Trigger Alert: This post is about cutting and contains graphic material.

A few days ago, I had the urge to cut.  I waved it off.   Indeed, stress.  Trying to find a job before I start sinking financially, health–well, that’s a no-brainer! Apart from trying not to go mental, the increase in seizures and post-“ick”tal© sickness… Forget it.  Let’s just toss a massive blanket over me called: “Stress.”

Last night: Slash.

Again, like the last one, I went all pseudo-ambidextrous on myself and used my left hand (I am right-handed) and went for my right forearm.

*PA pauses and goes for a cigarette*

This cutting was different for me.   If you have read about any of my cuttings, you will know that I am an “impulsive cutter.”  I tend to get wasted out of my mind and then just do it.  This time, I thought about it (although I had been drinking as well) but no, I made the decision that after I was done with my work on my computer…all the things etc… I would go home and do my cutting.  Why?

Well, that took me today to figure out.  Basically, I suppose the only way I may be able to express it is the presumed psychology behind anorectic or bulimic behaviour.   You can’t control your life, so you try and take control over your body somehow? Quite different from my prior cuttings.

Fair enough.   Cutters all cut for different reasons.

Oops.  I didn’t “intend” to cut so deep.  Fuck!

Now, I cannot afford to go to hospital.  Granted, with my last cutting, I talked myself out of an admission but I was not willing to take the chance last night! Remember with my oh-so-comfy blanket of stress, I need to find a job!

Trigger Alert Ahead!

This is where things get a little…well… Adventurous? Complicated? Tricky? Time Consuming? Definitely Ambidextrous!

I beg of you. I implore you. Do not do this!!!

When you need sutures, go to hospital!!!

Yes, I sutured myself.   “Dr. PA” does not have any medical supplies, of course, so the best she could do was a sewing needle and thread.   I know.

Again, please do not do this.   This is not a “How To Guide.”  I am simply telling you what happened last night.   Also, you may not know just what damage you have done and what help you may need.  Not to boast but I did know what I needed.  Still, I took a risk and it may have even been incredibly stupid for me to do this, but I also understood what was required with my Anatomy and Physiology knowledge.  Plus, I’d been extensively trained in First Aid for over 20 years.  I could assess the wound and it only required relatively simple suturing which I could do.  Specifically, it is called a “Subcuticular Stitch” of several suturing types and techniques out there.  Even if it wasn’t to perfection!

So, I found the most suitable needle and sterilised it as fast as I could (all the while maintaining pressure on the wound, an ongoing endeavor.) I grabbed some thread (black of course–must be fashionable–bad joke, I know.)  I tore reams and reams of it off the spool trying to ensure that it would be enough and I could keep it all as clean as possible while working as fast as I could.  The blood was still pouring, I was still maintaining pressure.

I threaded the needle, tied a knot at the bottom and began to stitch.  I kept cleaning, kept stitching, kept the pressure on… Bugger, my left hand! Also, bugger my skin! Christ, I can’t even sew period! Anyway, I got it done.   All closed up.   Antibiotic treatment and then wrapped.   It looked like an absolute nightmare though.  Not to perfection indeed! Knotted thread all over it. I didn’t care.  It was done.

I woke up and there was no more bleeding.   I decided to snip away all of the crazy, “fluffy” thread and actually have a look at my “sutures.”  Interestingly enough, I didn’t do that bad a job? I decided to take yet another risk and remove them.  There were seven.  No bleeding and it was fine for Steri-Strips.

So, yes. Pretty fucked up, huh? I sutured my own goddamn arm!

Again, don’t any of you out there ever do this!

I only wrote this because I can write whatever the fuck I want on my blog and to also tell you to NEVER do this yourself.  Also, in case I start to unravel further and I stop posting and disappear? I may have gone inpatient–which I don’t want to do but…?

Hopefully Dr. PA can still keep taking care of herself.

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  1. szrecovery

    Not that I really care? It’s your body. But you should probably see a healthcare provider about that. It’s gotta be unsanitary. I don’t think you’d want an infection.

    Cutting doesn’t necessarily mean you are ‘crazy or unstable.’ I think it takes deliberate choice. Why the inpatient?

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  2. Hi szrecovery, welcome to my blog. Nice to meet you.

    You’ve left an interesting comment. I actually just skipped over to your blog and I see that you have written a post just today re: cutting. I’m going to link to it here in case anyone else wishes to read it. I’m not doing this with any bad intention or to mean any offense. I am a firm believer in free speech and everyone knows that quite well around here! I just think it may open up some dialogue?

    However, first I will respond directly to your comment to me.

    Do I expect you to care about my post? Or what I did? No. I actually have no expectations of any of my readers or commenters.

    True. It is my body.

    I went to my psychiatrist today (who obviously possesses a medical degree beyond his specialty in Psychiatry) and he looked at it. It is only the second day and it is healing fine. Should any signs of infection occur, I would surely have it attended to immediately!

    Of course cutting does not mean you are “crazy!” If I say such descriptors as that or in other form, people generally know I do so in a very “tongue-in-cheek” way. It is the writing style of my blog.

    As far as being “unstable,” that may be indicative of one’s state of mind at the time? I can not speak for all cutters but I am not a habitual one. Therefore when I do cut, it means that I am not stable in my mindset and am having problems with the mental illnesses that am diagnosed with.

    Cutting as a deliberate choice. Now there I may have to disagree with you to a point? I do want believe and very much wish that every cutter in the entire world can get a handle on it and never cut again but it is a terribly complicated issue. It is not that simple. You must remember that we are dealing with people that can be triggered and when that happens, they are not thinking clearly. Some people who cut dissociate so they really don’t have all their faculties. So definitely making “choices” do not become so easy in that state of mind.

    Why the inpatient? Well, considering all of the hell that I have been going through over the last while in my life, if I continue to become more and more triggered and my brain starts to really go, my moods get worse and I get to the point where I become less and less functional, more unstable, that is what you do. If I get to the point where I become a serious danger to myself, I go to hospital.

    Now, as for your post found here: http://szrecovery.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/i-know-that-im-going-to/

    I found it very interesting. I chose the Category under my blog (Bipolar) as that is the dx I have that makes me triggery and cut. I do not have Borderline Personality Disorder, despite having that Category on my blog. I have just written some posts regarding it?

    As far as cutting being restricted to Borderline folks alone–nope. Cutting does not discriminate. You may have any dx and be a cutter.

    There have been many discussions about people posting “triggery” material such as this and alright…does that in fact make someone run off and do the same? It is possible but I do not know. How can you entirely say? But as above, I am a very firm believer in free speech and if anything is remotely triggery, I post a “Warning” or an “Alert.” Yes, this post was pretty over the top but I still felt like writing it. My blog sometimes serves as a therapeutic tool for me and it is very honest.

    Truism again, it is very hard to commit suicide by cutting but it is not attention seeking. This unfortunately is one more thing that results in the shame that cutters feel so much in trying to deal with it. They hide in the shadows so much and do not seek help for it. Most of the time, they damn well won’t even talk to anyone about it! I’ve had emails from folks that have only told me about it! I mean, who on earth am I? Some blogger and I am the only person in the entire world that they have told they have cut! Again, such stigma and shame…

    In the finality of your post, you say by posting about cutting you are basically, shame on you, bad blogger!

    Well, there I must disagree again. Just like cutters cut for many reasons, bloggers post about it for many reasons. Again, I am just a wee blogger and nothing special at all but some people have said I have helped them by speaking openly and honestly about things, including cutting. I’m a stigma buster and I strongly believe in bringing things out and talking about them.

    So as a result, I really hope I am giving some understanding and not making “copy cat cutters!” That is certainly not my intent!

    And no, I don’t think you’re an asshole as your post also said. As I said in the beginning, dialogue is a good thing. Free speech is a good thing. I just felt the need to say some things in response to it and place them on my blog here. Again, so people can try and become educated. It really felt important for me to do so. I’m not trying to engage in anything here other than that.

    Take care,
    PA

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  3. Arkay

    hi.

    this post has affected me like no other in my memory. i have no idea how to say what i want to say so i’ll just do this (((pa))) and say for me i’ve never started with cutting because i’m pretty sure if i did start i wouldn’t stop

    please go get it looked at, ok?

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  4. Hi Arkay, thanks for the hugs. So far, this post is getting a fair amount of views but well…who knows about comments? It is perhaps rather a stunner? I’ve had quite a traffic spike for today too.

    I can not recall every single post I have ever written but I am quite confident that this is the most…intense(?) one I have ever put up on this blog.

    Some people may not know what to say as you or…well…more people may come out of the woodwork and I give me hell for what I’ve written? Still, I stand by my own blogging principles. And I do not wish to be brow beaten by people and made to feel like shit for what I did.

    We all play nice on PAs playground, remember? Not to mention that a fair number of us around here have mental illnesses in various flavours. Let us not fan the flames! And do not flame me on my blog for what I have posted above.

    I do apologise if the post has upset you though. Christ, like cutting scars your body I don’t want to start “scarring” my readers’ minds! Regardless, I write what I write? Think about how many other “controversial” writers there are out there. That is not to say I meant to do this for shock value. No. I needed to somehow “get it out.”

    As said above, one of the “purposes” of my blog is for my own therapeutic value. However, I do not censor myself. However…I do not consider myself the female “Howard Stern” of the blogosphere.

    As far as myself and cutting, I have found that once I started, it has become easier over time–although…very important point here: I have resisted doing it. So one day, yes PA, STOP! Never do it again! I do have hope for myself!

    Again, I have done worse and if it is not healing well or anything goes awry (which I doubt) I will have it treated.

    Thanks again for the hugs, honey.

    Like

  5. That is pretty fucked up PA.
    Er. Thats all.

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  6. Hi darkentries, well…a brief comment, even though a lot of people out there may agree with you. So…alright. What can I say?

    I have spoken to people in real life and they haven’t said it’s that fucked up at all. One person even said that they would like me with them in such places where emergencies may occur.

    They are not being judgmental of me as perhaps I was initially and yet indeed, I will not deny that what I did was extreme. Even Merlin #1 didn’t freak out and he’s my psychiatrist.

    When we are mentally ill, we sometimes do things that are yes, VERY “fucked up.”

    And if anyone is still at all concerned about the wound, it is healing quite fine, closing up very quickly and there are no signs of infection.

    Like

  7. szrecovery

    As I said, your post is affecting people.
    What essentially, I am saying is, getting it “out there” is not necessarily a healthy thing. I have schizophrenia, and don’t talk about my symptoms too in depth on my blog. Because… if you are delusional, and someone else gets mixed up in your delusion, they get sick too.
    There were two other posts about cutting before yours. Talking about cutting makes other people want to cut. What if your post made someone go and attempt a full blown attempt at suicide? How would you feel?
    Most likely, you’ll say, it was their choice. Just like you.
    It was fucked up and sick. Is that the reaction you wanted? You certainly got your attention.

    I don’t need to post about my previous suicide attempts, because when I have talked about it, other people have tried my methods.
    And don’t say “when _we_ are mentally ill.” You should say, when _I_ am mentally ill, I do fucked up things. Accept responsibility for your actions and your posts.

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  8. szrecovery

    I’ve worked in mental health for four years, I’ve seen a wide range of symptoms. I worked for a crisis unit. And it’s true, you can trigger someone else to cut and try and outdo the other.

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  9. szrecovery

    If you don’t want attention why include, “but I’ve done worse.” Don’t go into detail, please.

    Like

  10. Hi szrecovery, thank you for coming back and sharing your thoughts. They are very much appreciated.

    I do always accept responsibility. I think when “people” are mentally ill, “they” will and should (as I do as well) agree that they do fucked up things too. That is all I was trying to say.

    I am not trying to argue here. I really don’t want to get into some kind of blogging fighting match or anything.

    Best,
    PA

    Like

  11. This “szrecovery” guy is a dick. He does not deserve your consideration or your thoughts. He is nothing, he has no special knowledge of what makes people cut, he is just a random fuck in Manitoba with opinions that come from nowhere and mean nothing. He’s a Troll. Arguing with him only gives him a purpose.

    This hypocrite criticizes you, then goes and pops out his own post where he writes, with no warnings at all: “I’ve seen people with entire muscles cut, so that their arm has this big crevasse where the muscle used to be, and they lost some function of their hand.”

    Yeah, he’s some moral authority.

    “Accept responsibility for your actions and your posts.”

    If I hadn’t already seen his waste of a blog I think I’d be really pissed off at the arrogance Manitoba Boy is showing. PatAnon has spent the last two years openly taking responsibility for her actions. “szrecovery”, other than criticize random bloggers on a blog read by you and your voices, what have you contributed? You spent a couple of years working in a Mental Ward and now you’re an expert on PatAnon’s life? It has to be a joke.

    In all seriousness “szrecovery”, I’m pretty sure we can find the extent of your knowledge of “Mental Health” issues by watching Law & Order… and not even the good Law & Orders, you’ve got about as much to offer as that Law & Order SVU crapfest.

    Purple ninJAH, you were perfectly within your rights by publishing this post. This blog is yours, it’s about you and your recovery. You have to publish what you feel helps your recovery most. No one is forced to read any of this, we all choose to come here because of your knowledge, your wit and the help your experiences offer us.

    People like “szrecovery” mean nothing.

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  12. Hi szrecovry, as per your last comment that you left here after I Password Protected this post–I responded back to you via email. I will leave it here as I think it is an important point in the logistical argument that you are making.

    If you are so concerned that people will follow my lead or that I will somehow “inspire” others out there to cut or do acts of self-harm–or even to out-do me, then why do you keep asking me for more details re: my cutting and self-harm past?

    In so doing, you are directly going against what you are trying to defeat: Trying to not have blog material exist that may “trigger” others and make them do the same.

    So on the one hand, you criticise me for making what you wish not to happen and then on the other, you contribute directly to what you wish not to happen.

    And not to mention, the graphic quality of the post is really about the suturing, not the cutting and self-harm. Now, really. Do you expect to have a lot of people “copy catting” that? No. They would probably not have the knowledge, the ability, nor the “intestinal fortitude!” They would be too squeamish?

    I was on my way to becoming a Nurse which I never got into because you kept insisting on speaking about other things.

    At this point, the conversation is over.

    Respectfully,
    PA.

    Hi Gabriel…, thank you so much for your support as always. And as always for me, in the beginning I was trying to encourage dialogue, debate etc… in a respectful manner but it was then that I realised the above.

    There was a bizarre…not “circular argument” forming but an incongruency? Why keep pushing the issue if I was again (as I joked before) “The Salman Rushdie of Cutting?”

    Maybe to push my buttons?

    His logic or what he was trying to accomplish was flawed and he was actually painting himself into a corner on my comment section.

    Conversation over.

    I’m hanging up now.

    Click.

    Like

  13. Amy

    Hi

    I just wanted to say well done!
    Cutting is kept so quiet these days that no one gets the help they need nor do they feel they can talk to anyone.
    Parents are begining to worrie that self harm related topics
    are becoming more popular on the internet and that more and more people are turning to it for help, comfort, insperation and understanding. What some people fail to understand, is that young people feel this is the only way they can seek these things, without telling anyone about there behaviours or being judged for it. As a cutter and a child myself, it saddens me to think that so many people out there ( especially the younger ones ) are feeling more alone during this hard time in there lifes. If only more people understood, or at least tryed to understand how we as cutters feel, maybe the world wouldn’t be as quick to judge us. We are, remember all still human beings, with feelings and emotions to. Just because we cut dosn’t mean we don’t hurt! If only more people were as open and honest as you have been on your blog, maybe cutters would feel they had more people to turn to. This in time may reduce the number of people that do engage in self harming activities.
    Again thank you for being so honest, many may see your post as triggering, others ( including myself ) on the other hand, will find this helpfull to read.
    We have at the end of the day, all chosen to read this, it is now up to us as individuals on how we react and what we choose to do after reading this.

    love to all.

    Like

  14. Wow, Amy. Thank you. Thank you so much for your personal honesty and thank you for your support as well. This was quite a comment to read!

    I do agree with you (and always have) that there does need to be more open discussion regarding cutting and self-harm. As I said above, it is so shrouded in shame.

    I was talking to someone I know in real life after I had done this (and he knows I have cut before) and I told him that out of all the things that can be deemed as “self-harm” or anything mental illness related, cutting (I feel) is the one that carries the most stigma. People just can not deal with anyone doing something so “violent” to their own bodies.

    He asked about eating disorders and I said no–that is different. People may still take a negative, stigmatised view but cutting is still the one that carries the most weight in that area.

    And speaking of the entire issue of this whole “domino effect” of triggering people to follow along, it may be true that some cutters may do so after another but not all. I can not speak for the entire cutting population. However, I do know that I did not. I never thought I would cut but I just did! I never thought I would do any of the things I would do after being dx’d Bipolar but I did them too!

    I also know that with Eating Disorders (and I am straying off topic a bit) there is the whole “makes-my-blood-boil” Pro-Ana Movement (MOVE THIS!) but that is not what I am doing, nor have I ever! No. I do not “promote” self-harm.

    Thank you, you seem to have “gotten it.” And yes, it is only something that cutters or those who self-harm can really understand (and even those with any mental illnesses either.) Until you walk a mile–or even a few steps–in my shoes!

    So, let’s talk about it, bring it out of the closet, try to find a way to get “the world” to understand and help support each other along the way. Also, the stupid “mainstream media” doesn’t help! So many articles and such that I have read that add to the misunderstanding of it all.

    I think as well, if anyone were to stroll through my Category on this topic, I have always tried to explain things in a manner to attempt to help people understand and treat the issue with care and compassion. Yes?

    Like

  15. szrecovery

    Ridicule is the final argument of fools, Gabriel.

    Like

  16. Hi szrecovery, as you stated: “…final argument…”

    As I said to you above, this is now over. Your words have now indicated as much as well.

    Final. Over.

    I am only responding here as it is my standard protocol to reply to all commenters on my blog.

    Respectfully,
    PA

    Like

  17. Anna

    hey PA,
    long time no talk/comment..
    id just like to say.. for me.. as a ‘cutter’ reading this doesn’t trigger me at all.. the comments regarding all that.. were an interesting read.. I personally believe.. that its very good to have real people who post what they are going through as bluntly and detailed as they wish for others to read (or not)
    not only does it make people who may also be suffering or whatever feel like… “hey i’m not the only one out there who deals with … or feels like …”
    reading your blog has sure helped me in that case.. even if the posts have been.. detailed, i think it adds how much more real these situations are for people & also like not from a non-cutter’s opinion or thoughts or “RESEARCH”
    last but certainly not least one of my fave quotes i’ve in recent weeks found.. will offer hopefully a smirk/smile & an agreement to all you who self-harm & possible read this.

    “Self-Injury is a sign of distress, not madness. We should be congratulated for having found a way of surviving.”

    take care,
    Love Anna.
    xx
    Ps. *hugs PA tight* – miss you!!

    Like

  18. Hi Anna, thank you as well for your comment. It means so much too. I am also very…flattered(?)…glad(?)…that my blog has helped you.

    You know I always feel somewhat awkward with compliments but again, if I can provide anyone with help via this blog, then it has done a good thing.

    I am glad that you feel, as well, that this post was not triggering. I didn’t feel that it was, or should be? Even still…we can all keep saying…and should!…that we need to speak about this openly.

    Apart from my own feelings about free speech in general…not just about this topic or mental health/illness issues also. Fuck me, shout it from the rooftops!

    That’s an interesting quote. I will agree with the first part. Absolutely! It is NOT a sign of madness! Please. Don’t be absurd! Or MAD!

    The second? Well, it is a way or “surviving,” I suppose but to my mind, not a way that is…well, I am a cutter so how can I say this?

    As said above, in my comment to Arkay, I have resisted it before. I have fought off the urge to do it so I do not believe that cutting is a good way to “survive.”

    I think we can find better survival mechanisms.

    Hugs back and yes, I have read your emails. My life has just been extreme hell so I am sorry…I apologise for not responding in a more timely manner.

    PA

    Like

  19. sodajerk

    Gabriel is right.ignore the troll and hopefully they will move on.i have never actually stitched a cut,but i have used Micropore and steristrips to help close a cut.not sure how your post would trigger cuttin,well i can see.not how my own cutting works.

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  20. Hi sodajerk, yes, over and done with as far as I am concerned.

    I don’t see how it would be a trigger but again, you may be able to debate it until the cows come home. It would seem from the comments that have been coming in that people agree with me? Not a trigger?

    And I agree with you re: “how cutting works.” It is something that can be very hard to understand–even amongst ourselves. Therefore, more dialogue to increase the awareness and understanding–even amongst ourselves.

    Take care,
    PA

    Like

  1. 1 Drumroll…Please!!! « Patient Anonymous: Just Another Head Case

    […] Protected: Dr. PA? She Was Last Night […]

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