TRIGGER WARNING: SELF-HARM, CUTTING.
I think it began when I was preparing to leave secondary school. I was only 16 when I first started cutting myself. I’m not too sure where I learned the concept of self-harm (most likely from the internet; you learn everything from the internet these days) but I believe around that time I was dealing with the inevitable stresses of exams and passing them and I was hopelessly grappling for anything that’ll give me some sort of release or at least help me take my focus off of my exams temporarily.
One night I remember specifically (and this is weird for me because I really don’t remember specific events from my teenage years too well), I locked myself in the bathroom and I sort of just sat there in the most vulnerable position fiddling with this razor and I guess the only thought in my head at the time was “How did I get here?”
But the actual thought of it possibly helping me in some small way cancelled that previous thought and just like that I began pressing the razor against my skin; I was ironically using harm as a means of releasing all this painful anxiety and tension I had been feeling for quite some time.
And it didn’t stop there. I continued for 4 years. On and off of course. But it became my only resort in the long term whenever I experienced any anxious feeling, be it manageable or highly unbearable. It became so bad that I eventually starting collecting razors and storing them nearby for easy access.
I’d start wearing jackets or sweaters everywhere I went, even if the sun was extremely hot out. I would try my best to always keep my hands to my sides most times, so as to make sure that no one ever got the chance to see my wrists at all.
If I can be honest, the thought process that takes place that leads me to self-harm still hasn’t fully clicked. I was made to believe that I’d only do it to distract myself from the matter at the hand; other times I felt though I needed to harm myself for being cursed with depression and anxiety.
Sometimes I just do it unconsciously.
Thankfully, I’ve been about 2 months clean of self-harm and I have been making a conscious effort to avoid the nagging temptation to pick up my razors in times of unbearable stress and anxiety.
I’m no longer ashamed of my scars though. I wear them proudly like my stretch marks (lol), for they remind me of how far I’ve come and that my journey is not in vain.