I have a series of little scars on my chest and rib cage, on the left side.
They aren’t terribly visible anymore, but I notice them every morning when I take off my shirt before I get in the shower. They fill me with embarrassment every time I see them. They will be with me for the foreseeable future, so I don’t really know what to do about it.
How the scars got there is not a very interesting story. The short version goes as follows: One day I am home from work on my medical leave from my mental breakdown a couple years ago. I get drunk in the early afternoon and decide to find out just how sharp our kitchen knives are.
Turns out, pretty sharp. I cut myself upwards of 10 times. Sam came home before the bleeding had stopped so to hide it I just put on my nightshirt that is still stained to this day. It obviously didn’t fool her and she called my father over and oddly enough we didn’t go to the hospital. I was pretty drunk so I don’t remember much of what happened or why we didn’t go but I was more than happy to not spend more time in a hospital.
I think cutting is stupid. I have no real idea why I tried it, but I do know I was too scared to cut deep enough to really hurt myself, or even need stitches. This fact makes me equally embarrassed as the fact that I did it to begin with. If you are going to do it, do it right, is how I feel about it. I had never tried cutting before and I have never thought much of it after, although now the knives are something kept away from me when I drink, which is rarely ever since my booze is locked up.
Real cutting, with intention to harm and bleed heavily, not the pansy version I tried, is a serious epidemic in the Bipolar community. I have met plenty of cutters. I know several girls who won’t go swimming because their thighs and arms are so heavily scarred.
Some people say their medication compels them to cut. They don’t feel much and cutting gives them an adrenaline boost. This is probably true. I have felt underwater with my medications but I think a lot of that is our fault. We are the ones who have to be open with our doctors about how we feel on our medications.
I didn’t realize until a couple months ago how good you can feel while still heavily medicated. I feel completely normal in my daily life, sometimes a little fuzzy, but nothing to complain about. My doctor has done a good job with me. I hope that everyone suffering from any ailment finds good treatment from doctors concerned that they feel normal on their medications.