**Trigger warning: contains thoughts on self injury and a form of self injury.**
The other day, my therapist and I discussed suicidal thoughts and self injury. I told him about my feelings towards what I did to torture myself. I didn’t tell him everything. It feels embarrassing. I feel shame about what I have done to myself.
It seems so wrong to torture yourself when other people are being tortured by someone else. But it also feels like justice. If you hurt someone, you deserve to be hurt. “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” was the law in the Old Testament.
It seems almost stupid now. It seems ridiculous that I walked around for sometimes days at a time with cords wrapped around my body. My ribs and sides still ache sometimes from the strain I put them through. And yet, as ridiculous as it seems, I still miss it. I miss thinking only about the pain, like it would somehow make things right – like I could move on from my guilt because I had paid the price.
I don’t torture myself anymore because I try to make things right instead. If I hurt someone, I try to apologize and make it up to them. Sometimes though, I still miss the singularity of the pain. I don’t miss the guilt and shame that went with it, but I miss feeling like it was the end. I miss the feeling of giving up and consigning myself to endless torment.
I miss it because it is hard to keep trying. It is hard to make things right. It is hard to know that some things can’t be undone. I didn’t have to worry about that so much when I tortured myself because I was being paid for my mistakes and hurtful deeds. If I did something wrong, I simply hurt myself to the extent of that wrong. Being in a state of depression meant that I felt like I did a lot of things wrong. Thinking about what I did to myself still makes me cringe.
I am glad I no longer do that. I am glad that I don’t have to walk around in self-inflicted pain because of the mistakes I think I have made. Still, I am only starting to understand mercy and justice. And I am slowly starting to believe in mercy and let justice find another way to be appeased.