Recovery from Myself

January 22, 2011
By , Kingsley, PA
Things used to be perfect. Mom and dad never fought, my baby brother was a good kid, I had a lot of friends, and life was simple. When I hit high school (which for me was 7th grade because I’m from a small town), it slowly began crumbling. My parents would argue with each other about stupid little things, my brother got cocky and was in trouble all the time, most of my friends moved or grew distant, and life got difficult.

Because of the changes, I subconsciously began to rebel, not only from my parents, but from everyone. I had thoughts of running away from home and I believe I would have if it wasn’t for having nowhere to go. I started getting worse grades in school than ever before. I just wasn’t trying. I started skipping classes, too.

In December of that year, I was in a study hall with Will, a boy I’d known from the time I was a toddler. We were never really friends, just acquaintances. Something that day made me walk over to the table he was sitting at and pull up a chair next to him. We talked every day after that. One of those days, he told me I was beautiful and he’d like us to be together. Feeling wanted and excited because he was older, I agreed. He was my first real boyfriend.

We dated for about four months. That’s huge when you’re in 7th grade. We broke up over him wanting to be with another girl. I was absolutely heartbroken. After that, we got back together several times, each lasting about three or four months. After a while, I realized that I didn’t really love him like I claimed to have. We talked less and less and gradually stopped altogether.

About a month after that, I noticed that I’d become increasingly upset and angry all the time. Losing him must have been my breaking point. I couldn’t do anything right. Rather than getting help, because I honestly didn’t know I needed it, I went into self-destruct mode. I cried myself to sleep the majority of nights in a week. Sometimes I didn’t sleep at all. When I did, I often had nightmares of people I cared about dying. It terrified me. In combination with not sleeping, not eating was tearing me apart from the inside out. I remember some days I’d be so sick I’d throw up. That started occurring a few times a week. Of course, I never told anyone.

Then, it got way out of hand. I numbed my mental and emotional pain with physical pain. I cut my wrists and burnt myself with hot safety pins. I kept a razorblade and a lighter under my mattress, where I knew no one would ever look. I used them daily; it was an addiction.

One night, I cut my wrist so deep that it wouldn’t stop bleeding. I text messaged my best friend at the time and she talked me through it. Finally, I got the bleeding to cease and meanwhile figured out that I wasn’t alone in this. I continued cutting because it seemed there was nothing else to do.

Weeks later, I was in school when one of my teachers got a call. She came over to my desk and asked me to go down to the guidance office; the guidance counselor wanted to see me. I got up from my seat and walked down, my body shaking the whole way. I had no idea what to expect.

In the counselor’s office, I sat down and was playing with my frozen hands while I stared at the floor. She talked a bit and it was pretty much a blur to me. Then I heard her ask me to pull up my sleeve. Everything stopped- my breathing, my heartbeat, and time.

Knowing full well at this point that I needed help, I did. She gently took my hand and examined my fresh red cuts, my deep black ones, my old scabbed ones, and my even older white scars. To my surprise, she didn’t even wince. My first instinct was to lie, but I knew there were no believable lies to explain this.

My mom found out, as did half of the school. No one looked at me the same. My mother wouldn’t look at me at all when I got home that night. All she had to say is that I was ridiculous and it better stop. She made me feel worse. Even my own mother didn’t want to attempt to understand. It hurt more than anything else I’ve experienced.

I spent most of the next few months in my room by myself, writing poetry and drawing pictures. I find myself to be more artistic when I’m at a low point. When I wasn’t doing either of those things, I was talking to Jake.

When summer came, I hung out with what few friends I had left. I didn’t cut regularly anymore, but when something made me mad or upset, I burned myself. The pain of a cut lasts longer than the pain of a burn and it left behind no bloody mess. If I burned my arm, I would get caught again and probably be sent away, so I burned my thighs or stomach instead.

Spending time with Cheyenne that summer helped me immensely. My mom is best friends with her mom, so we’ve been close since we were born.

One thing, though, helped me then and I know now that it only hurt me. Cheyenne and I were sleeping in her camper one night, and before we went to sleep she asked me if I wanted a cigarette. I had never smoked before. She assured me it wouldn’t hurt anything, so I tried it. At first, it made me sick for a few days, but as I stole some from my parents every night, my body got used to it. The cigarettes calmed me down enough that I could stop burning and cutting, which was good. But then I was caught smoking. I didn’t get in too much trouble, but then my mom found out I had been drinking as well. She didn’t know what to do with me.

So, I quit everything for a while as I was basically under surveillance, gained everyone’s trust back, and started all over again but, of course, no one expected it.

This whole extravaganza lasted through the summer after 7th grade. When 8th grade started, a friend from my younger years was dating a new boy that I didn’t know and he was a grade below us. This boy, Jake, and I became really close friends, in record time. He also cut himself, and we gave each other moral support. However, that wasn’t enough. Our cutting still lasted through that year.
In the summer of 2009, right after 8th grade, I gave up cutting and burning for good, thanks to my best friend of three years, Cody, who is unfortunately no longer around. I’m glad he was a good influence on my life while our friendship lasted. Jake and my relationship also fell to pieces before our eyes.

At the start of my freshman year, I wanted to be a new person. The only problem was, I was scared of what would happen if I stopped suppressing my pain with cigarettes and alcohol, so I continued with those. My very good friend, Kerry, from elementary school tried to talk me out of it. She told me there were better ways, and that she’d always be there for me no matter what. I believed her, but couldn’t kick my habits. They were my crutch, and without them I was afraid I would fall.

Finally, around my birthday in October of 2010, I decided I was killing myself slowly and that was absolutely ridiculous. I needed to stop. I wanted to try to help myself, and if I couldn’t I’d get help from someone else. You wouldn’t believe how strong and independent a person can be. With the help of a few close friends and my cousins, I changed my life for the better.

Things still aren’t perfect at home. In fact, they’re worse. I don’t know what will happen and I’m scared of that, but because I learned that with my support system of family and friends, my music, writing, and art, I can handle it without returning to my old habits. Sometimes it’s tough and I think about resorting back to the simple way out. I know in my heart it’s not worth it.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

Writer12 said...
Feb. 13, 2011 at 6:42 pm
I know exactly how you feel. ur right it is an addiction...and it hurts so much how ur parents find out and they dont try to understand.
Site Feedback