Trigger warning!!! Potentially triggering post!!
Yesterday morning was really bad when a song on one of my Pandora radio stations triggered a very bad reaction. Admittedly these days I’m constantly so close to the edge that it doesn’t take too much to push me over into the realm of uncontrolled emotions, which is exactly what that song did yesterday. Now, I handled that episode better than I would have in the past, so I am at least making some tiny steps in the right direction. When I realized I was entering the uncontrolled emotional realm, I called my therapist; earlier this week I promised to contact her or one of the other therapists if I felt like self-harming, so that’s what I did.
This episode happened while getting ready to leave for IOP, so I started by focusing on that one task…getting ready to leave the house for IOP. That, however, wasn’t enough and that’s when I called my therapist, who told me to get some ice, rub the ice over my hands and arms until the ice melted. That helped some but the desire to cut was still there, although the urge was lower. Luckily my ride for IOP showed up not too long after all of this happened, so that got me out of the house and focused on that instead. So while yesterday morning was horrid emotionally, I handled that incident better than before. Now, technically I did self-harm yesterday since I didn’t eat anything all day and my therapist is counting my ED as self-harming so…
Last night was a bad night and I didn’t get more than a few hours of sleep (which seems to be the norm these days). I had wanted to finish getting moved into my room but that didn’t happen so I was upset about that; then this morning yet another thing happened and already being so close to the edge it pushed me over; fast and hard. I completely lost control and without thinking about it grabbed a scalpel and didn’t stop until there were 11 new gashes in my arm (I have avoided the arms until now but since I was dressed they were the only thing handy quickly). I was surprised that it took as many cuts as it did to bring me back from the edges but they did ultimately have the desired effect of centering me, giving me something else to focus my attention on, and stopped the suicidal thoughts/urges. That of course was when my ride for IOP showed up, so grabbing a large hoodie with long sleeves, I ran out the door blood still seeping from the fresh cuts on my arm. Climbing into the waiting van, I hurriedly put on my hoodie to cover my arm (not like the driver doesn’t already know that I self-harm, but no point making a public spectacle of the cuts for others in the van).
After leaving the house I sent out a message to everyone on my call tree about what had happened this morning; one of whom is my therapist. Needless to say I was not very talkative or outgoing during IOP today; I think you can count on one hand the number of words I muttered the entire three hours of group. I am sort of aware of my therapist popping her head into the room at one point and I think more to see if I had actually come into IOP today. Later in the morning towards the end of IOP another therapist came in and asked for me, so I followed her to her room where we talked. Seems my therapist was busy today but asked her to talk to me since my daily report numbers were off the chart (they use a scale of 0 – 5 for rating things and I made up my own numbering system since 5 wasn’t high enough for many of the items on the list today).
It was while talking with this other therapist this morning that I had a revelation. She had asked if IOP was helping me or if perhaps a different type of therapy would be better. It was at that instant that I realized that IOP is what’s kept me alive. If it wasn’t for the daily IOP sessions, I hate to think of where I might actually be at the moment…if that’s not a major revelation than I don’t know what is…
Peace, love, and contentment.