Yesterday I posted about processing hurt in ways that are more healthy. That is coming from a place where I was processing hurt in a way that is nowhere near healthy. I never was an alcoholic. I never turned to drugs. While those are largely what people do, I just haven’t felt the need to do so.

Instead I did something that’s much more dangerous. I know it’s hard to believe that there’s something that could be more dangerous than drugs and alcohol. But really, there’s one thing that can possibly kill you a lot quicker if you’re not being careful.

While I was still constantly being berated and beaten down verbally and emotionally, while I was still in a place where I was always alone, there was only one thing that I could trust. If I could hurt as much on the outside as I was on the inside, maybe I could deal with it.

After 25 years of almost constant abuse, I was driven to many really dark places. Places so dark and deep that I thought I would never get out of. At one point I almost didn’t. In a lot of ways, I’m grateful for my ability to still think at times where it really did help.

So, what is it that I was alluding to?

I used to cut myself.

Yeah… let that sink in.

I’ve never had a lot of good friends. I didn’t have a lot of people I could personally confide in. Up until 2002, I had no one.

What can one do when you’re alone and need someone to talk to?

So, I wrote… a lot. I wrote a lot of angst-ridden and depressed poetry and escapist prose. You know, they typical lone wolf, artsy teenage stuff. It helped. Writing helped.

But it never helped with the loneliness and the hurt. While I entertained the thoughts of doing something, anything to numb how awful I was feeling inside, I decided instead to cause myself pain on the outside.

Was it a wise idea? Of course not. It was a decision made of desperation. There were times where I just didn’t want to live anymore. How could I continue to live if I’m some shitty person? Why does someone who is worthless and pointless deserve to live?

And while that may not be the case, it’s an endless loop I hear even until this day.

So, what’s changed so I’m not cutting myself?

I know that I’ve taken myself out of the place I was at. I stepped out of being in any romantic relationship and got rid of the toxic friendships I had in my life. I no longer hear a constant stream of negative, hateful things about myself.

While I’m still stuck with the after effects that I constantly struggle with, I’m trying to move past it. Move out of it to a time where I no longer hear that negative feedback loop. A time where I can finally just feel strong. It’s going to take a long time, but I’m getting there. That’s the hardest part.

There’s a great website that is all about this, it’s called To Write Love on Her Arms.  It’s a good resource that didn’t exist when I was cutting myself. If you may need it or someone else, here’s the URL: