Disclaimer: The content below contains self-harm and ideas might be disturbing to certain audiences.
People ask me constantly what triggers me. Anything! Anything at all…
He hasn’t picked my call for a day now.
Another friend’s wedding photos.
Anything could provoke me, push me to the brink and I would rush to the bathroom cabinet. I know I should not be doing this. But then this is how I cope up. They ask me to be strong and to say no but they don’t realize I stand up ready to face the wretched world another day because I am strong. I don’t or can’t say no, right now because there is no other way I can free myself.
The first time I slashed my thigh at my parents’ place, I didn’t know what I wished for. I might have wanted to punish myself for whatever I did and I was – just for the first time. I had just broken up with my then boyfriend and was struggling to come to terms that he had already found someone else. That ‘someone’ happened to be one of my friends. My self-esteem took an awful hit and inexplicably, I felt responsible. Just for a second after the cut I dreaded I might die, I confess. Then when a trickle of blood appeared out of the single line made by my dad’s shaving razor, I realized I found my high.
I am a woman. I am 24 years old. I write. I live and I cut myself.
That is just the first time. Then the second time happened and the third. Now I have just lost the count of the number of times that I have cut my wrist, ankles, and my hips. I would stand under the shower to just to feel the sting. I knew enough to cover my marks with clothes and avoid questions, just like I learned to hide my depression and general despair about my life. I would like the way clothes rubbed against my scarred skin and the pain it would induce the whole day.
I don’t talk about this to even my closest friends, fearing the stigma attached to it. Do I want to die?
No, I don’t want to commit suicide nor do I have suicidal thoughts when I self-harm. I don’t particularly want to die or hurt myself.
Is it for the attention that I don’t normally get? You are wrong, if it was just attention or limelight I would have done exactly what my parents want me to do – marry the first stranger they show, have a kid for them to adore and be the ideal daughter they always dreamed of.
Why would any sane person want to hurt themselves? I do because my self-deluded recklessness collides with my growing restlessness in life. I don’t see cutting as punishing myself anymore, I just want out. I want to feel something, some escape from the void called life, a distraction from everything, especially from myself.
Tripped Out Fact: People who resort to these self-inflicting habits argue that the pain makes them feel calm and controlled.
But here I am, locked in my restroom crying under the shower, trying to stop the mental reruns of all that is wrong in my life, or rather with me. How could I not have seen the roads I should have chosen, could have tread upon? Rather had I had seen them and then have preferred to have unseen?
I look back at every scar and then don’t regret anything. Every scar has an untold story, a history and a milestone that I survived every freaking loss, betrayal or simple misfortune. I feel invincible. If I can stand this pain, I can stand anything. I pick up the blade and make a mark on my thigh.
Some drink to oblivion to drown their sorrows, forget who and what they are only to wake up the next day just to get on with their horrible routine again. Others get hooked on drugs to feel numb or energized, to feel simulated or an excitement. I don’t want to be pushed to a stupor or an apathy towards everyone else. Nor I want to experience blackouts or loss of the concept called time. I just want to feel alive.
I feel a familiar shudder as the blade touches my skin. I look forward to the adrenaline rush the mere anticipation provided. A cut on my wrist is all that takes for me to get me there. I was addicted to the rush, the high the sight of blood oozing out of my skin and the release from the horrible thoughts and doubts that haunted me. The nip seemed to let the anguish and negativity seep out of me. I am unassailable and on top of the world.
I am OK being myself these days. There are good days and there are bad days. You know what makes those bad days bearable? A slit with the razor. A burn with the lighter. Just a tinge of pain has been as minimal a price to loosen the terrible knot that feels to be choking my life. I know there is no permanent fix for it, or a quick fix. I cannot wake up one day and be perfect. Yet these moments under the shower fighting the self-inflicted pain makes me believe I can scrape through alive.
Self-harming is the top reason for deaths among Indian Youth, followed by road accidents. While people still argue that self-harming is just an attention seeking behavior, doctors believe that it indicates underlying stress and anxiety.
According to the experts, people resort to self-injury, to deal with negative emotions, self-injurers claim it brings a sense of relief and calm in them. These feelings release endorphins, brain chemicals that produce euphoria and relieve pain.
According to the research by Journal of Affective Disorders, people who indulged in self-harm had opioid deficiency in their bodies (endorphins are a type of opioid). That’s why they do so to boost their opioid levels.
“People use self-injury in a lot of ways that other people use drugs or alcohol, or food or sex…to try to feel better in the short run,” said Janis Whitlock, a researcher at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., who recently published a review article on non-suicidal self-injury. She claims, “It’s absolutely the opposite of what suicide is.”
Reasons are endless, the action is harmful, yet the high is irresistible.