March 1, 2018 is self injury awareness day. Self injury, also known as self harm, is the act of intentionally hurting ones self. November 30 is the day where people where a black ribbon on their wrists if they’ve ever self injured. November happens to also be the month I self harmed for the very first time.
I had just come home from practice and was angry. I had Depression so I didn’t really need a legitimate reason to be angry, being alive was legitimate enough for me to be angry. I was angry, I wanted to hurt something so I decided to take it out on myself. I had cut myself for the very first time that month. I took a pencil sharpener blade and took it to my left wrist. I made about 3 more cuts on my arm before I stopped for the night. About 3 weeks later I was getting ready for school and my dad had knocked on my door to give me something, I was getting dressed so I cracked the door and just put my left arm out to retrieve what he was trying to give me. I had totally forgotten that my arm was all cut up, otherwise I would ave reached out with my right arm. My dad yanked my arm back and asked me what was on my arm, I told him it was nothing, he didn’t buy it. He slammed my door and went into the living room. I heard him crying from my room. My heart broke. Hearing my dad cry because he was so broken, because he was watching his child harm herself and there was nothing he could do, broke my heart . I then vowed, that night, I would stop self-harming.
That vow was broken because the next week I started again. It continued on for 3 more years. It was an addiction. The blades got bigger and bigger, the cuts got deeper and deeper, and the pools of blood on my bathroom floor got harder to clean up. It was brutal. Three years later and my left arm was cut up from my wrist to the top of my forearm. I also cut on my right upper thigh and left lower midriff. I starved myself as another form of self harm. I wouldn’t eat for days and eventually it landed me in the hospital for malnourishment, and eventually I was so underweight that doctors wanted to admit me into a psych ward because I was so very unhealthy.
I would purge my lunch at school, if I even ate lunch, and if I did it would be 3 or four crackers so nothing would come up except blood from the constant strain of my stomach muscles being pumped. I was slowly but surely killing myself. My self harming got to the point where it was so bad that I did it every single day causing me to where long sleeves 365 days a year fearful of the looks I would get from my arm looking like It was just attacked by a shark.
Self harming is a complicated concept. If you’ve never done it then you won’t know why those of us who do do it, do it. I personally started self harming because I was angry and numb. I was angry and wanted to hurt something, so I hurt myself. I was numb and wanted to feel something, so I cut into my skin, I starved myself everyday. Self harm ruined the relationships I had with people, it restricted what I wore, it took over my life.
Millions of teens around the world, boys and girls, self harm every 3 minutes. Sometimes they don’t self harm because they’re trying to kill them selves, sometimes it’s a cry for help or a coping mechanism because it was a coping mechanism for me. So as a celebration of being self harm free I will be wearing a black ribbon on my left wrist on November 30th. If you see anyone wearing one on that day go up to them and tell them to continue to stay strong, because it’s a battle. A dark, silent, painful battle.