It was an addiction

When people hear the word addiction they think of drugs, alcohol, gambling or even tobacco but never do they think of self harm as being an addiction.

I used to be a self-harmer thankfully I have control over it at the moment but during my stint in hospital I was told that self harm was my addiction. I had a hard time believing this but after a while I began to accept it. I thought about it realistically, during this point in my life self harm was everything to me, I couldn't function without it in my life similar to the way a person is dependant on drugs when they have a drug addiction. It was hard to for me to get used to the idea of my self harm being considered an addiction, what once began as a way of letting out the pain was now being classed as an addiction. I didn't want to believe it but after a while I realised it was true. My self harm was my way of coping, it was may way of looking for help and after time it had developed into an addiction. I couldn't get enough of my self harm. I would self harm when I was annoyed, angry, sad, in need of help and eventually I would self harm because I felt that I needed to, I felt that the only way to be happy was if I self harmed and I felt that self harm would give me the strength that I needed to get through the day which was facing me, taunting me and challenging me.

I guess I gave up my addiction as it was by going old turkey. I was admitted into hospital because I had lost control over my self harm, I was no longer in control and no matter how hard I tried it always won and if I had kept going the way I was going I would not be here today. I got off to a great start, I thought I didn't need self harm but after a day of not having it I soon realised I was wrong. While in hospital I was desperate to self harm but I didn't know how, I had nothing and even if I did I wouldn't get away with it (believe me I was always caught out when I tried something in there). For the first four to five days in hospital I chose not to eat and not to drink because that was the only way I was able to self harm, I needed something and food was the only thing I still had control over in the hospital so I took advantage of it. I needed to self harm and I would find a way to get it. It wasn't long though before a nurse sat me down and had a shocking but true chat with me about not eating and what it would do to me and it was this nurse that also told me that my self harm had become and addiction. While I began to eat after that chat it wasn't the end of my longing for self harm and it certainly wasn't the end of my self harm.

I was trapped, locked in my mind with no hope of escape but at the time I didn't need an escape because my self harm was making me feel good, granted the good feeling wouldn't last more than half an hour after each time I self harmed but never the less it helped me to feel good and that is what I needed. I was always thinking about my next "fix" as you might put it, I wouldn't go anywhere without having something that I knew could give me that relief, that rush and most importantly that way out of my thoughts and feelings. My self harm numbed the pain I was feeling, I became distant from my emotions and that is what I wanted, I wanted to feel numb because I wasn't able to face up to what I was feeling, to what was going on in my head and I would do anything to avoid it. My self harm often provided me with a rush and made me feel alive yet all the while I was dead inside, it was conflicting and confusing as if being a teenager wasn't hard enough!!

I got through it though, I got over the worst of my self harm. It was no walk in the park believe me and  being in hospital didn't stop me from self-harming, it made it a hell of a lot harder but it didn't stop me! While there were time I self harmed while in hospital they were just slip ups, I was giving into the thoughts which had control of my mind. While at times I thought it was no use being in hospital because when I was  home for a weekend I would relapse and self harm it kept me safe for 90% of the time, which is the only reason I am here today because despite my best efforts to engage in self harm I was kept safe and I was given the help, the support and the treatment I needed to help me overcome my addiction and to help me finally take control after years  of my self harm controlling me.

I still struggle today and I still have times where I want to self harm and I do have times when I am so low I give in to the urges but now I have the control and I am stronger than self harm. I have slip ups every now and again which means I self harm but thats all it is a slip up, a bump in the road, a mistake, nothing more. I have learned how to manage my self harm, how to prevent it from becoming an addiction again and whats more I have learned to cope without it and not depend on it.

I made it through my self harm and there is no reason why you wouldn't either. Its not just a phase like some people may describe it, its a way of coping, a way of looking for help and it can sometimes become and addiction like it did for me, don't let it get that far. Use the voice you have trying to fight its way out of you and ask for help, don't be afraid, there is help out there and things do get better. So let your voice out and let your voice be heard, ask for help and you will get it, and you will take back control over your self harm and you will come out to be the stronger of the two in the end.

There's always light at the end of the tunnel and from my experience of feeling hopeless countless of times there is always hope and things do always get better. There is nothing more powerful than your voice so let it out and ask for the help because you are better and stronger than self harm.

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