first do no harm

cw: blood; self-harm

i wanna talk to you about self-care. no, not the insta-worthy kind. (i did say, not all my posts are going to be serious.)

i’m not talking about hot baths and candles and wine, or about meditation.

i mean more like, brushing your teeth in the evening, not just when youre going outside.

i mean like, sleeping in your bed instead of on the spongy mattress on the floor.

i mean not drawing the blinds at 4 pm.

im writing this post with two pairs of gloves on, as im trying to do something about this:

this is my hand today.

now, you may wonder, why is she posting a photo of her awful-looking hand for everyone to see? that’s not attractive content. well, no it is not. but this is my blog, and that over there is my hand, unnecessary as it may seem.

(and yes, ive decided to cover everything on this blog, and be as open as possible. because why the fuck not. i hope you don’t think im trying to be edgy or anything… though if you do i don’t really care either way. i used to worry about being perceived as doing things “for attention” or whatever. idk, maybe i am. but you know what? that’s a valid reason. people need attention. and maybe i can normalize something somebody feels uncomfortable about in the process?)

so anyway. ive been on a different ssri for a couple of weeks, and it’s been great.

except… ive been getting these strange side effects. i now have the memory of a goldfish, but i think i could adjust, if that were it.

now… i never used to hurt myself, even if i “wanted to”, if you know what i mean. but a week ago i messed up at work pretty badly. and afterwards, i was closing the cash register drawer, and i kind of slammed it with the back of my hand, and it didnt close properly, so i hit it again and it did close, but then i… continued hitting it?? and then i punched a hole in the wall with my elbow because i thought it was brick but it was actually plasterboard! :/

and then i forgot all about it and it hasn’t happened since, so i thought it was fine.

but my hands have been getting drier and drier, and i was like, pssshhh it’s nothing, i can handle it if it means feeling this good. and i kind of didn’t really think about it. people would point it out to me, oops your hand is bleeding and i would go haha yeah it does that 🙂

but then today, two different customers recommended good dermatologists without me bringing it up. and a security guard at this beauty supply store i go to stared at me as if i were a leper. and that… made me think.

what it made me think about was how these are all just extreme cases of something i do pretty regularly: ignoring my own discomfort, or even making myself suffer, for no discernible reason.

the things i brought up at the beginning of this post — not brushing my teeth sometimes (disgusting i know), sleeping on the floor, depriving myself of sunlight — i dismissed as bad habits stemming from my laziness. same reason i don’t moisturize, same reason i overeat. MY. FAULT. nobody else’s problem.

but this… this was different. mutilating your own hand, or refusing to see a doctor when your hands look like mine do rn, is not laziness.

it’s self-neglect at best.

i have several hypotheses as to why i behave in this way. i had no good role model for taking care of myself. i expect somebody else to take care of me. i don’t think i deserve to feel good. or i do believe that i deserve to suffer. who the fuck knows. not important (right now).

what’s important is how … normal … it starts to feel after a while. which makes me think of what i said in the previous post about adjusting to the negatives. it was like that for me with taking care of myself: i did very little to begin with, but then over time my expectations of myself in that regard grew less and less.

i’m not counting on anyone to come and rescue me. but i am gonna need to find a way to save me from myself (at the risk of sounding angsty). and i am gonna have to figure out what those reasons are for me.

friends have asked me, begged me almost, to go see a doctor about those hands of mine… i think i might listen.

but for now — do you struggle with something similar in some respect? have you found a way to deal with it?

and this — also directed at myself — please take care of yourselves. even if it means just doing no harm. that’s a start. even if it’s just wearing gloves when it’s cold.

we all deserve it.

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