I never post here and only occasionally comment. Sometimes I don’t visit for weeks at a time, but sometimes I need to come back and read the posts of people that understand exactly what I’m thinking. A big thank you to S.A.F.E. for hosting this blog.
Occasionally I feel like some sort of poser when it comes to S. I. because I don’t do what most other people do. Sometimes it’s been implied that I’m not truly a self-injurer b/c of this. But I know the power of S. I. in my life – it’s the first thought I have when something bad happens or when things seem to be slipping out of control. It doesn’t mean I act on it, but my brain automatically goes there anyway.
I’m 32 years old and sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever not do this. I started when I was in 8th grade. That’s a long time. And it’s possible to quit for years. I even went about 2 years without S.I. I’m in a stable 12 year relationship with my better half, who I wish I could marry. (Gay marriage is still illegal in my state.) I have an awesome full-time job, which is so lucky in these times.
Whenever I get tired and rundown I still go back to that same place, and I wish I didn’t. That place of punishing myself for falling short of expectations. Though maybe I should stop having such impossible expectations. That might help. It’s been a while since I hurt myself, and I’d like to keep it that way. I still think about it everyday. I just want to get out from under this. I have a really good therapist that I trust and has helped me a lot. She has taught me that it’s okay to talk and the world won’t end if I express how I feel. It’s a constant learning experience.
I work with teens in my day job and I watch them very carefully for signs of S. I. sometimes. I know that I could at least offer some comfort or support if they needed it, and I hope one day that I can make a positive difference for even one of them. I don’t have any notions that I could get someone to quit, since I haven’t even fully quit. I keep trying to quit, though.
So, especially for any of the teens reading this, there are caring adults out there that you can turn to, even if you’re not aware of it. You’re not alone. We’re out there, quietly living our lives and going about our business and hoping that no one around us discovers our painful secret(s). You never know if the adults you see every day have struggled or still struggle with S. I. and understand exactly what you’re up against. Just keep looking for us.