Why It's Time to Get Rid of My Favorite Pair of Pajama Pants
Editor’s Note: If you struggle with suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.
There is a blood stain on my favorite pajama pants from where I once cut myself. I can’t seem to let these pants go. It wasn’t like they were expensive, and it’s not like they make me look good. They’re “Iron Man” pajama pants I bought six years ago and miraculously still fit me after weight gains and pregnancy. I look terrible in them. They’ve just always been my favorite. Yet, right on the thigh, if you look close enough, there is a blood stain on Iron Man’s arm, spreading across the comic strip on the pants.
It’s a painful reminder too, because I normally don’t remember when I self-harm. Granted, it’s been a long while since I have harmed myself (and for that I’m very proud). Still, the night I did that is still so clear. I remember grabbing the knife. I remember cutting in the bathroom. I remember the next day the pants I put on after I cut were stuck to my leg. I remember every moment of hiding my scar that summer and feeling the shame. It’s been three years.
Like I’ve said, it’s been awhile since I’ve hurt myself. I haven’t made a suicide attempt in a while. I haven’t abused any medications. I haven’t cut, burned or maimed myself. I’m pretty proud of myself, but this doesn’t mean I’m cured. I still have urges. There are still some moments that are so overwhelming, I know if I just cut, even a small cut, I would find some relief and be able to breathe.
For me, cutting was a breath of fresh air. It was like relieving pressure. It’s still hard to stay away from this injurious behavior, when I know in the moment it will be such a quick fix.
Yet, I’m constantly brought back to the shame I felt after. I felt like I was walking around with a giant sign on my back that said “freak”or “crazy.” I wanted to hide a lot of times. I felt like everyone knew, but if I’m being honest, I wanted nothing more than someone to notice. I wanted my friends to point out the scar. I wanted my band mate to talk to me, to make sure I was OK. I wished my boss would notice I was depressed. I hoped my then boyfriend would have said something or contacted my family.
But no one did. Everyone stayed silent.
People say cutting is a cry for attention. I’m not agreeing to that, but when I did injure myself, I wished someone would notice. I wanted to stop the cycle. I wanted to stop hurting myself. Yet, once I gave in, it felt like there was no letting up until someone stepped in. It’s no one else’s fault when someone is cutting, but when you’re the person who cuts, it’s a lonely world. You feel unloved, alone and it only feeds into wanting to hurt and hate yourself more.
I hit my three year mark this year of being “sober” from suicide attempts, and I wanted to reward myself. So in place of the scar I bear on my leg, I replaced it with a reminder to always love myself. I spent time and money on a gorgeous tattoo to cover up my scar. And you know, I’ve looked at it enough that I’m starting to believe I am lovable.
I’m not cured. I know I’m going to slip at some point in my life. I’m not perfect, and I never know when my mind will go south again. I’m scared because I have control, but at the same time, I can’t completely control my brain chemistry. There is a lot riding on me now.
People say I’m lucky because I have a husband and a child, but I don’t think that’s true. I feel unlucky because if I slip up, then I could lose everything. I’m terrified of what the future holds. Sometimes, I’m terrified of myself. Although the urges are still present, I’ve fought them off. Right now, I’m strong, and I’m winning. That’s a victory for me today. I think it’s time to get rid of these pajama pants.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.