Self-Harm: The Pain Makes Me High on Life

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?

<div class="ui"> <div class="toolbar spaced"> <span class="icon profile"> <a href="/view/writer/kemaiyaj"><img class="infobox-trigger infobox-bound" infobox-writer="kemaiyaj" src=""></a> </span> <span class="infos"> <div class="strong"> <a class="infobox-trigger infobox-bound" infobox-writer="kemaiyaj" href="/view/writer/kemaiyaj">kemaiyaj</a> </div> <div class="text"> <span class="timestamp utcms converted" timestamp-utcms="1448936273000">1.12.2015</span> at <span class="time utcms converted">07:47</span> </div> </span> <span class="icon tool button like likes  clickbound" track-event="click" track-label="post-tool-like" title="Spread the love by liking this post"></span> <span class="icon tool button pin low-priority  clickbound" track-event="click" track-label="post-tool-pin" title="Pin this post to your private collection"></span> <span class="icon tool button delete low-priority post-not-owned-by-user clickbound" track-event="click" track-label="post-tool-delete" title="Delete this post"></span> <span class="icon tool button facebook low-priority clickbound" track-event="click" track-label="post-tool-facebook" title="Share to Facebook"></span> <span class="icon tool button twitter low-priority clickbound" track-event="click" track-label="post-tool-twitter" title="Share to Twitter"></span> <span class="icon tool button pinterest low-priority clickbound" track-event="click" track-label="post-tool-pinterest" title="Share to Pinterest"></span> <span class="icon tool button share clickbound" track-event="click" track-label="post-tool-share" title="Share, Save or Repost"></span> </div> </div>

 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). Thats 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 sexto 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.


Image Source: [1], [2], [3] 


About Gayathri Lakshminarayanan

Gayathri, or Elgee as she insists being called, vividly remembers crying over her honest 'review' of her first story, a spin off of Pride and Prejudice that she wrote at 8, which made her choose to continue it - the reviewing honestly part and not the writing. You can find her few of her reviews at her blog Musings Over Nothing where she rants about nothing and everything else, since 2010. She can be found worrying about the like counts on her Facebook posts or the pathetic number of her Twitter followers, when she is not reading something or not scouting for her next book to read on Goodreads.

Check Also

Comparative movie reviews of two courtroom drama movies - Pink and Wrong Side Raju

Pink vs Wrong Side Raju: Comparative movie reviews

Last week I happened to watch two movies which can be loosely categorized as courtroom …

Leave a Reply