CW: suicidal ideation, self harm.
Nearly 2 weeks ago I self-harmed for the first time in over a year (I think, I don’t remember the last time I did it) because of the stress of my cours de code (driving theory). I found myself crying uncontrollably, emotional pain tearing me apart and with no way to deal with it. I felt much better afterwards, as is usual for me, and I’ve been more upbeat since. But it got me to thinking about self-harm and suicide.
Specifically it got me wondering if that is the key symptom that means I’m still ill; the fact that, to me, it is logical and sensible to self harm in those situations and, if that fails, to begin planning suicide. I know from my parents’ reactions that it’s not a ‘normal’ way to deal with emotion, that it’s in fact an extreme way to deal with it, but to me it still seems totally reasonable.
I wonder if the other symptoms; the overwhelming emotions, the fear of abandonment, the unstable self image, the anxiety, etc, are just a side issue really and something that maybe is more a part of me than a mental illness, or maybe I’ve just lived with it so long that I can’t tell me and it apart anymore.
I wonder how one changes that way of thinking, I’ve had CBT and while it eased many of my symptoms it obviously hasn’t changed the way I think. I’m on medication that helps me greatly but it doesn’t act on my thought processes. While the medication in general keeps the unbearable emotions away sometimes they are so great that nothing can stop them and that is when those self-harming and suicidal thoughts appear.
It worries me because I feel it shows that I haven’t come as far as I know I have. I have fought so hard to be more stable and I’m on track to live a ‘normal’ life, in time, but these thoughts make me feel as though I’ll always be different. I know I’ll have to deal with my mental illness for the rest of my life but I was hoping that the automatic leap to self-harm and suicidal ideation when in emotional trouble would be gone.
Sorry for the ramble, I needed to get it off my chest. Thoughts, as always, very welcome.
Also published on Medium.