So I took a big step tonight…
Back when I was in a not-so-great mental state, I used to have some pretty weird habits. One of those habits were whenever I got stressed or overwhelmed, I would intentionally trigger myself. I would look at graphic photos of self harm or scars or anything like that. I am not so sure why. Maybe to give myself an excuse to harm? I’m not so sure. But I did it all the time. I even tracked the tags “self harm” and “self mutilation.” Trust me, I understand how backwards that was. I don’t know why I did it. I just did. It was just as much a part of my ritual as anything else I did to cope.
That all being said, it’s been a while since those days. Years since self-harming daily, years since self-harming regularly, and currently almost 4 months clean. I have minor slip ups here and there still, but as you can see, since im almost 4 months clean, this doesn’t happen as often. Another thing that is different, is how my ritual works. I don’t really have one anymore, and with the ritual gone, so is my habit of triggering myself….most of the time.
For any of you who check/read my blog regularly, you’ve seen what’s going on in my life lately. It’s hard. It’s rough. It’s one of the most challenging, worrying, and energy draining things I’ve ever gone through. Tonight, as usual, I found myself in bed (way past my bedtime) crying over everything. I felt my limbs start to shake and my body start to tighten up. I felt it coming. This was the time I would normally (back in the day) trigger myself and speed up the process of the anxiety attack. Tonight was different. I felt the attack coming on, and felt like maybe I had noticed my warning signs early. Attacks for me last hours, and I needed to get some rest and not be up until 6am. I opened my journal, jotted down my thoughts. Then I did my deep breathing exercises, got a glass of water, stretched, and just handled things for a bit. It helped tremendously. Now maybe the anxiety I have isn’t what it used to be or maybe I’m just learning how to handle my illness…but I did it. I stepped back and took a hold of my anxiety and warded off an attack. To say I am proud of myself is an understatement. This is a huge victory for me. Also, I did all of this while off my meds for over a month and not smoking regularly.
I don’t know. Even though I’m going to get back on my meds, it felt good to know I can battle this illness without any outside help. It’s something I’ve been working towards for years.
Recovery is hard. It’s a long, bumpy road with passing faces and a lot of heartbreak and pain. But it’s worth it. Please don’t give up.