A Mad friend of mine asked if I would like to attend a lecture with her about nonsuicidal self injury. We’ve RSVP’ed but I keep finding myself thinking about the lecture. The following is the lecture description:
“Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) represents a critical mental health concern. NSSI has high rates of enactment, concomitance with psychiatric factors, and confers risk for varying degrees of physical injury; it may also elevate suicide risk. Accordingly, investigators need to know about a number of ethical issues related to NSSI research and ensure participants receive high quality NSSI resources at the end of research studies. This is particularly salient in the context of online research. This presentation will outline several key ethical issues in the context of online NSSI research and discuss an online outreach initiative providing research-informed and recovery-oriented resources for individuals who self-injure.”
Just seeing the term “nonsuicidal self injury” makes me feel that nervousness in my stomach. I can’t talk about self harm in detail, in particular about me personally, so how am I going to last 2 hours listening to ethic considerations involving the behaviour? This will be an event where they will not be thinking about who is in the room and what is there experience. It’s assumed that academics do not have these experiences.
I’ve emailed my friend and asked if she has any way of contacting organizers of the event to find out if there will be picture or anything else. The more information I have the better I can be prepared. This may not be a good idea at all, for me to go, but I feel it’s important that I attend in order to learn and give feedback as I’m assuming there will be a Q&A.
If I have too, I’ll step out and my friend will be there and we can mutually support each other.
Ok enough of this, I feel like I’m going to be sick with stress.
Previously: Self Harm Timeline
How you feel BEFORE you self-harm
Thinking of your most recent experience of self-harm, answer any of these you feel comfortable with:
Describe what happened.
I was arguing with my partner and saying I didn’t feel like he cared about me. He told me this was wrong and that I need to stop saying those lies to myself. I began to panic because I felt like I couldn’t trust myself. I couldn’t understand how I could feel so confident about something but it be wrong and if it was wrong, why couldn’t I talk myself out of it?
What led you to do it?
A need to feel something that was real and too bring myself down from the strange feelings and thoughts I had going on inside.
What did you feel before?
Panic, desperation and out of control.
What else was important at the time? (Events, thoughts, memories, exhaustion, voices etc.)
I don’t think I was focused on anything but needing to come back down, I guess coming back to “reality”.
Was there anything else in the background? (This may be something current or an echo from the past)
I don’t think so. I was very focused on the moment and getting control back.
Did you spend a long time thinking about harming, or was it impulsive, or both?
More impulsive. I sat for a few seconds with the scissors and thought about if I wanted to do this since cutting lately hadn’t had the same calming effect it used to but I did it anyways.
Is that your usual way (if no, what was the difference)?
My self harm is usually a combination of thought and impulse. The more I think the less likely I am to do it or the less likely it will have the desired effect I want. This was just the first time in a long time that my self harm was impulsive and I can only assume it was because of my desperate need to regain control over my mind and body.
How do you feel now?
I feel that if I can keep getting that relief that I want to keep self harming. If I can’t then I want to continue with different coping techniques. I know that experience won’t always happen because I am in more control of myself than ever before which is good.
Of course after I blog about how things are fine I would get triggered.
I have done my best to remove the trigger but I’m facing the downfall that has come back with my low and that is ruminating in it with no fire to make it better.
I’ll go buy food. That will give my mind something to do.
(I’m A Fake, this was my song for awhile )
(super triggering and yes I know all the words!)
The music I listened to during my depression were a very important means of communication. Not that many people were listening to I’d give myself an “A” for effort.
I’ll do this in parts cause there are a lot! I’ll do 4 artists each time
Three Days Grace
I was looking for a new photo to put in my image widget and remembered Photobucket. I used to use Photobucket to store any MSN display pictures or other pictures that I found online.
I logged back on and had another glimpse of who I was at 15 and 16 years old.
I’m always surprised but not surprised when I see or read stuff that I did when I younger and in the height of my depression.
I’m not surprised because I knew I was really depressed by I’m always surprised by how that depression looked and how obvious it was. I didn’t hide it. My log in name for Photobucket was _wrist_slasher_ for fuck sake!
And there are worse pictures…
I think I’m disappointed in myself. I think I’m upset that I was so wrapped up in pain, exposed other vulnerable people to images like this and worse, disappointed that I enjoyed searching for these images of self destruction.
I need to let myself off the hook a little bit, if not completely. I was young, I couldn’t handle anything.
I’m shocked still at how much I hated myself. How little I thought my life was worth. This does make it a lot more impressive that I am where I am now.
I’m sorry if these pictures bothered anyone. They bother me but I need that reminder every once in awhile. I forget the pain and I don’t want to. It’s not bad to remember because it’s those experiences that allow me to be helpful to others.
A few months ago, I think early February, I was having a chat with a friend of mine (she also has mental health issues and we do some related work together). A very personal piece of artwork was being displayed at an event we were attending at our university and she was nervous what people would think. It is a college like art piece with pictures and clippings from her journal while she was experiencing her various issues. I began to tell her the stuff I’d said and put in my own journals that would probably make people run and hide from me but that, that is apart of the illness we want to “normalize”.
BUT I quickly realized though that we aren’t really “normalizing” the dark stuff. We’re “normalizing” that we can recover and we are aware the there is some dark seeded thoughts and feelings surrounding these illnesses but no one is really talking about what that darkness looks like. I feel this is important. How can anyone help a person recovery if they can’t understand the dark side of them? We can’t ignore it.
Publicly, I have only encountered “darkness speak” once. Last year, October 2011 (I think), I attended a town hall on suicide at MTV Canada hosted by CTV’s Canada AM (the same station that did the youth mental health town hall I went to in February, Youth Mental Health Canada AM’s Town Hall For Bell Lets Talk Day) and a Canadian veteran was there discussing his very brutal suicide attempts. While everyone was flinching as he described severely mutilating his body trying to die I made little nods because I completely understood his “methods to his madness”.
I have never publicly spoken about my darkness. Have any of us really? I feel that for the most part we glaze over it, generalize, soften the blow so people don’t think we’re completely hopeless. It’s probably for our own sake and “sanity” that we don’t admit to some of our darker thoughts and feelings because it can be very scary.
Will I engage in some “darkness speak” here? Right now? I don’t know. The thought terrifies me but I think I am starting to get tired with ignoring my darkness because everyone wants the light. The “normal” people want the light so we better give it to them so they don’t lock us all up!
Ok, I’ll admit one darkness: I used to love cutting, especially my wrists. I loved seeing the blood, seeing the scabs and seeing the scars. No matter how much trouble it got me in and the pain it caused I loved it. Why would I have dreamed of giving up something that made me so happy to see?
I don’t have this darkness anymore but I will from time to time draw red lines or words on my arms and wrists and it comforts me.
There! Darkness! It is apart of the illness and I don’t want to hide it! The fact that I don’t have this darkness anymore is proof that we can improve in our thoughts, feelings and behaviours! Without the darkness I wouldn’t be who I am now. I wouldn’t know that I’m strong. I wouldn’t know certain things about myself. I wouldn’t have the respect for my capabilities, good and bad.
I’ve been wanting to get that off my chest for a while. I just didn’t know how to say it, if I wanted to or if it was appropriate.
Another down moment, well I haven’t really gotten out of the earlier one, just shoved it aside to get myself to believe that it was gone.
I realized this a few years ago and I feel like it just keeps getting more and more confirmed. I’m a great theory.
People seem to have these idea of who I am based off of how I describe myself and then shortly after meeting me after I get comfortable with them, I don’t want to say that I become myself but I become my reserved self. This leads to let downs.
The anger, the sadness, even laziness I guess. It all comes out once I’m comfortable. I can rationalized it out, and it’s most likely the truth, that I don’t certain things anymore because they were outlets for when I was self destruction. They trigger. I hate being triggered.
So I describe myself in these awesome fun ways and I do not deliver and I wish I did. I try to but I’m so afraid of falling back in old bad habits. I can’t find a middle ground, but I haven’t really tried because I’m worried of fucking up trying to find it.
I still have fine self esteem. I know that I am still a good person and well liked but I feel that without a doubt I’ll never get married and have kids. It’s a horrible feeling especially thinking no one will want to share children with me because I need to have them in my life eventually.
I’m too much of a hassle. Who wants a constant hassle in their life? I have no choice but to live with myself but everyone else can choose to leave and I hate them for it. I’m only great for so long.
In theory I’m amazing, I’m everything a man could want until he sees that I’m not. I’m already trying to figure out what I’ll do with myself if I can’t reach those certain goals.
I wish I wasn’t a theory. I’m getting emotional so I can’t really form good sentences right now.