It is no one’s fault!

When someone we love finds out, that I cut again, my first reaction always is to apologize. And I fear I am not alone with this.We are hurting. And someone just saw our pain, and we know that this person is hurting now as well. And we wish it was not that way. So we apologize. Or we don’t want to anger them. Or to disappoint them. We want their forgiveness. So try to appease them with an apology.

But it is no one’s fault. Including our own. If someone got physically ill, that person will not be apologizing. So why should we be apologizing for our own pain? Why should we be apologizing, for being mentally not well? I have never been diagnosed. So on paper I am perfectly well. Does that mean, that I am well? Does that mean, that my self-harm is… what? A lie? Not so bad? No one with just the tiniest bit of sensitivity on the topic of mental health will make any accusations.

We should never apologize for being hurt. Because it sends the wrong signals, it makes us believe, that we are doing something wrong, that fault somehow. If we trust someone with our self-harm, we don’t want their blame. Not really. We want them to take care of us. In some way. But we need to say that. Not that we are sorry. Because even though we may wish, that we never hurt that person with our truth, we may not be sorry for a mental illness.

For me this has already gone to the next level. About a year ago, I noticed that I was apologizing for no real reason all the time. Mostly to my at-the-time boyfriend. But after some time I realized, that I was not really sorry. I was hurting. What I should have been saying was “I am hurting, please take care of me.”

But I know now that I have a really hard time admitting when I am hurting. Even to myself. I often don’t notice until the blade cuts my skin. I know I talk in riddles when it comes to how I am. I know I cannot admit how I feel. Because technically, I am fine, right? We don’t want to tell people, because we do not want to hurt them. And that is fine. But if we do, we should not apologize. Someone will judge us for mental health issues, should not be close enough that we would tell that person about it anyways.

Hope and Pain

I realize how volatile I am. How my emotions swing from me loving from the bottom of my heart. From being the girl on top of the world to being sad, pushing everyone away. Hating.

Deep inside me the sensation has grown that I cannot be helped. No matter how many amazing people I have around me, who want to help me. And no matter how much I wish they could help me. They cannot.

This goes hand in hand with the fact that forcing someone to therapy will never do any good. We have to accept the truth at some point. We have to get better ourselves. And we have to walk this path alone. No matter how much we may fear loneliness. The only way out of the pain, is through more pain. And I am not saying, we should all give up hope. Because there is a way out. But it is not as easy as we keep thinking. And we are more alone than we like.

When there is no one there to help us, we have to help ourselves. No human being can take away our pain, no matter their efforts. All there is left to do is for us to be courageous enough to embrace the cold of this sickness and to realize that we are our only way out.

But there is one thing that all those people trying to help us can tell us: We are worth the efforts. We are worth it, even if we cannot believe it. We may not be understood. We may be in the dark. We may be exhausted from all the mood swings that throw us all over the emotional map, but we cannot give up. Because if we do, we are insulting everyone who ever tried helping us. All their efforts are in vain if we stop fighting.

Sometimes that thought is all that keeps me going. All that keeps me from grabbing a blade. Because in a world where every single thing we believe in, every single thing we feel, can become the total opposite in the blink of an eye, the blade, its impartial cold and the pain it causes becomes the only constant in our lives. Becomes certainty.

And certainty is all we long for. And when we loose faith in the people who are close to us. In the people who believe in us. When the emptiness swallows our trust, we seek comfort in the cuts. A friend once told me to put up pictures everywhere. To remind me of the people who believe in me. The people who I do not want to disappoint. Hoping that this will keep me from doing it. However all it does is it makes me feel like I already am a disappointment.

And I know that everyone who does believe in me will contradict me. But I cannot just stop feeling a certain way. I am aware that this is one step of getting better. But when it comes to getting better, sometimes every single step feels like running a marathon. And yet: we are the only ones who can run it.

So all we can do is hold on to the believe that there is a way out, even if it feels like it is going to take everything we’ve got. And sometimes even believing that there is a way takes everything we’ve got. But it is crucial to getting better. Realizing that we are the only ones responsible for what is happening to us. Realizing that we are the ones to change something, if we do not like it the way it is now.

On our way to getting better, we have so many people who wish to help us, but can’t. Well, their faith in us. Their pushing us to get better, may be the thing that gives us the will to heal. May be the thing that empowers us to run that marathon that the next step is.

Before we cut

We do not wake up one morning and decide that now would be a good time to cut. Until we cut we prepare ourselves mentally. We keep thinking about it. For days. Maybe even for weeks. Maybe we even hold the blade in our hands. Stare at it. Unable to do it. But that is not the worst part. The worst part is the cold and confusion. The world of pain we live through before we cut. Because until we actually put a blade to our skin, we have hurt ourselves a lot mentally. And in my experience the depth of the cut reflects the mental pain we have been going though. If we scratch our skin, we are trying to escape a dark pit of pain. If we cut until the blood flows. If we cut until the point where we question when it will stop bleeding. We have walked through hell. Mentally.

This is why trying to make us stop cutting will not actually help us. Sure, if we stop cutting we will be spared the scars on our skin, but it does not mean we are healed. It does not mean that the mental pain is gone. And there are so many reasons for that mental pain. Trauma, being in a field of tension, being alone, being empty, one’s relationship to oneself…. they are uncountable and trying to list them all will never do everyone justice.

All I am trying to say is: if we want to heal, we will have to heal from the inside. This is why forcing someone into therapy may save their body but they may wish for death, because controlling them may silence the part of us that wants to recover. Forcing them into something is most likely going to increase their mental pain. If we want to help someone in pain, we can give them advice and if they trust us we may have a chance at leading them to therapy. Talking them into it. Changing their minds. But we cannot do anything against their will. Because it is them who will have to heal. It is them who will have to do the work to get better. And if we cannot decide to heal, we cannot really get better.

And there is another point: depending on how long we have been in the darkness we may not even know what the light is like anymore. We may not even know how it is to not be so hurt that we cut regularly. And of course we know that we are not well. But we do not know what it means to be well. We have forgotten how it is to be free of the blade’s slavery. And we may have given up hope. But even then: unless we want to heal we cannot get better.

I think deep down we all want to heal. No one likes hating oneself. No one likes being in pain. But we may very well be tired of trying to get better. Why? Because maybe we have tried without results. Or maybe we do not believe that we can actually be helped. Maybe we are afraid what a therapist might think. Maybe we simply do not have the energy to put in the work to get better.

And this is the point where we need support. Of those we love. Of those we trust. Not to push us. But to not give up hope in us, even if we cannot believe in ourselves anymore. Sometimes we need someone to gently guide us because we do not have the strength to make the decision to get better ourselves. And that support is worth more than anyone can imagine. Because it may prevent us, from hating ourselves, as even if we cannot love ourselves, there is someone we trust who obviously does. And who still trusts us. So how bad can it really be?

I know for myself that I would have slipped into the darkness deeper and more often if it weren’t for the people around me who were always there no matter what. They are the real reason I can look into the mirror without disgust for what I see. They are the reason I am not an utterly and hopelessly addicted to cutting. So: Thank you.

Tortured by Fear

Imagine sitting in a dark room. Alone. Without sound, but the beating of your racing heart. And it does not stop. You try to control your breath. Slow your heart down. But fear keeps rushing it. From time to time you seem to see the walls around you moving. Closing in on you. Maybe they will crush you one day. But there is nothing you can do. Nothing. No sound. No smell. No heat. No cold. Just fear. Parallelizing you.

This is how my days feel right now. I am trying to distract myself. I am trying. It does not work. I cannot speak about my fear. I am not allowed to. I cannot. It will go away. Hopefully. I keep telling myself, it will be alright. And I know I might be lying to myself.

No, I do not want to cut. I want to end it for good. A few months ago this thought scared the hell out of me. I remember thinking, that I would never do it… but this was exactly what I thought, before I started cutting.”┬áNow the thought does not scare me. Because I am so busy being tortured by fear. I still don’t think, I could kill myself. But… I wish I was faced with the choose of my life and someone else’s. I’d gladly choose to safe the other person.

The people closest to me. The whole world. I am not mad at anyone. I am not disappointed in anyone. These emotions I only have for myself. I still love. The beauty. The people close to me. I still wish to protect them. Who I hate is myself. All I want is to escape the fear. I know I cannot. I know I just have to wait. Be patient. And… When this all is over. I will have suffered enough from this anguish to forgive myself. I will go on with my life.

But for now… for now I am in a dark room. With walls closing in on me. With me trying to distract myself from that very room. Trembling. Shivering. And nothing I can do. Nothing.