I have never been a cutter. My means of self-harm was putting cigarettes out on myself.
People who haven’t suffered the intense, relentless psychological and emotional pain of mental illness probably can’t wrap their minds around using physical self-torture to escape or alleviate that pain.
Inflicting excruciating physical pain in response to psychological or emotional pain does seem counter-intuitive, but my experience was that in exchange for that relatively momentary seering pain, I got substantial relief from my inner demons.
Later, I learned from clinicians that aside from being an extreme form of distraction, self-harming actually releases endorphins.
Self-harm defies the laws of nature and is a very pathological behavior that isn’t easily understood if one hasn’t been there and done that. Having packed it into my cornucopia of malaptive coping mechanisms over the years, I empathize with others who “partake.”
Years of hard work and the blessings of lots of support in Recovery have taught me there are many better ways of living. And an overall better way of living. My illness does not get to define me or destroy me.
By the grace of my Higher Power. One day at a time.
For the still suffering, may you find healthy relief.