This article completely changed the way I thought about self-harm. I spent years in therapy trying to figure out “why” I cut and coming up with all sorts of quite impressive, total bullshit narratives about it much like I did with my eating disorder. All I really knew was that it made me feel better and that I felt like I couldn’t stop (much like my eating disorder). Reading about how physical pain actually does relieve emotional distress was such an aha! moment. It was both hugely validating of my experience and allowed me to stop trying to find any deeper meaning (much like learning about the biology of EDs).
I’m posting this today because this month marks four (!) years since the last time I cut myself. I continued to struggling with scratching and rubbing my skin raw for quite a while afterwards and still struggle with some skin picking and hair pulling. But four(!) years is definitely something to celebrate.