Self-harm

Categories: HalloweenLearning

I spent my 15th birthday in a Deadpool onesie cutting the word HELP onto my arm in the bathroom at school with a thumbtack I found on the wall of the gym. It was Halloween and every year we had a party at school. The music was monstrously loud and almost everyone was having a fantastic time in the gym. I was bleeding in the bathroom while my best friend waited outside. She said she would let me stay in the stall and cut myself for five minutes, but then I had to come out.

I didn’t listen to her, and honestly it was better than my 14th birthday.

In sixth grade I wanted to hurt myself so badly, but I didn’t think I was “brave” enough to self-harm. It wasn’t until eighth grade that I finally fell down the rabbit hole. I don’t remember why I was so upset that day but for whatever reason, I decided to hide in the bushes across the street from my school and cut my arm with a sharp stick.

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After that, it only got worse. I started using Exacto knives and razor blades and there wasn’t a day that went by where I wasn’t covered in blood. I felt like I had to prove that there was actually something wrong with me, like if I wasn’t hurting myself more than everybody else and in a more dangerously unhealthy way, then nobody would notice me or care that I was struggling.

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I am a very passionate and determined person. I like to dig deeply and become the best I possibly can in whatever I’m doing. This can be a wonderful quality, but I’ve had to learn to control that ambition and emotion to prevent it from affecting my life in such a negative way. I used to pick an arm or a leg and spend hours making sure that I couldn’t see an inch of skin, often carving words or pictures as well. Luckily, I’ve always been good with open communication. I told my mom less than a day after my first attempt and I begged for a therapist. I asked for help in every way I knew how, doing my best to explain just how much I was struggling. It took months to find a therapist, but I wasn’t really trying to get better. I just wanted the attention and I was obsessed with my own sadness. I just wasn’t willing to listen or change.

After we moved, it took some time, but I gradually stopped cutting and it became easier to say no to the urge. It took me a long time to learn how to admit when I’m wrong and still love myself regardless, and how to accept change, acknowledging that working to improve yourself doesn’t imply you’re a bad person.

Anxiety and depression never really go away and I still almost always have to work to combat unhealthy thoughts and processes. Recently, I’ve especially struggled with obsessing over numbers like my GPA, weight, or Instagram likes. It’s difficult to make sure that my newfound drive for self-improvement doesn’t become a competition to become the best, constantly obsessing over my shortcomings or comparing myself to other people and I can’t let self-improvement become an excuse for self-loathing. Rather than changing who I am, I’m trying to adapt my habits through better outlets. Instead of confidence in my own awfulness, communicating through my cuts, and expressing my passion through intense hatred of myself, I’m channeling those qualities with more positive outlets such as my love for artistic expression and pursuit of knowledge through open conversations with anybody I can. Rather than letting all my energy fester in my depression, I’m slowly figuring out how to listen and discover new strategies to produce more positive results instead of just blood and scars.

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Self-harm. (2019, Dec 15). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/self-harm-essay

Self-harm

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