- posted by:
The Self Harm Experiences Project: Chris
Todays’s submission comes from Chris, who has agreed to share a story with us.
TRIGGER WARNING: MAY CONTAIN GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS OF SELF HARM.
First off let me say that the notion that the only people who harm themselves are dramatic teenagers looking for attention is absurd and ignorant. These people, the depressed and alone, are everywhere: your boss, your best friend, even your mom or dad. There is no way to know who is suffering on the surface and making assumptions only helps to worsen the stigma and ignorance that is so prominent in today’s society toward mental illness.
I guess to start off, I should state that whatever sadness I have felt in my life has not always been with me. I lived a very happy childhood. I had friends, played outside during whatever free time I had, and excelled at the usual activities that are expected of a child. This darkness that so many of us feel only started to manifest itself later in my teen years.
As I grew from a child into an adult, the usual confusion that takes place was all too apparent in my own life, I mean how can you not be confused when everything about life (including your own body) is changing so quickly? While things were definitely changing physically, I also started to experience huge changes mentally. The once playful thoughts of playing outside and being with friends soon changed to thoughts and fears about the future, what to make of my own life, and questions about this ridiculous life as a whole. While these very same thoughts may fairly commonplace among teens, it seems as common that they grow out of this mindset and mature into a healthy adult thought life.
These thoughts, mixed with a swell of social awkwardness and loneliness of being moved across the country eventually led me to the place of self-harm. I very vividly remember the first time sitting alone in a dark bathroom with a razor and the thoughts that came with it. By that time in my life I had come to a place of pretty strong self-hate due mostly to social anxiety and the like. I had come to the conclusion that this body that I was in, this collection of skin and bones, was not really me at all, but some kind of broken reflection. Whatever was on the outside was wrong, it was a lie, and I hated it. I despised this flesh I was trapped in. I wanted to break and destroy it, I wanted it to look as broken and bruised as it had made me feel on the inside.
As you can imagine, this is not at all a healthy mindset. Time passed, my thoughts grew darker, and I continued to harm myself, sometimes taking it to pretty drastic measures. A few times I would find myself, hours past, sitting in a small pool of my own blood shaking and weeping, praying for whatever god existed to take this life from me. Those were probably the hardest moments: deciding to crawl off the floor and try to go about my day like I was okay.
Since then, I have slowly gained the courage to examine my problems with myself and work to be, if nothing else, learn to be content in who I am as a person. This is the important part. While we all go through dark times in our lives, it’s most important to realize that there is always hope for it to get better. As a wise man once said, we need the dark times to remind us how good the bright times are.
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