I’ve been hesitant to write on here since I started injuring again. I didn’t want to sound pro self injury but I wasn’t feeling against it either so I didn’t want to lie. Then I just realized today that I can process my feelings about it here and I’m here to share my experience and it doesn’t have to help anyone else. So this is for me to process, not pro self injury. It feels different now when I si compared to when I started. I was 14 then, I’ll be 26 soon. The first time I did it I was scared and I remember feeling immediate relief, followed by immediate shame and panic. What if someone walked in my room. The first time I remember so clearly. I got what I was going to use and walked to my room, shut the door, sat on my floor by my bed, prayed to God to forgive me and then I did it. It was super addicting from the first time and after doing it more times, I used my God at the time to help me find the strength to stop. After I stopped it didn’t bother me for a little while. When I was 17 I moved in the middle of high school and I fell into a deep depression. I was very lonely. I used to hide in the bathroom to eat my lunch because I had no friends. I started injuring again, I did it at home but I mostly did it at school. We had these little single practice rooms we would be assigned to in band and I would do it in there. I don’t think it gave me any relief, I’m not sure. I just remember feeling very lonely and very depressed and it comforted me, like a hug from someone special. Up to that point, I wasn’t sure anyone else did this and I thought I was a total freak. That’s when I found the Bodily Harm book from Safe Alternatives and got my parents to buy it for me because I told them I was interested in psychology and that’s the section it was in at the bookstore. It was amazing to find that book at that time. I sat on my bathroom floor and filled out the questionnaires in it and it said I needed to go to counseling. I’m having memories now that I had forgotten about. All the times I was in my bathroom and I turned the shower on so they wouldn’t hear me cry and that’s where I would si a lot because it was the only privacy with the 7 of us in the house. I always had the same excuses everyone else has and that’s what I told my mom when she asked, she didn’t ask much. People at church would ask and I’d tell them the same things. I think my parents had to have known, they probably didn’t want to acknowledge it. I imagine they felt guilty about moving me in the middle of high school away from all my friends and how I didn’t adjust right. I turned into a very different person to them I’m sure. One day it got to be too much and I was home alone on an afternoon in my senior year of high school and I couldn’t stop, and I felt like I wanted to die, so lonely and I decided to ask my Mom for help. When she got home though I lost my courage and I never did. I used my God at the time to help me stop I think. Or I just got happy again when I graduated and got out of that city. I don’t remember well right now. I stopped until I was 22 I think. I had a crush on a friend, a big crush, and me being in a relationship I felt very guilty. One day after I confided in this friend about my feelings for her she went and told her partner and I felt betrayed and stupid for letting myself be vulnerable. I didn’t know it at the time but when I decided to start SIing again that day I did it constantly and for the next 3 years and none of my memories of it are good so I don’t know what it provided me with that I kept doing it. Most of the time it was punishment, I know that. I hated myself and everything about myself. I gained a lot of weight and that made me hate myself ten times more. Around the same time my already abnormal alcohol/pill use skyrocketed and I would si every time I got drunk or high. A lot of times I did it for no apparent reason to me, I just felt like it and like I couldn’t stop and the obsession in my mind was so strong. It got worse the year before this because it started interfering with my work and my social life. I got talked to about it at work because when I was drunk I didn’t care about where I did it. Sober I would do it in places no one would see. Drunk, I didn’t care and I laid it out on myself for anyone to see. One of my most embarrassing times with SI is I was at a party and I was very intoxicated, it was hard to walk, and someone said something about my Grandma and it hit a nerve because she has died a few months before. I got up and went into this friends bathroom and found something I could use as a tool and injured so everyone knew and it was terrible and my girlfriend made me leave and we got into a big fight on the way home. That’s one of those times I will always have scars to remind me of that night and a consequence of si. The last time I did it before treatment was when I was in the psych ward and no one was looking. Then I didn’t do it again until I relapsed with alcohol last January. I was drunk and on the floor crying and wanting to die and hating myself for being drunk on the floor crying AGAIN so I SIed. Since then it’s been hard to not act on those urges and I have a lot of therapy tools I’ve learned and put to good use. Week before last, I just acted on the urge. It happened fast, I didn’t pause at all like I always do. It gave me immediate relief like the very first time, but with no shame. Relief and comfort. I don’t understand how that works still, but it did. I kind of planned on it being a one time thing, a way to release the stress so I could breathe again. It wasn’t, once I did it then I continued to do it. I didn’t feel “bad” about it really. I don’t feel ashamed. I don’t feel like a failure. I do feel confused at why I’m doing it. I feel frustrated with myself that I’m acting on these urges and I don’t even know why. As of today, I don’t feel the comfort I felt just a week ago. How did it go away that quickly ? I can’t even say I wish I hadn’t done it. It feels good to have an old friend back, but I feel very cautious. I know where this has led me in the past and I’m not willing to go back there. I don’t know why I did it today. I just did. Maybe I’m looking for something that really just isn’t there anymore and I want it to be. I am starting to feel bad, and I don’t like the feeling of hiding it from the person I love. She knows, but she hasn’t seen because I’ve been careful and I’m worried she will. So maybe there is some shame.