If you’re ever woken up at 2 a.m. b/c your Roommates rats are getting into a fight and she’s been inadvertently bit to the muscle… it helps to have these things around.
So yeah, that was my middle of the morning. Monroe yelling for me in pain, gushing blood. Her poor rat is fine, had to go to the vet. As an odd happenstance of luck I was actually wearing clothes to bed so I jumped out quickly. I grabbed everything in my medicine cabinet so she could patch herself up.
I’ve had to patch myself up on more than a few occasions when I was trying to avoid a trip to the ER for accidentally going too deep. She was worried she would have to go to the hospital herself. Another thing you learn from nearly two decades of self-harm… which injuries really do require immediate medical attention, and which ones the hospital won’t be able to do anything more about than you can do yourself. Hers was definitely deep but wouldn’t even require a stitch. Only worry there is infection, and she’s hyper fussy like I am so it shouldn’t be a problem at all.
I’m happy to say that as of this month I am actually 2 years free from deliberate self-harm.
Not that I’d recommend it for anyone to have as a life experience, but if you have this particular lifestyle of self-injury, being able to take away something from it in the end isn’t a bad thing. If you’re going to do something, even something that isn’t “good” for you, the least you can do is learn from it. I pay attention to everything I do. I can easily identify self-serviceable wounds and the ones that should require attention. And I’m pretty good at administering some first aid.
Paying attention doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t slip up though. One of the worst wounds I inflicted on myself was to my lower leg. It most certainly required stitches. Ironically I did end up in the hospital that night, but had I told them of my injury I wouldn’t have been released. So that was out of the question.
Knowing what you’re doing doesn’t mean you can’t still get very hurt. It’s certainly better to find a more adaptive way to cope, but if you can’t yet, please be careful.
Now however, I still have my cabinet stocked with the things to fix those mistakes. And sometimes it comes in handy.