Monday, January 25, 2010

"Sometimes the injury is so bad – you have to cut – and cut big."

In last episode of Grey’s Anatomy ("I like you so much better when you’re naked" - no, really, that's the episode title) Meredith Grey says, “Sometimes you can’t limit exposure. Sometimes the injury is so bad, you have to cut, and cut big....and once the incision has been closed, you wait...and you hope that you haven’t, in fact, just made everything worse.”

Meredith was, of course, talking about surgery in a literal way, but I am now going to take her words and apply them to my night last Wednesday when my 4 month SI hiatus came to an end, and the clock had to be reset.
Some nights the pain overwhelms me and I do not know what to do with it. It suffocates me and traps me and I cannot find a way out of it. Nothing feels safe and nothing brings comfort. I shake and cry and try to quiet the angry scared screaming voices inside of me – but I cannot escape the brokenness.
That happened to me last Wednesday night. I locked myself in the bathroom and at first I tried to talk quietly to those inside as I rocked myself in an effort to soothe them. But it didn’t work and so I tried to call a friend, she didn’t answer. So I tried to call the therapist, she didn’t answer but she did return my call an hour later. In the chaos of my mind I did not hear the phone ring, but I did get a voicemail from her. In her voicemail she said, “ I’m sorry you’re having a rough night. If you feel the need to give me a call back I’ll be up till 10. I do ask that if you call me back I do want to know not just what the problem is but the things you’re trying to do to at least tolerate whatever’s going we need to have a constructive conversation. If all is alright, that’s fine too - you don’t have to call me back, but if you do, bear that information in mind and we’ll talk later.
The therapist’s voicemail made me feel like a failure. Obviously she didn’t think I had tried to *self-soothe* and just expected her to fix everything. I felt angry and ashamed and I did not her back. I took a razor and I cut myself instead. I cut myself because I could not limit my exposure to the chaos inside my mind. It hurt so bad I tried to cut it out of me. I cut myself because it felt like the only option left for me. My body was shaking so bad I could not escape. I wanted someone to help me calm them, calm myself, but I felt like a failure for reaching out because I couldn’t do it on my own. And I shouldn’t have relied on someone else to help me. And so I cut myself.
And I was too tired to move Thursday and Friday. I felt even more ashamed and I really just wanted to stop breathing – I wanted it to stop – I was afraid I would cut again because I was constantly thinking about it.
I marked the calendar in my daytimer with a big red “S” for shame and I started the clock at zero. Four months of SI free is now only 5 days free. I touch the scab of shame and I chide myself for giving in, for giving up. Tomorrow I have to feel even more ashamed because I have to face what I did in front of the therapist. I tried, nothing else was working. I was not able to limit my exposure. I was drowning in the poison and I had to cut- and cut big. And now I have to wait for the incision to heal – and hope I haven’t made everything worse.


  1. Feel for you...cutting is hard, it's like a rollercoaster once you start it's hard to stop. Praying that you will be able to find something healthier that gives you the same release.

  2. Please don't forget that you DID have that four month period of time. It might help you to identify what drove you over the edge so you can come up with something. Look back to the four months of no SI for ideas and maybe talk about it with your therapist. I just know there is something in that four months that can help you. I'm cheering for you, honey. I still love ya bunches. And hearing your voice makes my day. It really does.


  3. Would you send me the link to your private blog again. Somehow I lost it from my e-mail.

  4. I'm sorry about the pain that you were in and the shame--shame is a killer. If there's any way not to pile on more for having SI-ed I don't think you deserve to feel any more shame--less, if anything.

    I have had trouble with that coping strategy talk because it makes it sound like it's so easy and just a matter of trying. And you do try all the time--it's just so much sometimes.