Just a little trigger warning- I talk about self-harm here, but not in too much detail.
The other day in therapy, I mentioned self-harm to my therapist, that I’d tried it once (which now that I think about it- that was untrue. I’ve probably self-harmed a lot more) and recently got the urge to do so. She proceeded to question me about it, and as I told her as much as I could, she wrote them down and decided we should make a safety plan.
I had already felt guilty enough bringing up the whole notion of part of my issues at home and the self harm. By the time we were making the safety plan, I felt incredibly guilty and a little stupid and I told my therapist this when she asked how I felt about it. She seemed confused as to why that would feel that way. I explained to her that I felt that it wasn’t even that big of an issue.
The first time after all was only scratching and I did less harm to myself than I’ve done accidently due to my eczema- to give you an idea, when I was younger, it wasn’t that odd for me to find blood on my clothes or bedsheets, or to find cuts on my arms (which is actually pretty amazing because now that really doesn’t happen to me). When I self-harmed, the scratches didn’t go so deep and I didn’t get any cuts. It didn’t seem like a big deal to me.
In fact, the only reason I brought it up was because of the second self-harming urge I had which was pretty impulsive and rash and definitely would’ve resulted in serious consequences, but luckily didn’t give into it. Oddly enough, at the time, the thought that came into my head (other than, ‘You’re going to fucking regret this!’ and just pure fear) was the fact that self-harm can result in infections, a fact I had recently learned from a Kati Morton video I had watched some time before that. I actually didn’t mention this to her- she didn’t ask. I wanted to but then guilt stopped me.
So, yeah, I felt pretty guilty about. I felt like I didn’t deserve a safety plan and that I just wanted to receive a safety plan so I could feel special. I have a lot of these negative thoughts. And as I was telling my therapist about the guilt and everything, I was thinking that sometimes I see people talking like this and in those times I think ‘What are you talking about? You don’t need to feel guilty. Clearly you have some need for this.’. So if I’m so rational, like I pretend I am, shouldn’t I be able to see the parallels? Maybe the voice talking to me isn’t my rational voice, but my negative voice.
You know the voice I’m talking about. It’s a sneaky voice that pretends it’s you, but really it’s mental illness hijacking the sound of your mental voice. I’ve heard Kati talk about it a lot. She often refers to it as the ‘eating disorder voice’ or the ‘self-harm voice’. It has many forms, really. There’s also the ‘depression voice’ and the ‘anxiety voice’ that lead to believe thinks that simply aren’t true. It’s almost like a delusion.
All these times when I’ve downplayed my own issues. When I have been mistreated and, might I add abused, I’ve brushed it off because I thought that these words aren’t for me. That’s what the voice told me. That’s what it’s still telling me. That’s why I wrote ‘abused’ in itallics because just now it told me that I’m wrong so the italics is like a big middle finger to the voice. Even when I first spoke to my sixth form counsellor. Even when I started cbt therapy. I thought that I didn’t belong there. That I didn’t need help. These were things my parents stressed to me. My mum was telling me that my emotional outbursts might be due to the fucking moon! That’s how far my parents are willing to take it to make me believe that there isn’t really a problem. I’m just so glad that that voice doesn’t say anything about my eczema or I would’ve listened to my dad and thought that the eczema is all in my head. Like… really, dad? I was diagnosed with eczema as a baby. Not only that, but I have a shit ton evidence include blood tests, allergy tests and a fucking skin biopsy to prove it- all of which I received within the last year or so.
But I digress.
I need to start treating this negative voice for what it is- delusional. I need to fight it and understand that reality doesn’t apply differently for me. I never wanted to receive a safety plan. I was even shocked my therapist suggested it. It’s just something I need to keep safe, even if I don’t ever use it. It’s like my EpiPen. I have a shit ton of allergies and I’m very hypersensitive and yet I’ve never had anaphylaxis- granted, I do actually take antihistamines on the daily so that’s probably why. When I came off them for 4 or 5 days for my allergy test…
I… Saw… Hell…
The negative voice… it’s a bitch. It’s literally so sneaky- I cannot stress this enough. It’s come to the point where I get anxious when I’m happy and relaxed because I’m expecting to be let down again.
If you find that you are constantly second-guessing yourself and you feel guilty anytime you get help for something… you might want to consider if you’ve got your own demon buzzing around in your head trying to fool you.
That’s all for today. It’s actually pretty nice to talk about mental health I think. I think it’s good to explore this topic and find out more about ourselves and how to help ourselves. I’ll definitely be revisiting this subject in the future.