Dialogue with myself re self harm

I wrote this out last night (including these bracketed annotations that explain all that I mean), and it got deleted (thanks wordpress), so I’m writing it out again. I wrote to myself which didn’t help at all, so decided to try this.

Eliza, what is going on?

I want to burn myself

So why aren’t you?

Coz’ I’ll take cocodamol so that I can go far enough. It doesn’t count as burning if I don’t blister

So why don’t you (take cocodamol)?

Do I want to use cocodamol?

You tell me.

I don’t know. Both (yes and no).

Why do you (want to use cocodamol and burn)?

I’m tired of holding on. It’s endless, so whatever, so I’ll use and go back there (to where I want 2 years ago) and I won’t stop (using).

Why don’t you want to (use cocodamol and burn)?

I don’t want to go back there.

Back where?

I like being present

Which do you rather (using/self harm or being present)?

Being present

So you know what you want.

I still want to burn myself.

I know. And you’re choosing being present over that.

Is it worth it (to choose being present and not to burn)?

You’re the only one who can answer that. Is it worth it?

I don’t want to go back there (to the life I was leading when I was OD’ing daily and not eating, to living the edge, playing both sides of life and death).

So you’ve answered and chosen.

I still want to (burn myself).

I know. It’s confusing to want both so much.

Not confusing. Just is.

What just is?

Everything

Can you break that down?

I don’t want to burn. I need to.

Okay.

It’s not.

It is okay. You need to burn. Why do you need to?

That’s not important.

What do you need more? To burn or to stay in the present?

It’s all a dream anyways (I kinda feel like it’s a bit of a dream, I guess not fully present all the time). To stay in the present. But I’m choosing to use and burn instead.

Oh, Eliza. I love you. Why would you choose that when you’ve just said it’s something you don’t want?

I’m tired. I’m so tired. Of fighting it (what I want – constantly). Of letting it be. Of acknowledging it. Of moving on. I want to just engage with it. I need to just engage with it. Or let it take over. I’m tired. I’m just so tired.

Is it worth it (to give in)?

No. But that’s not really relevant if it’s what I choose to do.

So why are you choosing that?

I don’t know. I just don’t know. I can go to bed. And then I’ll know I’ve failed.

Eliza, not using, not burning, is courageous and brave. You’re not a failure if you don’t harm yourself. Asides Eliza, it’s been nearly 2 years, asides from yesterday (since you’ve used anything in this way, and since you’ve engaged with self harm in a way that’ll scar), do you want to give that up?

I’ve already given it up (by burning yesterday and taking paracetamol to help me go further). So yes.

Eliza, I know you can do it. Just know that whatever you do I love you and am with you, and you always have another choice. Every moment is a new choice.

I know. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like there is any choice.

I hear. I know. Something there isn’t choice (like when you burned before you were aware of what you were doing). You need to then find where the choice lies and act on your choices when you have a choice. Every moment is another moment you get to choose, and chart the path of life. I love you Eliza. And I’m with you always. Always and forever.

Thinking about using.

Why did I use?

To destroy myself. I had to get rid of myself and the way to do so was through playing with the edge.

Why did I escape?

Because of the guilt. I escaped with everything and anything. A lot innocuous. I never lived in the world. I was never present. Coz of the guilt for existing. The guilt for being. The knowledge that by living I hurt others. That by living I made others suicidal. By living I’m a threat to others.

What have I learned about the guilt/destruction since stopping using?
Guilt.

I’m not guilty for existing. I still believe I am. More and more there are parts of me that know I’m not. I’ve learned that it’s others issues. I learned that I knew I was guilty. Until I stopped using i never knew that I was guilty. It was only stopping that let me see it. Not stopping. Stopping one thing and going to something more sdestructive. That’s what I did until I was playing with death.

Guilt. I knew I was guilty for thinking. I knew I was guilty for feeling. I knew I was guilty for speaking. I knew I was guilty for existing.

I know. I know no one intentionally taught that to me. I know people who lived through hell (unlike my life which was a relatively happy place) and their belief wasn’t guilt. For honestly there was/is no guilt necessary. I know I’m not responsible. (some part of me knows) I know it’s not my issue. I’m learning to let go of all the responsibility for everyones lives that I always carried, and to, begin to, take responsibility for myself – something I never, ever did.

Destruction

I’ve learned that the need for destruction was an act of love on my part. I wanted to give myself what I deserved. I wasn’t trying to kill myself, but destroy myself. Stopping using taught me that. Stopping self harming taught me that. For then I knew why I wanted to.


I’m the person who can give myself what I need. Something I’ve been learning for a while. All the letters I have written to myself. Writing to myself has helped me to access a part of me that I never knew existed. I had never known I was capable of being so kind, gentle and compassionate with and to myself – the person I hate, abhorred, despised most in the world. The only being I really hated. Myself. I could honour myself. Show myself love.


What have I learned since I’ve stopped using?

Once I stopped using, cocodamol was the last thing I turned to. I stopped escaping. The destruction was still there, still played a role in my life (self harm, eating disordered behaviour if not full blown) but I didn’t escape.

  • I learned to acknowledge what I want.
  • I learned to accept what I want.
  • I learned that most people I turn to will let me down
  • I learned to be present. I first learned I wasn’t present by being present. Being present in the world is one of the biggest things I’ve gained. I’m actually here. It’s using this thought that helps me understand last night – I didn’t feel present. Being here. I chose not to tune out. I can’t always choose not to.
  • I’ve learned how far I still have to go (that’s a diff point). I’ve sen how fair I’ve come. Being present means I can be there. I can actually be there. Without wondering if I exist or am just an illusion.
  • I’ve learned, begun learning, to tune into my body. More like, my body sometimes feels safe enough to give me a message. I only get messages of constriction – the not breathing, chest hurting that can spread everywhere (sometimes a pit in the stomach).
  • I’ve learned to accept what I want to do to myself. Some of what I want to do is too gruesome for me to think about without freaking – unless I’m wanting it now, in which case I let myself want it.
  • I’ve learned that there is a pause. There is a pause that never used to exist. Between what I want and what I do. Because I was so not not present I never knew what I wanted to do until I was in the middle of doing it. Now there is some awareness. A thought. Knowledge.
  • I’ve learned there is choice.
  • I’ve learned that I like touch even if I can’t let others touch me.
  • I’ve begun learning that there is such a thing as feelings and emotions even if I can’t access either.
  • I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve seen how I can’t handle some things and I can others.
  • I’ve learned that I’m way stronger and more courageous than I believe.
  • I’ve learned that I’ve social anxiety.
  • I’ve learned how to ground myself.
  • I’ve learned that I know. I know.
  • I’ve learned that I exist. I exist as a person. I’m allowed to want. I still don’t know what I want. I’ve learned I can want though.
  • I’ve learned that life is a journey of learning. A journey that maybe it’ll be okay to exist for.

I’ve learned. I’ve learned. I can go on and on.

I’ve learned and still learn so much. Every time I want to use or self harm I learn something new about myself. I see – if it’s possible to – why I want what I want.. Which is how I learn what I need.

I don’t know why I want to use so much now. I know it’s not the need for destruction. I know it’s not the escape. It’s a need. A need for – ? I can’t face it now.

If I use. I never will face what the need is or know why I need it. If I don’t use I have that chance. Of learning something new about myself.


My period really does hurt. Not that I feel it as I’m writing this. I don’t know that I won’t use at all over the next week. I don’t know that I won’t use. And, something I’m forgetting, I don’t have a week ahead of me. I only have the moment I’m living. It could be one of those moments I’ll choose to use. My choice now doesn’t have to be based on a choice I’m not yet facing.

One thing that really helps me is grounding myself in the present. I know I said I’m so grateful to be present, yet often enough, I’m not realy present.

I’m tired. I want to cry. I want to use. In some ways I do want destruction, but it’s not the same need it was. I want to self harm. It’s not the same. I don’t understand it. I don’t need to.

I don’t know if I can or can’t do it. I don’t know if I will or won’t get there. I do know that as I said I don’t need to base my choices in the present on the outcomes of a future that doesn’t yet exist. Every moment is a new moment. Even if it all feels the same. Which is doesn’t. For I’m flipping constantly. Between wanting to take a couple of cocodamol – it’s just so, so present and real, and a need – and being okay as I am in the moment. No moment is ever the same. And I have no idea what will or won’t be. Which is as it’s meant to be. I’m not committing to anything. I don’t want to get there. I don’t want to face why I so don’t want to. I want to fail. I want to end up using. I’m allowed to want that. And I can focus on what else I want. I want to be okay. I want to stay okay. I want to keep all I’ve learned and keep learning and taking new steps. The duality. Which can and does exist. Just is. As I. Just am.