“I never meant to start cutting, but my thoughts were a poison that constantly taunted me.”
The first cut is always the deepest. There is no escaping the start of an addiction, and though there are no pills or alcohol involved, it is an addiction.
The first time I had heard the term cutting, it came from my friend, who was also suffering from depression. I walked on a thin line, always afraid of reaching out to her, and her putting her walls back up. She didn’t want to talk about how she felt, she never did, until she couldn’t hold back anymore. The words flowed out of her mouth, and she sang a tune of the harsh reality that we lived in. Suicidal thoughts poured itself into the message she would send before she would inevitably leave. It shattered me.
I never meant to start cutting, but my thoughts were a poison that constantly taunted me. I didn’t want to tell my parents about the possibility that my friend was dead all because I refused to reach out to her. I was furious at myself for not being able to help the person closest to me when I was somehow able to help a complete stranger less than a month before who was on the verge of taking their life. Everything happened in an instant and I no longer had control over my body. I ignored the small voice in the back of my head that yelled, “No! It’s not worth it!”
Red became the color behind my eyes. Red was the color of my blood as it poured out of my skin and trickled down the bathroom sink. The color red became a constant reminder of the fact that I was alive, even when I wanted to be dead.
Cutting soon became my method of dealing with the way I felt about myself. I no longer bothered to speak up for myself as nasty words were spat at me when people found out I was bisexual, it no longer mattered. I slowly withdrew from my friends and family, locking myself up in my room where the monster inside me continued to take over my thoughts. The cuts slowly piled up as my mind got darker and the constant burden of living weighed on me. My body was running out of space for the razor blade to make its mark. Shaky lines now decorated my arms, thighs, hips, and my chest. Some poets might have called me a masterpiece, emotion poured over me, my mind spelled out in the scars that I so desperately tried to hide.
I thought I was hideous. I was hideous.
I didn’t plan on stopping, but I later realized that this didn’t just affect me, it affected the people closest to me too. I can still remember the day when my mom found the scars that ran up my arms. Her tears soaked her voice as she relayed the news to my father downstairs as I pretended to be asleep. The truth was that I needed help, and no matter how often I pushed them away, I will always be thankful for the people who stuck with me even when they saw how my depression consumed me.
You always hear people complain about the scars that make them unique. My scars tell a story, and not one that is linked to weakness. It has been an experience that has made me stronger and more aware of the battles everyone is facing. I hope that I will be able to help people in the future, and that I will be able to avoid the uncertainty that faces me when I have the opportunity to change someone’s mind about committing suicide. I never thought that I could learn to love my scars, but there is no changing the past. I can only grow from there.
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For the people who engage in self-harm, do not keep your feelings to yourself. No matter how hard it may be, talking to people can and will help. Things may not seem well now, but I promise it gets better. Desmond Tutu had said “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Coping with my own self-harm and depression came as a struggle because I had never felt comfortable talking to my friends about the things I was facing, and continue to face. There were times where I felt like I was overwhelmed by the world but music was my way out. No matter how bad life gets, music has helped me get back up, it taught me that I wasn’t alone.
According to Samantha Gluck, “Each year, 1 in 5 females and 1 in 7 males engage in self harm… and 90 percent of people who engage in self harm begin during their teen or pre-adolescent years… and there are approximately two million cases reported each year.” The number of cases is on the rise, and without treatment, it is predicted that many who begin cutting themselves as teens will continue the behavior well into their adult years. In 2013, nearly 500,000 people had visited the hospital for injuries related to self-injury.
Even though I continue to struggle with this, I am stronger than before, and I will continue to grow. If you have a story, share it down below.