It sounds true, but it’s actually a myth that people who self-harm like pain. I’ve done it; I should know. That’s right — I’ve purposefully caused pain, and yet, I hate pain. Believe me, you can want to self-injure and hate pain — both of those things can be true at the same time. Read on to learn about the myth that those who self-mutilate like pain.
I Hate Pain Despite My Self-Harm Actions
I hate pain. I hate pain more than most people I know, I think. That’s because I experience so damn much of it. I experience depression pain -—a lot — I experience fibromyalgia pain — a lot — I experience hypermobility disorder pain — a lot. And believe me when I tell you that I hate all of it. I don’t want it. I don’t want to live with it. I don’t want it for one more second. But, of course, I get no say in the matter. Pain comes when it comes, and it doesn’t matter how you feel about it. My self-harm history negates none of this.
It’s a Complex Self-Harm Myth Because I Self-Harmed Despite Hatred of Pain
I have self-harmed many times in the past. I’m beyond counting all the scars or even all the methods, but when I was younger, the self-injury was far too prolific. And while self-harm produces pain, of course, self-harm isn’t about the pain, or, at least, it’s not about the pain in and of itself. It’s a myth that self-harm is somehow masochistic or about the enjoyment of the pain.
Self-harm is about many things for many people, and I can only speak for myself. Self-harm was sort of a release valve for me. Basically, the pain in my life was too much to withstand, and I would then mutilate myself to release the pressure of this situation. It felt like self-harm actually kept me from killing myself due to all the pain of what I was living through. So, to me, self-harm was an antidepressant of sorts.
And what I remember about pain and self-harm is that the pain served a purpose. The pain put an exclamation point on a horrendous sentence. The pain of self-harm was extremely important as it expressed what I was trying to say and yet could not say in any other way. The self-harm didn’t mean that I liked pain. The self-harm meant that I liked the effect the pain had on me, my body, and my life.
I’m not suggesting that people mutilate themselves, of course, for any reason, as there are better ways of handling whatever you might be going through, but I’m saying that for me, at that time, I needed that negative coping skill.
I Hate Pain But Have Sometimes Needed Its Effects
As I said, it’s a self-harm myth that people who self-injury like pain, but it’s not a myth that the effect of pain is what’s desired. Self-harm pain is used as a drug because pain can release the same endorphins that other drugs can. This feels different for different people. This “treats” different conditions for different people. But in the end, it’s not an enjoyment of the pain, it’s a need for what the pain does for the body.
It’s incredibly sad to need treatment so badly that you go to self-harm to get it. It’s incredibly sad that you feel so backed into a corner that you see no other way of treating the pain of your life. I feel for everyone who is in this situation or who has ever been in this situation.
If you’re in that situation now, please reach out.
Other people have recovered from self-harming. You can too.
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