Posted by: ImpendingDawn | December 2, 2010

The Record

I lost it. 12 hours into the 71st day of being clean, I cut myself.

Here is a little timeline of the days leading up to that fateful afternoon.

Day 1
My finger was pricked accidentally with one of the regulation safety knives we are required to carry at my work. That tiny touch, however, brought on a barrage of thoughts and impulses I had been working so hard to avoid. The addiction was woken from its slumber and clamoured to be fed. It was difficult to hold myself together, but nearly constant prayer sustained me and my day drew to a close normally.

Day 2:
The knife was beckoning, various bloody scenes playing themselves out in my mind. Terrified, I prayed again, but not as intensely. Later my addiction was sated for a short period of time: I nicked my palm while in the bathroom at work. “This is fine. It’s just a little scratch. I’m not breaking the record or anything, so who cares?”

Day 3:
Discrete scratches appeared on my arms and hands in the beginning of the day. They faded quickly, always so light that nobody would notice unless they were specifically searching for them. Darker thoughts were pushed to the recesses of my mind and I managed to avoid the sanctuary of the washroom until the middle of the afternoon. When the impulse became too strong to resist, I walked slowly to the washroom with the sound of doom thundering in my head. Cutting would be unavoidable if I continued walking; this addiction screamed to be fed. I knew, and didn’t care. I NEEDED it: the pain, the blood, the scars, the sweet darkness.

My palms, left arm, and leg were soon scratched lightly. “They’re only scratches… they don’t count.” Soon the skin above the inside of my elbows were peppered with marks growing deeper so subtly that I was unaware of the difference. Unaware… at least until I glanced in the mirror as I pulled down my sleeves to see lines of blood beginning to well out from the cuts.

“Oh shit. Oh shit, no.”

And there I was, straight back at the beginning.

I know why I did it though. I was happy.

These past few months have been some of the most joyous of my life. I’m learning to follow God again, family relations have improved, my friends are amazing, I no longer hate my job, and I just feel more comfortable with myself in general. Depression surfaces every once in a while, but it is no longer the clinging weight it once was.

I don’t deserve happiness. Cutting returns me to my normal state of depression. Sadly enough, it’s where I feel safe. In my mind and in my past, happiness is fleeting; pain is inevitable. My life is a string of failures. I am blind to my own successes.

Clearly, this perspective is massively unhealthy. I’ve been slowly trying to improve my life, but fear has prevented me from tackling the serious flaws in my thinking. For that, I’ll need God’s help, but I am ridiculously stubborn and I don’t want to become all vulnerable and be like “HEY GOD! REMEMBER ME? I USED TO LOVE YOU A LOT AND TALK TO YOU EVERY DAY – THEN I KIND OF DITCHED YOU FOR A REALLY LONG TIME – BUT NOW I’M IN TROUBLE AND NEED YOUR HELP. ARE YOU COOL WITH THAT?” However, I am DETERMINED  to break my old record. So I’ll have to grow some balls and ask eventually.

BUT I WILL SURVIVE! …AS LONG AS I KNOW HOW TO LOVE, I KNOW I’LL STAY ALIVE. BECAUSE I’VE GOT – sorry. That song gets stuck in my head really easily. Anyways.

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