Self-harm goes ambiguous ways

Recently, I’ve come across a quote by Steve Maraboli, posted by @TheArtidote on 06/02/2017 at 01:13. It said,

“One of the most healing things you can do is recognize where in your life you are your own poison”-Steve Maraboli

This quote resonated with me and it got me thinking about self-injury and how self-injury tangles itself up in ambiguity.

Yes, on the one hand, the harm we inflict on our bodies and eventually on our souls is poisonous to our very own being. On the other hand, though, it is the much needed relief we are all looking for. Well, probably I should say, it is the much needed *sense* of relief. Coz, it ain’t no real relief, babe.. So, the question running around in my head, now, was like how can one thing simultaneously be the poison as well as the salvation?

Apart from the obvious effects you leave your physical body to deal with, what’s with the ambiguity of the so-thought positive effect of self-harm after it’s done? The mind being busy and the heart filled with pain after the first couple minutes of relief have passed? The all-consuming dullness and emptiness taking all over again? What has your “salvation” left you with?

So, I guess, self-injury has some sort of drug-like effect, that does provide a sense of relief -researchers think there might be a connection with endorphins released and mood enhancement as well as lowered experience of pain (or even experience of no pain, at all) after engaging in self-injury [1]. And it kinda explains, why our brain would get wired such a way that we’d be craving for a repeat. But, nonetheless, as with any drug one is struggling with, the question remains, “how did we even end up at this point, where we felt the desire to take a substance that literally poisons us”?

And if none of the above made any sense to you (which is perfectly fine), let us once more return to Steve Maraboli’s quote, that encourages us to pinpoint the poison in our life to get better… The thing is, once it’s clear to us which parts are our poison (and during what circumstances), what is it that we do with this knowledge deeply ingrained in our minds?
[1] Klonsky, E.D., Muehlenkamp, J.J., Lewis, S.P., & Walsh, B. (2011). Nonsuicidal self-injury. Advances in Psychotherapy-Evidence-Based Practice. Ed by Wedding D., Beutler L., Freedland K.E., Sobell L.C., Wolfe, D.A. Hogrefe, Cambridge, MA.


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