what happened. I still do sometimes.

So how are you?
I'm actually doing a lot better. I haven't been using cutting as a coping mechanism lately. When I have, it's brief and very superficial. I've been able to recognize when I am getting weird or on the verge of a breakdown and ask for help, I was able to get through an episode the other night while in a room full of people without having to leave which is a pretty big deal. I still have bad days and I still have times when my day is completely screwed because my emotions are so high.

What would you say to someone who self harms or is thinking of doing it?
Well there are a lot of reasons why someone decides to self harm but in every case I would tell them don't. It's not healthy and it doesn't even work. Whether it's cutting, burning, picking, whatever, it's a temporary fix that doesn't last and doesn't make the problem go away. If you ever want to feel peace, if you are sick of feeling overwhelmed and sick of hurting, you have to take steps towards recovery and the first step is to stop hurting yourself. You are hurting enough, you don't need to do it any more. Write, paint, run, scream, just stop hurting yourself. It's going to be hard and it's going to take time. There are going to be relapses but keep trying. You are worth it, even if you don't feel that way sometimes, listen to me when I say, YOU ARE WORTH IT.

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