(Trigger Warning) My Addiction: Harming Myself
TRIGGER WARNING: Contains sensitive topics such as depression, anxiety, suicide, and self-harm. Please refrain from reading the article if you are triggered by these topics.
Why I Did It
If you have not read my article about my struggle with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, you should probably check it out before reading this article in order to provide you with an in-depth understanding of my struggles.
However, a quick summary of that article is that self-harming became my coping mechanism ever since I was fifteen years old.
I was aware that it would just leave ugly scars on my body; I was aware that people, especially older people living in a very conservative society, would disapprove of me. I was aware that this was not a good coping mechanism, and most especially, I was aware that this could lead to serious injuries.
Self-harming does not only include cutting but also intentionally harming yourself when doing daily activities, performing an unsafe and risky intercourse, and binge eating among others just to cope with that feeling of emptiness and overwhelm at the same time.
However, among those things, I was addicted to cutting. It was not something I am proud of, and I strongly discourage everyone who does it. I did it because it became more like an impulse to me than a coping mechanism, there were times when I would feel like just cutting myself when I cannot think properly in order to feel more alive - but I would feel numb at the same time. My cuts started small, until they slowly turned longer and deeper, until it turned to suicidal attempts already because self harming was not working for me anymore.
The time I had my second suicide attempt was the time I stopped to get help.
Why I Stopped
I had my last suicidal attempt last December 2019. I remember skipping my afternoon classes that day. I had a breakdown inside a cubicle in the bathroom of my university, and I remember the scared look in my boyfriend's eyes when I was doing nothing but drawing circles and circles and circles on the back of my notes for my major subject. I drew so much circles that I broke two pens (which he tried to get from me to get me to stop). It was almost like I was not in control of myself and all I could think of was going home and taking all the pills I have or maybe stab myself. I went home at 12:30 in the afternoon that day, and I was crying while walking home. When I opened the door of my dorm, I saw my little brother sitting on the bed and asked me if I already ate as soon as I got inside. I felt an instant heartache because it was almost like a sign that I should not push through my plans. His presence saved me from myself for a moment, but when he turned around to cook some food, I took 16 pills, went to bed and cried myself to sleep, but before that, I messaged one friend about what I was about to do - told her to take care of my boyfriend for me and tell my family that I'm sorry. I fell asleep with a light pain in my stomach and wished to never wake up again.
I woke up around 5:00 in the afternoon, I cried because I woke up. I immediately went to the bathroom to cut some more. Then, my boyfriend messaged me and asked me to meet him outside my dorm. I said no, but he waited and waited, until I went out to meet him. We talked about what happened and he wanted to bring me to the hospital because he said I could have some complications, I lied and told him I vomited them already.
I had nothing on my mind that time, I was thankful that I was alive, because honestly? I did not want to die. I just wanted to feel okay. But then, someone came walking towards me, crying - it was the friend I messaged earlier. Her eyes were so red, and I could feel how afraid she must have felt, she dragged me on a corner and hugged me. She kept crying and crying and it broke my heart. Then I thought, "I wish I died instead so I did not have to see this in person" because of the heartbreak I was feeling.
I stopped self harming because of her.
I stopped self harming because she made me realize that even if its only a small number of people that will be sad when I die, they will be the people that I care about the most.
My boyfriend, when we started dating, said he was too scared to look at my scars. He learned how hold my hand, look at my scars and tell me with the most sincere eyes ever, not to do it again. I have been clean for four months now, and everytime he sees my scars fading he would always say "look! They're fading!" and he would give me the biggest smile.
My Road to Recovery
I have been on therapy and medications since September. I stopped self-harming in December (2019).
I have found new coping mechanisms today such as exercise, and writing. I still get the urge to cut, but the thing that prevents me from doing it is looking at my arms and look how my scars are fading. Although, there's this one deep scar that will never fade and it will always remind me of the hurt that led me to cutting myself that deep.
Please, please, please, if you are like me, please find reasons to stop. The smallest things would mean the world. Believe me, people were not kidding when they tell us that everything will be okay. Everything will be okay, you do not have to hurt yourself even though your mind tells you to. Keep fighting, you are strong, you are doing great, and I am proud of you.