I have, as some of you have noticed and commented on, been rather quiet in recent weeks. It has been over three weeks since I last posted something here.
Truth be told, I really don’t have anything much to say. For much of the last month or so, my time has been spent either working, or curled up in darkness, trying to hide away from the world as much as I can.
The topic on this week’s “Sex Bloggers for Mental Health” is self-harm. For me self-injury has always, perversely, been more psychological than physical. I have never cut or deliberately injured myself in any physical way. I do, however withdraw from the world; I turn inwards, shutting myself off from the support of friends and family, I lose interest in the world around me, I cease to take pleasure from the things I enjoy.
My particular form of self-harm is an almost casual form of self-neglect where I stop looking after myself. It isn’t a deliberate action on my part, it is simply a symptom of my withdrawal from the world around me. My self care is neglected and, as such, the mental, emotional and spiritual suffering increases as a result. It’s an unconscious, yet in many ways deliberate way of taking the pain and anguish I am already suffering and amplifying it. It’s a form of “testing my limits” to determine how much I can endure. It is my mind using my condition against me and against itself.
The most disturbing thing is that, in the depths of the cycle, it is all perfectly rational; it all seems to make sense. There is a perverse logic to the reinforcing feedback cycle that is almost impossible to refute.
Once I resurface and restore, as much as is possible, my sense of equilibrium, I can see it for what it really is: it is part of that desire for the silence of oblivion, the false comfort of nothingness that seems so appealing at the deepest, darkest moments of my struggle.
And so, I find myself walking along that narrow ridge line, knowing that a miss-step or stumble in either direction could send my plummeting into the darkness that awaits me on either side.