It’s been one year since I last cut. A year ago, I was a couple months into trauma work. I was having daily flashbacks. That weekend, I had new memories surface; memories of something horrible; something that I didn’t want to believe. I was in constant contact with my shrink that weekend. By Sunday afternoon, I thought that I was going to be ok. But then I wasn’t. This is the email I sent my shrink later that night:
I fucked up and cut. I didn’t want to tell you, but I kind of figured you deserved to know. I’m really really sorry. I don’t really know what happened. Things were stressful with [my daughter] and I was trying to cook dinner and then [my husband] came in yelling at me and [my daughter] fell and got hurt and it was my fault and I don’t know…everything was blurry and my whole arm is a mess…like really really bad. I was kind of feeling better prior to this because I had taken a nap this afternoon, [a friend] stopped by unexpectedly for a few minutes to drop off presents, I was getting ready for a new week…By like 5:00 I was feeling hopeful. Then it’s like I just snapped in a split second. The cutting didn’t help. Why didn’t help? And if it wasn’t going to help, why did I do it?! I’m so frustrated with myself and I feel like it’s just made my anxiety escalate again when it was dropping to manageable numbers. What a fucking waste. I’m so mad at myself. I’m sure you’re probably mad at me too. I’m sorry. I really don’t know what happened. I thought I had gotten through all this without it. I’m sorry. All of your input this weekend was so so helpful and appreciated. I don’t know how I could lose control that fast. I’m so so so sorry for disappointing you.
At the time, I had gone roughly 59 days without cutting, which was a pretty big deal. I really don’t remember much from this particular cutting instance. My husband and daughter had gone outside, and I was standing alone in the kitchen. I vaguely recall cutting into my arm with one of the knives in the kitchen. However, the next thing I knew, I was in the shower with more than 20 cuts on my arm, a razorblade in my hand, and blood everywhere. A few needed stitches. I was in complete shock. I still do not understand how this happened. I do not understand what happened from the first cut to the last cut, or why I had zero control over it. Not having control over cutting is the scariest part of self-injuring. Even now, one of my biggest fears is that something like this will happen again one day.
Today, I am celebrating 525,600 minutes without cutting. One year. My overall self-injurious behaviors, including wrist banging, digging my fingernails into my wrist, and snapping a rubber band on my wrist have all substantially decreased. In the past year, I have learned techniques to help me have more control over my dissociation. Most of the time, counting, running through my five senses, and other mindfulness activities help me to stay present. Over the past year, I have worked harder than probably anyone else in therapy. That hard work was worth it…every bit of it. Today I don’t have to numb everything. Today I have freedom from that voice that tells me I need to cut.
Like all other great celebrations, there were cupcakes involved today 😃 Also, I got to see my shrink today for the first time in two weeks 🙌🏽🎉