All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


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It is never too late to be what you might have been…

The final prompt in the 30 Day Self Harm Awareness Challenge asks
Post your favorite picture of yourself and write a positive message to look back on.

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30 Day Self Harm Awareness Challenge: Day 29

Today’s prompt in the 30 Day Self Harm Awareness Challenge asks
Do you follow any self-harm blogs?

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I have to be honest, I don’t follow any blogs that are specifically about self harm. The reason for this is simple: I find discussion of self harm triggering, and were I to read blogs about self harm, my personal safety may be put in jeopardy. In the past I have visited numerous blogs and websites about self harm, but continuously found myself up against highly triggering images of other peoples self harm. I have never liked looking at pictures of self harm, because it makes me want to replicate the damage on my own flesh, so such content put me off visiting these sites on a repeated basis.

Indeed, I have reached a point in my ‘recovery’ where things are unlikely to improve unless I make steps towards positive change.  I need to make adjustments.  I need to have the courage to try new things.  I need to let things happen.  That is why I have decided there is no point hanging around until February, when I will most likely just remain embroiled in this current cycle of SH and over-medication.
~ from Is There Ever A Right Time, by Imillnotcrazy

However, I do read blogs that deal with the subject of self harm. I can handle these blogs far better than I can those that are specifically about self harm. Blogs such as Marci, Mental Health and More, Imillnotcrazy and My Battle With Mental Illness all deal with self harm in a respectful way. They issue trigger warnings in case the content could prove upsetting, they discuss their battles with self harm openly and honestly, and care deeply about how the subject affects not only them, but their audience. In fact, I couldn’t recommend these blogs enough. They are all exquisitely beautiful.


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30 Day Self Harm Awareness Challenge: Day 27

Today’s prompt in the 30 Day Self Harm Awareness Challenge asks
Discuss any and all progress you have made.

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I began this challenge on the 4 August 2014. Back then, I was self harming on a daily basis. Every afternoon, I would halt whatever I was doing, take out my cutting implements, and carve love (and hate) on my arms. It was a coping mechanism. the only thing that kept the depression at bay and gave me half a chance of making it through the day unscathed.

It is now the 15 August 2015, and although I have struggled to complete this challenge in a timely fashion, I have succeeded in being self harm free for over eight months now. I no longer feel the urge to cut. I no longer feel the compulsion to injure myself in any way. This is huge progress. For someone who has been self harming on and off since I was thirteen years old, to go so long without feeling the urge to self harm is massive.

It is certainly something worthy of celebration! :)


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[NSFW] Butt is it Art or Porn III: The Spanking Art Edition

Today’s prompt in the 30 Day Self Harm Awareness Challenge asks
What is something that makes you the most happy?

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This post isn’t going to be for everyone. Some of you may look upon it and think oooo, I’m getting all sorts of fuzzy warm feelings inside, whilst others will look upon it and think that’s absolutely disgusting, I’m going to write a strongly worded letter to this deviant! But that’s kinda the point. It’s meant to be divisive. It’s meant to create debate.

Now I’ll be honest. I didn’t actually write this post. This post is a collaboration between two of my voices, Meadhbh and Shay, but the topic, the content of this post, makes me blissfully happy. That’s why they wrote it. Whilst lost to the flashback and nightmare earlier this week, Meadhbh and Shay took it upon themselves to create something that would make me happy, something that would fill me with the aforementioned fuzzy warm feelings. They didn’t post it straight away because they didn’t want to upset me, they didn’t want to put something out there if I wasn’t comfortable with it being in the public domain, but after careful consideration, and after seeing the prompt for today’s installment of the 30 Day Self Harm Awareness Challenge, I’ve decided to post it and see what happens.

So I will now hand you over to Meadhbh and Shay, who have put together a collection of artwork that depicts a most heartwarming bottomwarming of activities, to ask the question butt is it art or porn?

Under normal circumstances I would password protect this post. However, Meadhbh is not a fan of password protection, so we have reached a compromise. I will post it without a password under the proviso that this warning is inserted: family members of Addy, I politely request that you read no further! Thank you! :)

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Sorting fact from fiction on self-harm

Today’s prompt in the 30 Day Self Harm Awareness Challenge asks
Do you know any statistics about self harm?

The only self harm statistics that I know come from this infographic from the Australian organisation Headspace:

sorting-fact-from-fiction-on-self-harm_5242513d9e1c9_w1500~ Click image to enlarge ~


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Six of the Best: My self-harm triggers…

Today’s prompt in the 30 Day Self Harm Awareness Challenge asks
What are some of your main triggers? Why?

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I’ve written extensively of my triggers on this blog, including one post in which I challenged myself to find an emotional trigger for every letter of the alphabet. I personally believe that knowing your triggers is one of the most important tasks you can undertake in your recovery journey. For only by knowing what sets you off, what stimulates those urges and beckons the darkness, can we hope to find ways to appease them.

1. Loneliness

My primary trigger for many of my mental distresses is loneliness. Even thinking about being alone is enough to trigger bouts of depression, mood shifts of bipolar and all manner of self harm activity. Ever since I was a teenager I had a fear of being alone. It was something I never wanted to be. I thrive on people. Being around others fills me with confidence, motivates me, thrills me and generally fills me with all sorts of happy fuzzy bunny feelings. But when I’m alone. When I have no-one in my life. I am filled with a darkness that only self-harm can enlighten. The last eight months of being self-harm free have been a nightmare. I am perpetually alone. No-one to distract me, no-one to enliven me, no-one to stimulate me. As such, I find myself being constantly triggered, but unable to self harm to relieve myself as I wish to remain self harm free.

2. Emotional Abuse/Domestic Violence

Ever since I found myself the victim of an emotionally abusive relationship, anything to do with abuse/domestic violence has triggered me. Overhearing it being talked about in public. Reading about it in a newspaper article. Seeing the hashtag #DV in tweets. Everything and anything to do with abuse has the power to render me completely useless, as it resurfaces all the memories, all the pain and chaos that I went through during those long, abusive months. Many times over the last eight years I’ve found myself self harming to relieve the pain I feel as a result of domestic violence.

3. Rape

My rape occurred on the 7th July 2007; eight years ago tomorrow. Sitting here, today, I have already begun thinking the only way I will get through the day is by self harming. I don’t want to. But the memories that will resurface, the pain that I will be assaulted with, will only be soothed by self harm. It is, without question, the first major challenge of my self harm free period this year. But it isn’t just memories of my rape that trigger me. Like abuse/domestic violence, it is everything to do with the subject. Articles. Personal accounts. Tweets. Facebook posts. TV shows. Anything that features rape has the power to trigger me. It’s hard, and it’s painful, and it’s everyday. But there is little I can do about it.

4. Crowds of people/People in general

This is to do with my social anxiety. I don’t like massive crowds of people. I don’t like being around people in general. I don’t trust them. I don’t function well around them. They have the power to reduce me to a quivering, unintelligible wreck. Many times over the years that I’ve been self harming I have been triggered to cut after spending prolonged periods of time around others. Even at school, being surrounded by dozens of other people, my peers, was enough to trigger me into self harming when I got home. It was a way to deal with the anxiety. It still is, all these years later.

5. Vanessa

Vanessa; the bane of my existence. Of my four primary voices she is the most abusive, the most vicious, the most damaging. Everything she says is an insult, every comment designed to inflict pain on my person. She encourages me to self harm often. I don’t always succumb to her wishes, but there have been times, many times, when I have. I wish she would stop. I wish she would stop telling me to do it. But she won’t. Like all the other triggers, I just have to install mechanisms to deal with her.

6. Boredom

I like being stimulated. Ever since I was a teenager I’ve never liked sitting around doing nothing. I need to be doing something. Whether that’s writing, reading, playing video games, watching TV, chatting to other people, masturbating (what, I’m an adult, and a passionate socially isolated one at that!), preparing dinner, listening to music, whatever. I need to be doing something. For when I’m not doing something the dark thoughts that populate my mind rise to the fore and I’m forced to self harm in order to appease them. This is a major problem given my current boring, monotonous routine. As essentially I do nothing every day, and in doing nothing, I have found my self harm urges growing with every passing day; threatening the self harm free eight months that I’ve successfully navigated.

Even though I know of my triggers, I still have tremendous difficulty with them. I am working hard to alleviate them, to find coping mechanisms and skills to stop them triggering self harm or summoning my deepest depression. It’s a learning curve, I guess, that I’m still working through. One day I hope I will get there. One day I hope I will be able to manage each of these six things. It’s just today, is not that day.

What about you? Do you have triggers you find hard to manage? Do you have any tips or tricks to overcome them?