I have read a lot of stories on how people suffering grief and pain self harm to “help them feel again”. Having a family member who suffers with mental health issues as well as myself I know that she has used cutting as a method to help her feel.
In my own opinion I cannot see how it helps but she must have been in such a low place to be doing it. She had her own reasons. But I had never understood why she done the things she done and why she had tried to take her life a few occasions. One being my 17th fortunately she made it. Still hurts though the fact it was on my birthday.
Although since my accident I have suffered chronic pain every day for almost over three and half years now. I self harmed once and that was because of the fact my classic BMW 5 series that my Gramps left me, That seriously hurt and i took a knife to my forearm and tried to slice elbow to wrist but all i could do was scratch the skin and it was like there was a force intervening like it was not my time to go.
Also since suffering my accident one of my friends started his tattooing apprenticeship and I had a lot of free time on my hands so i offered up my skin to be tattooed. Being that he was starting out the rates were very very low. Not being able to feel my left leg i offered it up for tattooing. I now have Homer Simpson saying “Doh”, Zombie Deadpool, Teenage mutant ninja Squirtles and my Dino-bots which are unfinished because my leg just would not heal properly.
Once I knew he was good at his craft I put my forearms up as a canvas for him. I had two tattoos from my raving days on the inside of my arm but wanted one gone and the other hidden.
I found an amazing piece of artwork of one of my favourite authors Hunter S. Thompson. Being the mad man that he is I decided that this is what I would like to represent the time in these three years that I had lost my mind and going stir crazy.
Me and Neef being friends from school shared the same love of H.R. Giger’s work and the Xenomorph from Ridley Scott’s Alien universe. We decided that this would be what I would like have tattooed on my left fore arm. Also to cover up the tacky logo I had stamped on my from when I was 20.
Being tattooed is so therapeutic in my opinion, the feeling is like no other, in a way it is self harming but its making your scars more colourful and artistic. Its addictive and leaves you wanting more.
What is it that drives us to endure hours of being stabbed with needles millions of times? I think it is the fact that is new pain, even though I am constantly in pain with my spine and my painkillers do not really do much but just dull the constant pain.
The feeling when getting tattooed is a new pain, an acute pain rather then a chronic pain. Obviously the body gets used to pain when it is day in day out. Having this new sensation of pain seems to excite the brain giving it something other to deal with then the usual pain. So it must be releasing endorphin and adrenaline into the system.
Those hours that you are led on that tattoo couch whilst the artist works their magic turning blank skin into works of art are such a release. Anything that stops you thinking about the constant pain you are daily is welcome in my books.
It is such a buzz the feeling you get. It makes you understand why people cut themselves not that i condone it. My advice for anyone feeling the urge to self harm is to go and get a tattoo or a piercing, it is less risky and also will look a lit nicer then scars from cutting.