Today at exactly 4:00 p.m., it will have been five years since the first time I cut myself. I can clearly remember the pain that came from scraping my arm over and over with a pair of scissors because I didn’t know how to acquire regular blades until a few months later. The scraping obviously hurt, but it made me forget what was bothering me. It felt nice.
Every year since I turned 10 years old, I have something that I like to call my Spring Crisis. My Spring Crisis comes when I contemplate my existence in the vast universe every year around my birthday, but as I have grown older it became a bit more complicated than that. You see, 2012 was an awful year for me. This was the year that I became depressed, started hurting myself, tried to kill myself numerous times, and developed my addictive personality (along with overall suicidal tendencies). Now when I refer to my Spring Crisis, I refer to the spring when my life changed for the worse – when I developed habits that have haunted me ever since.
Now, my Spring Crisis revolves around three specific events: March 19th, March 31st, and April 17th. These events are my birthday, the first time I tried to kill myself, and the first time I ever hurt myself. This also happens to be the order of how bad each crisis is.
I want you to imagine the worst day of your life. Pretend you are stewing over that memory for hours, for days, for months on end. Imagine your sadness or pain that gets so bad that you consider taking your own life. Imagine actually trying out that idea and failing several times. Combine failing to kill yourself, relentless bullying at school, a struggle between religion and how you identify as you start to figure out who you are personally, and parents who berate you for not having the same beliefs as them. This is what eventually led me to begin my journey of self-harm.
Now, I could bore you with the story of how my mom dragged me to church as a result of this or how this eventually led to me developing an eating disorder, but I’m not going to do that. Today is specifically about April 17th, 2012 at precisely 4:00 p.m.
I had a friend named Jennifer that would hurt herself to deal with her emotional problems and I wanted to see if it would help me as well. I heard stories about people going too deep and slitting their vein accidentally, so I chose a place on the side of my forearm and scraped it with a pair of red scissors. The very next day, I began searching for ways to stop hurting myself, but that one scrape of pain had me hooked. It made me forget about everything else and focus on the pain, on the present. I knew I would do it again, so I made rules. Only cut every other day, don’t cut over another cut or scrape, and make sure somebody knew about each and every one of them.
Back then, I never would have guessed just how much I would end up hurting myself. On one occasion, I nearly slit my vein while trying to go so deep that I would forget about the woes of high school. I never dreamed that it would eventually get me sent to a mental hospital, but these were risks that I was already aware of.
My advice to you? Don’t start self-harming in any way, shape, or form. If you do, please reach out to someone around you or one of the numerous hotlines that can be found all throughout the internet.
Stay strong, stay safe.