January 22, 2011
By , Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
'It' is hiding in my bathroom, my body shaking from the effort of not breaking down into sobs. 'It' is thinking to myself, "Shhhh... Breathe deeply. Be quiet, or they'll hear..." trying desperately to follow my own advice, while my family lies scattered throughout the apartment, going on as normal.

(None seem to have noticed that I've been in here a bit too long. They probably won't realise it until they need me, or the bathroom. It's not that they're uncaring, just not very perceptive of my disappearances, considering I'm normally the type to blend into the background anyway. A useful trait...)

'It' is quivering fingers as I slowly pull up the sleeve of my left arm, tugging upwards to avoid the cloth scraping against my skin. Repressing another sob at the sight of it. Criss-crossed lines, some pale in contrast with my true skin tone, others... glaring red. Is this what it's come to? What I've come to?

(Internal, incomprehensible pain being reflected and notched into my flesh with the sharp sting of a blade... Sometimes moving slowly, to savour the pain, but mostly being too wrapped up in the whirlwind of bottled emotions bubbling over to be careful, hacking at my arm with every desire to destroy it. Destroy me along with it...)

'It' is panicking when the rush has died down and the bleeding won't stop. Running my arm under the tap and relishing the sting while at the same time just hoping it'll STOP so I can get out before my family does notice and starts knocking on the door. It's pulling out tissues by the dozen and pressing down hard.

(Don't all the movies and books say to apply pressure on the wound to help staunch the flow? Now to find a way to get rid of the bloody tissues without being seen...)

'It' is hitting rock bottom. Feeling completely and utterly alone, even among people you love and whom you know love you. Numb. Apathetic. Thinking no one could ever understand. Waking is a struggle, breathing near impossible without the hollowness inside making itself known. Being triggered by anything and everything. An innocent remark, a simple mistake, replayed in my mind over and over while growing bigger each time, until self-punishment is the only option. My sweet, self-destructive and addicting coping mechanism. Words and memories paused as the blood escapes with a soft sigh of relief and then a whimper of remorse, because this has now become my instinct whenever I feel wrong.

(Dare not imagine what happens when the remark is not so innocent, and the mistake not so simple, especially when my blade goes with me everywhere I go, tucked comfortingly in my pocket. What was once never an option, turning into a last resort. And then, the only resort...)

'It' is depression. 'It' is self-harm. It's more common than you'd think. It's a coping mechanism and a cry for help, not a superficial attempt at getting attention as so many people wrongly believe. It's not just some sort of phase. It's real. It's happening. It's hard to beat, and even harder to keep it beaten. BUT it IS possible. Alone, or with friends or family or both, it IS possible to beat it. To be happy. You can fight it and win. I promise.

(How do I know? Because I did it. All that remain now are the scars, pale in contrast with my true skin tone...)

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