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[TW: SH] Struggling with Self-Destructive Tendencies

Saturday, 2 September 2017
depression, self-destructive tendencies, personal, lifestyle, mental health, struggles, recovery, overcoming addiction to self-harm

Trigger warning: this post discusses self-harm so please be cautious about proceeding.

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Although I have kicked my habit of self-harm, something that plagued me for around five years of my life, I still have those days, and sometimes I wonder if the urge will ever really go away.

I still haven't found my perfect method of venting. I don't really work in my art books any more as I haven't felt the creative fuel and energy for it in quite some time - I miss it, but I find that it doesn't seem to calm and distract me the way it once did. Sometimes when the mood strikes, I find that drawing - like, my tattoo flash kind of art - helps me to channel my negative energy, but this isn't a foolproof method, and often I don't feel like sitting still.

In a perfect world, I'd use all the pent-up energy I get from being angry or upset to work out, but that often doesn't happen either. Instead I wallow, trying to watch my favourite let's players to help me escape from whatever is bothering me.

I have found since I stopped self-harming, that my energy from being angry or upset is a lot more aggressive than I ever realised. I suppose I was in such a mindset when I was self-harming that I just hated myself and it didn't really matter what I felt towards me and what I was doing to me, that I just never really saw the real rage or violence that I was channelling. One thing is clear: my violence is never towards other people. Despite the destructiveness I feel in these moods, I wouldn't label myself as a violent person. I have no use for fists, for fights, for shoving. I have no use for screaming abuse at anyone around me or getting in their face, and when I do 'take it out on people', I'm often just moody and irritable, rather than outwardly furious and I don't lash out. 

So, whilst I have realised and noted my aggression - and I am slowly trying to push myself to workout in these moods so that this becomes my way of venting -, I still sometimes think about the easiest method of all. A return to self-harm, a return to binge-drinking, a return to a life that I left behind somewhere roughly two years and two months ago, when Jack and I became a couple. 

The thing that always stops me from the self-harm, from the binge-drinking, from the idea of destroying myself in every way, isn't my inner willpower to be a better person, to be a fixed person, nor is it the idea of returning to my ways knowing I have friends and family who truly care - although all these things play a small part. Mostly, it's Jack. When we first got together we made an agreement that self-harming was totally off the table, along with similar reckless behaviour, and he agreed, too, that he wouldn't seek a path of self-destruction in his own ways (which as I've mentioned before I won't shout into the void that is the internet) either. And whilst I say it all the time that Jack and I aren't perfect, he's a pain in the ass, and sometimes he makes me mad, and sometimes - on rare occasions - he makes me upset, he is my entire world. He pushes me to try new things, and pushes me to improve myself. He pushes me out of my comfort zones and let's me run with - and actively supports - crazy ideas I want to pursue - and sometimes he even suggests things himself. The idea of us breaking up because for a fleeting moment, in a flurry of fury, I returned to the person I once was, and who I actively chose to leave behind, just doesn't bear thinking about. 

I don't want to be that person again, and with Jack in my life I have all the strength I need to resist ever allowing myself to be swallowed into that deep, dark pit that I once knew. But, all this aside, I still struggle. I struggle to keep myself sane and to healthily vent sometimes. I still have those urges and that need to let metal meet my skin, and I still sometimes wish to drink until I vomit. Granted, the want to sleep around does not appeal to me at all; the idea of a man other than Jack touching me tends to make me feel ill. But I continue to miss the drinking and the cutting sometimes.

Mostly, I don't miss it at all, not even a little bit. The times that I do are rare - I have to be super upset or angry to want to do it, and more often than not these days my moods are small and annoying bumps in the road, rather than mountains I spend months trying to navigate through so that I can get out of the darkness.

It's gotten better, in the last few years, and I've gotten better. I guess I just didn't expect that this urge, despite its infrequency, would never truly go away.

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