There is an ongoing struggle to keep myself relatively sane. One issue I face is the cutting. I stopped it for a while but actually just replaced it with something else. Cutting oneself isn't very convenient or socially acceptable. Drugs, however, are easily hidden/consumed. Because of this, I turned to co-codamol. Nothing "extreme", something you could get over the counter quite easily.
It's so much easier to just make myself high on something - something I know will kick in and will make me feel better. The problem, however, is that the amount I was taking was "potentially harmful to my liver." This was something always mentioned by my doctors, my counsellors, my social worker but not really anywhere else. I'd be lying if I said it didn't make it much easier for me to get away with such addiction issues with those around me being so clueless.
The cutting was something that couldn't be hidden inside my body. This make it a lot more noticeable to... well... everyone. Having to constantly be on guard about those close to me discovering what I'd done wasn't easy and wasn't preferable. If they did find out, all hell would break loose. There'd be confrontation, screaming, crying, me getting more upset and ultimately just repeating the whole cycle again by cutting to make myself feel better.
People don't understand the cutting. After so many years, I think I do a bit more. My understanding has warped over time though and only began with the simple things you're told in leaflets or info pages about it. Maybe it's just my progression through the years; it used to be enough to cause myself some pain. Then it moved on to needing to see blood. Then it was needing deeper and wider wounds. I've reached a point of where if I don't make at least one cut deep enough to remove any touch sensation in that spot, it's not good enough and I must keep going. That's a worrying place to be.
I am trying my best to identify situations which may lead me to feel like self harming. With the help of counselling and a book I've recently read, I think I've made some progress; I'm no longer taking co-codamol (I'm not sure how long that will last) but I have recently cut for the first time in a few months (and I reached my goal of cutting away the sensation). I figure these things should be handled one step at a time and I have never had to be hospitalised or had to receive stitches for cutting myself.
I do find it strange how outside of the medical profession, drug abuse is more widely accepted than self harm when the former causes such serious damage to the internal organs and cutting is damage that is skin deep (and heals itself relatively quickly). Perhaps it is because the damage is just that: internal. We're taught to internalise everything as we grow up. When were you ever specifically taught a healthy way to express your emotions?
I wish I had one.