I DO NOT HAVE AN EATING DISORDER - Page 75 Trigger Warning: suicidal ideations, self harm
Being in the mental space shown here was unbearable. My head felt so overcrowded and impossible to deal with. I was so miserable and struggling to cope, exploding from every side, yet wrought with guilt for the desperate sadness this brought out in others. My girlfriend was living on the other side of the world at the time, and I remember so vividly that moment of her shouting ‘I love you!’ repeatedly down the phone line, every ounce of strength in her voice willing the words to reach me and change something. I wanted more than anything for those words to mean something, to feel real, to wrap themselves around me and hold me in warmth so that I could breathe some relief from this heartache, but I was pretty unreachable by then.
I’m not proud to admit how much I relied on bad strategies at the time to try to keep myself calm and away from more dangerous thoughts. I can’t recall if I’ve spoken about it before, but I’ve had trichotillomania for a while - a compulsion to pull out your own hair. I use this to calm down in the same way you might snap a rubber band on your wrist. It started on my eyebrows, then my pubes and armpit hair, and progressively settled on my legs (it took a lot of work to stop plucking my eyebrows, but they were starting to completely disappear). The hair pulling isn’t really too bad considering the other strategies at the time were starving/obsessively weighing myself, and cutting/bruising. I’d managed to go a few years without cutting at all, and all I had were old scars, but it came back in force when I got desperate. I wish I’d been able to remind myself of two things back then:
1. Feelings are temporary, and they will pass. Before too long I would feel a lot better than I did at the time, and my sense of hope would return.
2. Suicidal thoughts are just thoughts. They do not necessarily mean you want to die or might kill yourself, but they are a warning sign that it’s time to seek more support. Thoughts are also temporary, and can be changed.
For anyone struggling with self-harm right now, or who may have been triggered by this page, here’s a link back to the comic page in which I cover some strategies I use to deal with those urges:
For anyone struggling with suicidal ideations or fears, there always help available:
IMAlive - online chat for those struggling with thoughts of suicide who don’t feel up to talking on the phone:
Suicide line 1300 651 251
Lifeline 13 11 14
USA and Canada:
Hopeline 1800 SUICIDE (1800 784 2433)
Suicide prevention hotline 1800 273 TALK (1800 273 8255)
UK and Ireland:
Hopeline 0800 068 41 41
Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 (Rep of Ireland 1850 60 90 90)
France (thank you Tumblr et-un-raton-laveur):
Suicide Ecoute 01 45 39 4000
SOS Suicide Phenix: 0825 120 364
NZ (thank you anonymous Tumblr):
0800 543 354
Finland (thank you Tumblr salriella):
Valtkunnallinen kriisipuhelin 01019 5202
Remember, if you are ever in serious trouble, you can call emergency services (911 / 000).
You are so important. Please take care of yourself.