It had been years since I cut myself until two days ago. I now feel so ashamed of myself, full of regret and embarrassed by the thirteen wounds covering my arms.

I came to Greece one week ago to visit my boyfriend. I had been living here for fifteen months previously but it wasn’t working out for me so I made the decision to move back to the UK, so for now I am just visiting.

Everything was going very well; Gabriel and I are still desperately in love after four years and we have been having a lot of fun- Going to the beach, eating out at taverns and spending quality alone-time together. However something terrible and very much unexpected happened a couple of days ago.

We were fine in the morning; everything between us was as it should be. We were happy. During the afternoon Gabriel found out that he had missed the deadline to apply for a job that he really wanted and he seemed quite upset after that. I suppose I should have been more understanding but I am no good at coping when he has mood-swings. He became very reserved after that and I felt shut out, he was hardly talking to me. In the car on the way to the beach (with two of our friends) he hardly said a word and I became very anxious and quite annoyed with him, even though I knew he had a reason to be down.

When we got to the beach I went straight in the sea to cool off, and when I came back he had vanished, along with his bag and towel. We all started wondering where he had gone but he was nowhere to be seen. Eventually, after about half an hour, I went for a walk and found him lying under a tree away from the beach. By this point he had completely shut down and I felt completely rejected which really affected me because I have had a rejection complex for most of my life. I went back to see him three times, hoping he would start talking to me nicely and open up to me about why he was being that way, but to no avail. I decided to have a beer, and then another.

I felt a lot better after a couple of drinks but I realise now it was completely the wrong way to deal with the situation, however that is just my self-destructive nature, and (as my therapist says) my inability to use words to express my feelings, only actions.

I eventually ended up shouting at him out of frustration before we left the beach and the car journey home was hell. One of my problems is that I live too much in the present moment and I can never see an end to difficult situations and emotions, even though logically these feelings always come to an end.

And so I decided to buy four more beers on our way home which turned out to be a massive mistake.

Once we were home we began arguing, followed by Gabriel taking a beer out of my hand and pouring it down the sink. My reaction was disastrous. We physically fought over the remaining three beers in the fridge. I managed to get a hold of one and attempt to drink it before he had a chance to take it away, but he did, and so I threw it at him, soaking everything in alcohol.  The beer was all gone; I had no way out of my feelings and I started to cry uncontrollably. I desperately needed a way out of how I was feeling, or so I thought, and so I started thinking about some other way I could control my emotions. And then the idea of hurting myself came into my head.

The thought followed by the action was completely impulsive; I did not think it through. I did not think about the scars I would leave on my arms for the rest of my life, about what it would do to Gabriel or what others would think of me when they saw the cuts.

I went to the bathroom, pulled apart my razor and began to cut myself and I immediately calmed down and stopped crying. I felt a deep sense of relief.

I must have sat there for twenty minutes before Gabriel came to see what I was doing, and when I replied ‘nothing,’ he came into the bathroom and found me in that terrible state. And that’s when the guilt and remorse set in and I finally realised I had not only hurt myself, but him too, and perhaps even more so.

Further arguing followed, proceeded by further tears until Gabriel went out to find our friend (who had been on the beach with us) and bring him over. This man is like a second father to me and he acted as a mediator between Gabriel and I and the situation really calmed down for a while. Our friend ended up spending the night but things were awful between Gabriel and I and he wound up sleeping in another room.

He has let go of it now and realised that I did not mean to hurt him, only myself, and I have explained that this need to harm myself when I feel hurt by others is just another element of my mental disposition and psychological problems. My arm looks terrible but I am getting over it bit by bit and trying myself to let go of what happened that day. I have forgiven him too for the alcohol drama and we are supporting one another. I hated him at the time for taking away my beers- my way out- but I do understand why he did it and I shouldn’t have reacted as I did.

The thing that plagues me the most from the memories of that day is how much better I felt when I started harming myself. It all happened so suddenly and I have to put some serious thought into why this happened again after so many years of abstinence from self-harm.

It isn’t worth it, no matter what feels wrong with life. It isn’t worth the scars and it isn’t worth hurting and scaring those who love you.

I have made a promise to both Gabriel and myself that I will never do that again. I am determined to find healthy coping mechanisms.


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