"It's Been a While Since I Could Say That I Wasn't Addicted and It's Been a While Since I Could Say I Love Myself As Well."
I'd always assumed the inclination toward self-destruction started when I was thirteen, when I woke up that morning on April the first, and suddenly found myself without the will to live. I'd always thought I had been okay prior to that morning.
When I think on it, though, I realize I've always had a propensity toward self-abuse. I'd always been intrigued by violence. I had a surprisingly high tolerance for pain, even at an early age. And while I never actually purposely inflicted real bodily harm on myself until I was thirteen, I'd never been afraid of it. I remmeber how, if I was upset with myself, I would bang my head repeatedly against the wall in the hallway. I remember how I quickly built up callouses on my feet, as I was always barefoot, because for some reason, the pain of stepping on sharp gravel and pine needles was something a certain part of me actually enjoyed. I bit myself just because the marks it left intrigued me; I hit my own arms because for some reason, I felt as though I just deserved it.
I never had thought much about it before. It was just a part of who I was.
It was after the depression hit shortly before I turned thirteen-and-a-half tha t the more serious self-abuse began. One night, I was making tea and suddenly became overwhelmed with the urge to just pour the boiling water on my hands. I started cutting myself; oh, they were fairly trivial cuts at first, not much more than scratches, but they gradually became worse. I stopped eating for a time, but my best friend (at the time) noticed and put an end to it.
When I started therapy and began taking anti-depressants, the self-abuse stopped for a time. Then it started. Then it stopped again. And once again it started. It was something I could never truly get away from. Whenever I was upset, whenever I felt as though I didn't have control of all that was happening to me and around me, the insatiable urge returned.
During high school, I continued, on and off. I'd obtained a small pair of scissors, and ah, they were sharp. They became my closest friend. They were always in my purse- I broguht them with me everywhere. I would sneak off to the locker room during lunch, bringing a handful of paper towels with me so that the blood wouldn't stain my clothing. I'm not certain if anyone ever noticed the bloody paper towels in the garbage; if they did, they probably didn't think much on it. Toward the beginning of every school year, for the first several weeks of September, the self-harm was particularly bad. I reached a point where my entire left arm was covered. The cuts were not shallow, but somehow, I managed to hardly scar at all. I suppose I'm fortunate. My senior year, I started cutting my shoulders. I found it was far easier to hide, for I could continue to wear short sleeves without anyone noticing. Finally, when I turned eighteen, I decided I couldn't live like that anymore. I got a tattoo on my wrist; a simple tattoo, aye, but it meant something to me. It meant a lot to me. And I haven't cut myself since then.
I thought perhaps I was finally rising above it. The urge was always there, aye, but I was able to overcome it. Despite everything I was going through, I didn't let the self-abuse consume me.
In February 2009, I started doing poorly again. Incredibly poorly. Why, I couldn't really tell you, for I honestly haven't much of an idea myself. But while I didn't actually go back to cutting, I found other ways to abuse my body. Less obvious ways. I stopped eating as much. I hardly slept. I consumed far too much caffeine. They seem unimpressive, I know, and they were. But they weren't good for me, and that was what mattered. I also started smoking regularly, which I also knew to not be good for me. It didn't matter. I quit smoking two months later; it was hell, quitting, but I couldn't afford it. I was still a mess, but I gradually started doing better.
Then I graduated. I'd been so looking forward to that moment, and it was glorious, ah, it was glorious. But it wasn't even a week later that the depression returned, stronger than ever.
It's still there.
I've stopped eating as much again. I've started drinking far too much caffeine. I found a full-time job, and suddenly could afford cigarettes. So I am now smoking once again. And I haven't returned to cutting, no, but I found something else: there is an area on my left arm that is now covered in burns. Cigarette burns. And it hurts far worse than cutting ever did. I don't even try to hide it; I don't even care anymore.
Or so I like to tell myself.
But every time I put out another cigarette on my arm, every time I feel that sharp pain coursing through my body, every time I look at that scattering of burns, and it's so ugly, it's so ugly.... I can't help but wonder what is so wrong with me.
So love, heed my warning, please. Never ever start. Self-abuse is an addiction. It never truly leaves. No matter how hard you try, it never leaves. Get out while you still have a chance. Please.