In order to feel better about yourself you need to talk about your feelings, no matter how cliché that sounds. I know all about that phrase because I have been in and out of rehab facilities and counseling offices all of my life. Everyone has demons and everyone has pain. What separates us though is how we cope with our pain.
Most people I know would be telling right now, “don’t share your private life. Some things are meant to be private”. While this is true I’m not meaning to glorify an illness, but trying to share with you who I am and how I am a strong person. I have fought my demons, and I’m still here pushing on today despite depression and anxiety.
I don’t remember this, but my mom told when I was five years old I was at a pool party and my mom had to take me home because I scared the other kids due to trying to drown myself wondering what it would be like to die. I personally think that this was just curiosity of a child and once I realized I couldn’t hold my breath that long I stopped it. I don’t think I meant anything drastic by it, I think I was just a curious child who didn’t understand life and obviously didn’t comprehend the concept of death. However, I was definitely taken to therapy and put on Zoloft at a very young age. I had my fair share of tantrums and I was more difficult to raise. You would never know this on the outside because I’m so shy and sweet and I do everything people tell me to do. I have no back bone. No self confidence. It turns out I had more issues than I thought.
At the very young age of 8 I was caught at home cutting myself for the first time. 8 years old is incredibly young. My mom took me to school, but I was then picked up by my mom and sister for an intake appointment. My doctor at the time suggested play therapy. I stuck with it for a while, but I don’t remember much of it. I was a very emotional child and the best option for me was private school. My mom just wasn’t sure what to do anymore and none of it was her fault. Unlike most kids, I thrived in catholic school. There were small class sizes and I got to travel with the same kids from 4th to 8th grade. There were only 4 to 5 girls, so no one was left out when it came to birthday parties and I wasn’t under much stress. I had friends. Once I hit 8th grade everyone was ecstatic to get out of St. Mary’s. We were going to high school! It was going to be amazing. No more uniforms, nuns or strict rules. I was so excited!
I got excepted into a large charter school and being that I was raised in such a small school I had an extremely hard time. I dealt with my first love, my first heart break, and the bullying was out of control. I still don’t believe I’ve learned how to stand up for myself, but I do a much better job now then I did then. Come sophomore year the bullying and cutting escalated and I was sent to Youth Passages as and in-patient and an out-patient during separate times. Girls picked on me because they knew they could. I made extremely toxic friendships in youth passages. I was susceptible to other people’s behavior and all I wanted to do was fit in. One thing I did have though was a boyfriend. My first REAL boyfriend and I was so attached to this boy. I would have done anything and everything for him and clung to him to the point where you would think he was supplying me the air that I needed to breath. I learned something about myself; I have severe attachment issues. It was such a bad relationship though because I was so controlling and wanted him all to myself. I gave up so many friendships for him. After he left sophomore year without saying goodbye and not hearing from him, I was sucked into hanging out with a girl I met at youth passages and fell in with a terrible crowd and did things you shouldn’t do at the age of 16. Again, I just wanted to fit in. My mom was done with that school and all of these people and to a point I was too. I was done with the rumors, bullying, and the failing grades due to spending hours crying in the counselors office and my mom and sister missing countless days of work and school to come pick me up. That summer I ended up trying to run away from home due to cutting myself up pretty bad only to find an ambulance and some cops searching for me. Those first two years of high school were rough.
My mom went as far as wanting to move me to Missouri, but of course for me, she sent me back to Eaton public school, the same district where I attended first through third grade. I got a boyfriend that I thought would last me life time and life was great. I had my fair share of drama, but the cutting stopped for I would say, 2 years. I blamed myself for everything and an event with my new boyfriend and his family caused me to cut myself so bad that I came an eighth of an inch from killing myself. I wasn’t trying to kill myself though that’s the thing with cutters. You cut to be numb. You cut to feel physical pain instead of emotional pain. You cut because you can control the amount of pain that you feel. After this though I scared myself silly and stopped for another 4 years.
Although I had other issues I controlled my cutting. I was starting to have severe panic attacks and depression, but through new medication it seemed to be ok. After almost 6 years me and my second real boyfriend split up. Me having attachment issues along with panic disorder, lets just be honest I went crazy. Even though neither of us wanted to be in the relationship anymore and it had so many issues I was still severely attached. When I’m in a relationship I spend every waking second with that person for the most part. My cutting got so frequent and so bad afterwards I literally had a psychotic episode where the cops were called and I was sent to an adult rehab in Denver. They didn’t keep me for the full 72 hours because I was a therapists “dream”. I don’t follow up on counseling, but I now have a really supportive boyfriend who understands my struggles and I read and write to release pain. One thing is true though, Once a cutter always a cutter. When ever I’m sad or I feel depressed you better believe cutting is the very first thing that comes to my mind. It’s something that has to be fought. I will always have an arm full of scars that reminds me everyday what I did to myself. It’s something I’ll fight my whole life. But I’m still here and I will never give up the fight.