My past isn’t something that’s widely known. I started cutting when I was in 8th grade and it continued off and on through high school and a few years of college. It started ironically after I had talked a few friends out of doing exactly that. Like most things, it started out with just one and just kept going. I hid it the best I could years. Occasionally people would see but I would play it off.
Somehow I managed to stop a few months into EMT school and had gone almost a year and a half probably without self injuring. I didn’t realize it for the longest time, but I had managed to trade cutting and burning for pulling my hair out. granted only a few hairs a day, but after a while it starts to add up. So I self injured due to depression that partially stemmed from low self esteem and my self esteem was made worse by the thin and graying hair that was caused by pulling out my hair.
Through the months between failing out of nursing school and starting EMT school I did see a therapist that was working at the school as an internship for school and that was nice. She actually listened and I didn’t feel pressured to say more than I felt I needed to. I mean, I still felt embarrassed that I was going to a therapist, but that was nothing new to me (the embarrassed part). I also saw someone at Centerstone was put on a few different trials of antidepressants and ‘chill pills’ until I had finally stopped going due to lack of time and tired of feeling sick from the medication. Between that and worrying about failing drug tests due to taking Klonopin, I just stopped taking anything. My therapy ended when my therapist finished school, so I stopped having anyone to talk to. Once again I was alone. I turned to alcohol to get through most days. I could go through a 1.75 L bottle of rum in a day and a half.
Funny enough, once I got my license and started working, I stopped drinking as much. Most people end up drinking more, but my drinking slowed down because m being hungover on shift was a nightmare. I’ve fought through panic attacks on shift. I used to start shaking almost every time the tones dropped, regardless what the call came out as. Now I try relax unless it comes out as something extremely chaotic or possibly bad.
I won’t lie. I’ve had thoughts of suicide in the past. Not that I’ve thought about doing anything, but that if I was gone, it probably wouldn’t make a difference. At the same time, working in the field I work in, I’ve had to learn to phrase my words carefully. Pretty much if you mention the word suicide and 911 is called, either by a place like Centerstone or by just a random person on the street, you could end up being forced to go to the hospital for a psych eval and possible forced hospitalization. Not that it’s a bad thing for everyone, but because in my case it would ruin my life. I can’t end up with a 6404 due from something like this and having everyone I know and work with find out. In that case I’d might as well kill myself or I’d have to run to another part of the state to escape it.
I don’t even know what to do anymore. I don’t know if I feel okay turning to medications because I didn’t have any luck with the last ones. I really am not sure why I’m even making this post. No one will read it. It’s not important. I’m not important.
In fact, I can’t even say that I no longer and self injury free. That’s right, I’ve burned. It’s taking all I have not to burn my wrists. I just can’t take a chance of getting discovered by having a burn there or having to deal with a pt’s blood get in the open wound and risk an exposure like that. Granted that part of this is due to the fact that I’m two bottles of wine in, but it’s not all. No matter how hard I try to run from my past, it’s always there waiting.
I was diagnosed during my short time in therapy and at Centerstone with manic depression as well as generalized anxiety disorder. I force myself to throw up so often that it almost comes naturally. I’ve struggled with self injury off and on for years. I work in a field where I can come face-to-face with death and then have to move on like it’s nothing. It may be the worst day of your life, but for me it has to be just another day because otherwise I won’t be able to survive. I don’t have a good coping mechanism. I barely get from day to day. I wake up and either get up and go to work or spend my day trying to find something to make myself feel worthwhile. Generally I end up feeling worse about myself. Yes, most days I feel everyone would be better off without me. It’s probably even a fact. But for the moment I’m forcing myself to go through the motions.I probably need to get on medication but I’m too afraid to go to the doctor for almost anything. Which is funny considering I work with doctors.
When you work in healthcare, you see a different side of things. The good, the bad, the ugly things that no one should ever have to see or smell or hear. But every day I get through without wanting to shoot myself I count as a win and I can only hope that eventually I find someone to love and care for me.