When I was in 6th grade, I self harmed for the first time ever. I did it with a mechanical pencil in my middle school’s gym after getting a bad grade on a history test. It still makes me sad to think about it. It is a deadly and heartbreaking habit that pushed me away from God, my mom, and my friends. Mainly, it pushed me away from happiness.
You could never understand why someone self harms unless you have been through it yourself. When I tell people about my past, they usually are shocked, confused, sometimes disgusted, respectfully. Self harm is not as taboo as a subject as it used to be, but it is definitely something that is not talked about enough.
I did it for attention. I told everyone except my mother. I sent pictures of my cuts. I made sure people knew what I was doing, I wanted sympathy and love and support, but was getting it from the wrong places. I was cyberbullied and to combat that I made my bullies feel guilty, with pictures and stories of my cuts, the summer before my freshman year in high school.
I got all the compliments you could imagine-you’re beautiful, you’re worth more than your cuts, you are perfect, whatever you consider a compliment. It fulfilled me to have my peers lift me up in words. I lived for ask.fm and checked it almost every 15 minutes, and eventually I was getting an upwards of 50 messages/questions a day because of my cuts. “Like this if you don’t want me to cut myself” “Like this and I will flush my razorblades” I posted a video of it. It was not all of my razorblades. I continued on with the horrific cycle.
Self harm for me was cutting for a release of my pain. At the beginning, it was for attention. As it progressed and turned into an addiction, it was something I hid and did almost every night. I had cuts on my thighs, wrists, ankles, stomach, shoulder, hipbones, you name it. I was sore almost all of the time because of the cuts in my skin. I had to cover myself as much as possible everyday, and I wore sweatshirts and long sleeve shirts in 90 degree weather just so nobody would realize what I was doing to myself at night. It was mainly at night in the shower, when I had a time to catch up in my mind with what happened that day. I was sad and I couldn’t wrap my head around why. No matter what I did, nothing helped me stay sane except cutting. Cutting became my fortress. I stole pencil sharpeners and knives. I had different tools to cut with for different nights and different emotions. I knew which razor blades made me feel the most hurt, I knew where to cut to release the most pain from inside of me.
I can’t exactly pinpoint when I realized this was a problem. One memory that sticks out to me is one time, I had a dance competition for my high school. It was after I had been released from the hospital (I’m pretty sure) and I had cut myself worse than I had in a long time. I broke down to my mom and I begged her to not make me dance. I didn’t want people to see my cuts, I didn’t want them to hate me or call me attention seeking. I wanted to completely skip a dance competition because of my addiction. (PS: I still had to dance that weekend. I lived tho.)
Moving along through high school, I can’t remember the exact day I put self harm away. I know for sure I did it after I was saved. I knew God loved me and sent His son to die for me, but my head was still full of hate and sadness pointed to myself. So I kept cutting. I hid it quite well, as I had had tons of practice in middle school. It honestly just started to leave my mind. I could take showers without my mom checking on me, I didn’t have to show her my whole body to check for cuts, I was starting to feel more like my weird, crazy self again. I relapsed here and there, but I never got nearly as bad as I did when I was a freshman and in middle school.
Fast forward to now. 18 year old college freshman me. I still suffer with depression. I still get urges, mainly in the shower. I still think about breaking my razor blades to feel the satisfaction that fulfills my inner addiction with cutting. I still look at my scars and halfway wish I could add to them. You can’t just be over something like that quickly. I have had mini relapses. None for 2018-but there have been times I have gotten close. I am telling you all of this, dear reader, to show that if you are struggling with an addiction, its okay to mess up while in recovery. I definitely mess up. My brain wanders around. It remembers how I felt when running sharp objects against my skin. Sometimes I do miss the look of cuts on me. (Is that weird or??? Idk. Its just me.)
I am also telling you about this to show you, I AM STILL STANDING. I am still LIVING. I am happy. I have bad days, I feel like I want to give up, I get suicidal thoughts, I want to give up my clean streak from self harm, but I am ME. Happy, extroverted, extravagant, spontaneous, lazy, funny, lil ole me.
I love you, you beautiful human.
It is going to be okay.