I’m only hurting myself

In a previous post I mentioned something that I am not proud of but have to own up to it. This is going to sound a bit like an alcoholics anonymous meeting but it feels like the only way; Hi my name is Chris and I cause myself harm. Whenever you mention self harm to people I am sure that they have a mental picture in their head of you taking a knife to your body and cutting in but let me put you straight here. That is indeed a form of self harm but it does not stop at that. For instance I have never cut myself like that but I have punched doors, walls, myself as well as bitten my fingers and suchlike. I have never drawn blood during these moments, probably been close a few times so maybe my condition is mild. Mild or not it’s something that I have been a lot more honest about over the past few years to potentially help me conquer it.

You might be asking yourself why? Why could anyone do this? Well I believe each person has their own reason which can include things like a cry for help, seeking attention and some people who perform these acts upon themselves think it’s okay to do so. Believe me that I know that it’s wrong and I have tried very hard to stop it but still find myself reverting back from time to time. It might help if I tell you what causes it first, what brings on the need and desire to do so because for me that is all part of the understanding of it and knowing what causes it may help me fight against it.

My main cause is simply overwhelming frustration. I have felt frustrated for years and really have a difficult time dealing with it. My earliest memories of this are in school through not being able to learn because of being bullied or being disturbed by disruptive students. Even today it frustrates me when people constantly interrupt me when I am trying to concentrate. And in the danger of sounding like an angry person a lot of other things frustrate me like when I can see things that could easily change if only people put in a little bit of effort, people not communicating, people not listening, the list goes on and on. The frustration clouds my brain to the point where I really cannot think about anything else other than the thing that is frustrating me which enhances the original feeling and makes it worse. Frustration for me is a total and utter block and it takes extreme concentration to fight through it without resorting to some form of self harm to help dissipate the tension which may sound completely illogical and I’m not going to justify it but I will continue with the explanation. The physical pain acts out what is happening in my mind and the pain turns from mental into physical which is much easier to process, I punish myself for getting to that state.

I have often wondered why this has happened to me, why I do it and continue to do it despite talking about it during counselling. I do hide it of course which is probably worse, it’s all done in secret and I leave no long term marks so there is nothing to show. I have thought very long and hard about keeping some sort of diary as to what frustrates me and when to the point when I either resort to self harm or feel the overwhelming urge to o so and don’t act on it. Don’t expect me to publicise this just yet but maybe at the end of 2013 I will as some sort of retrospective. All of this feels like a confession, it’s not here to make me feel better about what is happening but maybe I can forgive myself for the past and see where my trigger points are for the future. I know a few of them but with me taking a break this year it will be interesting to see how often they occur. I know that I cannot solve this overnight but I aim to continue to challenge this behaviour in myself and really want to understand why I react so badly to frustration.

For more information of Self Harm I say start with the fantastic resource on Mind whether you are causing harm to yourself or you know someone who does, it really is a great starting point. If you cannot find anyone to talk to then I would seriously advise you try calling the Samaritans who do fantastic work just by listening to people and have an abundance of advice. I have already begun to seek help for the things my family and friends cannot fix and although I am still struggling with it I am glad I took at least that first step.

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