Day 6: What about it do you enjoy?
I need to Trigger Warning this post!
This is where I start feeling sick about self harm. I have found that everyone wants to hear about how horrible it has made my life, how I desperately want to get it out of my life and have the beautiful recovery story at the end. The fact of the matter, is that at one point in my life I loved self harming. I found it fun, fulfilling and thought it made me awesomely unique. I took pride in purposely damaging my body and that others couldn’t bring themselves to do it. My favourite part, what I enjoyed, were the cuts (yes, in the past post I talked about how I hate the scars so it seems weird that I would love the cuts that put them there…). There was a lot of comfort in seeing the cuts. They reassured me that I had dealt with the problem I was facing. I also enjoyed that they were such a visual cry for attention. So many people ignored me and pushed me aside that I needed something to catch their attention.
If you can’t tell, what I enjoyed and disliked about self harm is complex, contradictory and at times confusing.
I still enjoy the cuts while I barely cut these days (almost at 3 months). I still find them comforting and they still make me feel a little unique.
An avoidance technique I have used successfully in the past is drawing on myself in red pen. It provides a satisfying visual for where I am at right now. Sometimes I don’t need to feel anything, I need to see something.
Day 5: What part of self harm do you dislike the most?
The scars. Especially the ones that won’t fade. I have Bio Oil and it helps them fade but I see every single scar no matter what. These scars have taken away parts of my life that should be enjoyable, like wearing shorts and going swimming. If I could get new skin I would in a heart beat.
That’s all I can say about scars.
Day 12: What do you think about your diagnosis in general? (Some ideas are: stereotypes, commonalities, misdiagnosis, over diagnosis)
Borderline Personality Disorder. It just feels like me. I know we’re supposed to be doing the whole “I’m not my illness thing” but I don’t think I’m ill and even if I did how could I not take “personality disorder” personally. Personality is you, is it not?
I believe that having a diagnosis of BPD means that I am an angry woman. It means I am not fitting into the mold of what a woman should be (ie: quiet). I fight, I yell, scream, hit and just explode. This does not mean though that I am a bitch, manipulative and unworthy of love much like those who stereotype BPD believe.
One big part of BPD that I do not have in common with many who also have the label is a good family life. Research claims that people with a BPD diagnosis experience various abuses at home as children. I experienced none of this. Instead I believe that it is because I was abused by friends and intimate partners that I have become this way. I’m also very open to the idea that my brain is just wired differently. That still doesn’t make me sick.
I believe I was misdiagnosed with depression due to my age when things started happening. I was diagnosed with depression instead despite all the signs for BPD being there. I think a lot of time was wasted.
Overall, and as usual, I’m fine with myself and diagnosis. It’s everyone else who is not.
Saturday July 12 was SlutWalk Toronto 2014. I proudly shared my experience of being labelled with a mental illness and being a young woman.
When I first entered high school I was known as the “suicidal cutter” and then when I began having sex I was called the “suicidal slut”. At no point was support offered to me by those who felt the need to call me names. Their sole intention was to shame me for self harming, being depressed and having sex. To some I was even considered “exotic” because they thought that having sex with me would be some unique experience because I was labelled as mentally ill.
I am glad to have a platform, like SlutWalk, to share this experience.
I 100% consider myself addicted to self harm. I may not self harm often (I haven’t in close to 3 months) but I am still drawn to the behaviour. I feel a craving, I get excited and sometimes it feels like it’s the only thing that can make me feel better. I have always believed that self harm can be an addiction and I’m glad that people are beginning to see it as an addictive behaviour.
I have often wondered that if my self harm had been seen and treated as an addictive behaviour then maybe I wouldn’t be almost 12 years into the behaviour.
Thank you to Ali Qadir for writing such a helpful piece on sleep. I myself have difficulty getting a good night’s sleep and I’m sure many of you will also benefit from the tips below!
Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep!
Sleeping disorders can be a real pain. Its only when you sleep better that you get to carry out the next day’s tasks well. Most of us underrate a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t get the importance it should have. Sleep habits can directly or indirectly affect our health, success and life itself in many different ways. It has always been considered a blessing if one can sleep well without any issues. To be able to have this blessing yourself also, we have some useful tips to help you out.
First of all, you need to make a proper sleep and wake schedule. Sleeping and waking up at different time everyday, taking unnecessarily long naps in the afternoons can disturb your body clock which puts your body under stress and it can cause serious health issues. It also leaves you more tired actually affecting the entire day. So set a time for sleeping and stick to it, also wake up around the same time everyday as well. If you somehow lose some time of sleeping by sleeping late at night then take a nap in the early noon time which shouldn’t be too long. Sleeping late can not be compensated by waking up late the next day. It can totally destroy your routine. Also, giving your body enough light in the day and keeping your room dark at night can also help you build up a sleeping schedule. Your brain can be conditioned this way to form a sleep pattern with these stimuli of bright day and dark night to trigger mind to relax and prepare for sleep. If you need to wake up and go to the bathroom at night, I would suggest using a torch instead of turning the lights on for that matter.
Many people like watching TV while in bed for sleep expecting it to relax them. Instead of relaxing, it keeps your brain more active by the visuals and the screen you watch. So, if you still need something you can listen to songs that are soothing and help you relax for real. It is important to have a mind free of stress and worries to be able to sleep better. Using cell phones, tablets, mp3 players or any device that uses a back light are also harmful for you. Deep breathing while lying down in your bed can help you get away from the world’s worries. If you still have a hard time shutting that side of your mind off, try imagining a peaceful place and you’ll feel as if you fell asleep in no time.
Along with these, what you eat can also affect your sleeping pattern. Try cutting short on your caffeine items like coffee and avoid smoking or alcohol at night. Drink less liquids at night so you wouldn’t be disturbed in your sleep repeatedly. Eat healthy food and avoid any sorts of heavy meals before you sleep, having dinner early is the best option and if you still have to eat something at night then eat a fruit like a banana. Along with these your room temperature can also disturb you while sleeping, a room too cold or too hot are both bad for your sleep. These things can interrupt in your sound sleep leaving you agitated the next day even when you fell asleep at proper time and easily.
Sleeping disorders can be a symptom of bigger body issues as well or even lead to bigger problems and disorders so it is important to go to the doctor if you still feel difficulty sleeping or fall asleep repeatedly anytime of the day, still feel fatigue, or snore excessively. Have a sound sleep!
Ali Jan Qadir is passionate about art, food and fitness. He loves to shares things he has learned by experience. He is a contributor for a mattress blog, where he talks about things such as which is the Top mattress Brand . If you want to learn more about him visit his twitter or Google+ profile.
It is so ingrained in me, to want abusive behaviours from partners. I hate the behaviours, I fight them and run away from them but as soon as I enter a relationship that shows no signs on abusive behaviours I begin to believe that the person truly doesn’t care about me.
What do I mean by abusive behaviours? Currently, I’m talking about isolation. I still equate not going out with friends (for example) with devotion and love. I feel that if the person I’m with actually loves me then they do not need to go see friends, especially without me. I know this is not the case. My logical side knows that isolation in a relationship is damaging and not what I want in mine. But, I guess we could call it my “trauma side” is telling me that I need to be worried and start fighting to make sure I am safe.
I find it very disturbing that the behaviours I quickly came to hate are also the ones I depend on in some way.
I don’t know if I feel motivated to recover from self harm currently. Self harm seems to be a behaviour in my life that comes and goes. It goes more than it sticks around and I am happy about that. I either need it in my life or I don’t.
I guess, if I have to pick a motivator, it would be the scars. I don’t like looking at them and they bring me great shame.
As much as I hate talking about my self harm I do feel very “whatever” about it.
Day 11: What is the worst thing in regard to your mental illness(es)?
While I love having the opportunity to explain BPD for myself, it does become exhausting because BPD is not something you can sum up in a few words. Being unfamiliar with it probably also makes it scary for the listener when I talk about having rage, impulse and perception problems. On the opposite side, the people who know everything in the wrong way, assume the worst about me and have no problem going out of their way to make sure I (and all those with BPD) know that I am the scum of the Earth.
So, to summarize. What is the worst thing in regard to my mental health issue?
THE STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION!!!