Self Harm & Chronic Illness

I’m aware that this isn’t an easy topic to talk or read about, but it’s something very relevant that I feel is overlooked. That is the very reason I created this blog. Therefore, if you don’t want to read about self harm and suicidal ideation I would recommend you stop reading now.

Anyway.

I, like many, suffer from depression (technically bipolar disorder) and have in the past made attempts on my life. This isn’t a secret to those dear to me, and I’m not proud of it. But I’ve come to accept it as being part of who I am as a person. I deal with it very well most days and like everyone, have some days that are worse than others. I both care very much and don’t give a singular fuck at the exact same time, which is often exhausting.

Now, self harm. I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a lot more than just self mutilation. For me it can be overeating, undereating, mixing medications, not taking my meds, having too much coffee, running into walls; that’s to name a few. I have no shame in admitting this because I feel like as soon as I write this down for others to read, I’ll be more aware of my own patterns.

As you probably already know, I have to get monthly infusions for my juvenile arthritis. These stop my white blood cells attacking me and stop my joints from swelling. Combine this with chronic depression (bipolar disorder) and you’ve got one hell of a shit storm. If I’m having a bad mental health time, I may just straight up not go to get my infusion. Because the mindset is as follows; I will not be alive in a few weeks time, so why waste time doing that?

This is a vicious circle. If I miss my infusion, my joints get sore and if my joints are sore I’m more likely to feel suicidal and if I feel suicidal I’m not going to take any meds and the cycle goes on and on until something breaks it.

This time I managed, for the first time, to break this cycle myself. I recognized that I missed my infusion because of my mindset, and realised that if I missed it two more times I wouldn’t be allowed to access that medication anymore. I do NOT want to live like that. So here I am, being positive and speaking out about how these thoughts may effect people with chronic illnesses.

I’m not saying it’s any worse for someone with both a chronic illness and mental health issues, I’m just saying that it can effect us in ways you wouldn’t imagine had you not had the two problems coinciding. That is afterall, what I made this blog for.

Another thing that NEEDS to be said; I see a lot of posts online like ‘if you’re feeling suicidal just talk to someone’. If it was that easy, a lot less people would be dead. I don’t know about you, but if I’m feeling suicidal I’m not going to message my friends and say those exact words. Simply because it’s not that easy. & I know your hearts are probably pure and your intentions are good by posting these things, I’m not demonising it. But just ask your friends if they’re okay. Recognise patterns and try and notice when people are reaching out. Even if they’re just messaging more than usual or even less, just make sure you ask.

I’m sorry if this post offends anyone, and I would absolutely love to hear your feedback on how this stuff effects you.

As always.

Painfully,

ME.

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