The Kindness of (Some) ‘Strangers’

TW: contains mild references to self harm.

Further to my previous post, Day 2, I though I’d take time again to reflect on the past week and how my effort to curtail dangerous SH behaviours is going.

This morning is definitely the closest I’ve come to failing, to giving in to the insatiable itch that is the urge to hurt myself – and not superficially, either.  I even convinced myself that, if I was going to fail, today would be a good day to do so.  I have old wounds that have not yet healed and are still being looked after by the practice nurse.  I had an appointment this afternoon and thought she could just treat new injuries as well as old.

But, thankfully, a series of reality checks ensued.  The first was a text from a friend who, knowing I was struggling, made time in his busy schedule to ‘check in’ with me, make sure I was up, encourage me to have a shower and get dressed…things that he knows help me gain momentum and take better control of my thoughts.  I must point out that this person and I have never met in person, and the fact that he is so invested in my recovery while battling his own MH issues frankly blows me away.  So I am grateful to him for reining me in, giving me time to compute and making me feel less alone.

At the same time, another friend was sending me a series of supportive Tweets, making helpful suggestions and adding to the feeling that we are all in this together (also someone whom I have never met in real life and is currently battling her own demons).

Feeling slightly more human, I decided I should check in with my CPN, let her know I was having a hard-time.  I am, after all, doing what is asked of me.  Despite the sheer torture of it, I am finding alternatives to SH, better controlling the impulsivity that so often governs me so I deserve a bit of support from my care team, right?  Well my CPN was ‘out of the office’ and is yet to call me back to make sure I’m safe and well.

Not to be defeated, I called my cousin who has seen a copy of my ‘Crisis Plan’.  Although she was unable to get to me physically, she issued a series of instructions: get dressed, get out of the house, walk along the beach, go home and eat some lunch and take some Diazepam.  She reminded me that I find it helpful if my hands are occupied so why not try drawing, or doing a jigsaw?  I love her for the enthusiasm in the way she has taken in the details of my Plan and knows exactly what to say to make me feel better, validating my feelings and reassuring me that things will improve with time.

This afternoon I attended the aforementioned appointment with the nurse.  She remarked that my wounds are almost healed and, by Friday, would no longer need dressed.  Then she asked me if I’d like to continue seeing her on a weekly basis.  She offered to check my arms, almost making me accountable to someone, giving me a regular target.  And she said she’d be a shoulder to cry on, if I needed it.

That makes four people in as many hours, only one of whom has any real reason to care, rooting for me unconditionally.  Three of these people don’t really know me and are using their own instinct to deduce that I’m worth saving.  This alone is enough to fuel my effort for another couple of days at least.

So, to everyone who helped me today (you know who you are) thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  And rest assured that I would do the same for each of you.

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