I don’t suppose anyone likes the feeling of not being in control. When losing control, does it send everybody into a frenzied panic? Can everyone feel their heartbeats screaming away? Hear an overwhelming ringing in their ears? For me, feeling a major loss of control, I used to take back that control by harming myself. As soon as I inflicted pain upon myself, the panic would start dissipating. The ringing in my ears would fizzle away. The emotional pain was gone as quickly as it appeared. I’d be left tear-stained and in physical pain instead. But in my mind, I had snatched back control. However, one year ago, I harmed myself for the last time. Soon after that, my husband and I discovered I was pregnant with our second child. Something clicked into place in my brain. Instead of wanting to hurt myself, I’d feel the urge to protect the body that was housing my baby for nine months. For a while, I believed this could be the time I stop for good. Weeks turned into months, and my pregnancy flew by. Despite the good life I had, the good people I surrounded myself with, I developed antenatal depression . I did not have the best pregnancy, and it started to take a toll on my emotions and thoughts. I hated myself, I hated my life, and even though I couldn’t wait to meet our little man, I hated being pregnant. And although the depression affected me more than it had in a long while, there was a part of me that wanted to stick to not hurting myself. I would think: If I can hold on for just a couple more months, it will have been a whole year since I self-harmed. At first, this spurred me on. My recovery was my motivation! I felt like I was finally making progress if I could imagine being a year self-harm free. But the side effects of not hurting myself began to manifest. When losing control, my mind briefly flits to what I would normally do. Once I remember I’m trying to break the habit, the anxiety over the loss of control increases to a full-blown dissociative episode. It’s like I can see myself from the outside, like an out-of-body experience. Without any conscious thought, my left hand goes to grab the hair above the nape of my neck. My chest stills as I hold my breath, and my eyes glaze and stare into space ahead of me. Through my eyes, I can see my husband trying to get through to me, and his voice sounds like a dull buzz as though he’s speaking to me through glass. I want to reply, but my lips won’t move. He’ll release my hair from my fist and hold me gently while I keep staring. I’m locked into a prison in my own body until I begin to breathe again, I can cry, and I can move again. I can see the irony of how a loss of control makes me lose control of my own body, but I am getting better. I very rarely have these episodes anymore. My mind is getting used to the fact I cannot control everything all the time, and it’s unrealistic to expect so. I put too much pressure on myself trying to make everything happen a certain way. I will still be affected, but I’m trying to recover from this now. Tomorrow, I will have not self-harmed for a year. I can’t believe I made it, and I achieved it all on my own.