I don’t remember the exact moment, but I know it changed me irrevocably. Obviously.
I was 12 the first time I cut myself. And I’ve been in this war of relapse and recovery ever since.
It wasn’t until last year that I realized that it’s an addiction. 10 years of this unhealthy relationship and I was only now seeing it for what it was. I even asked my family doctor about it, and she shared the same sentiments.
And it may sound so obvious but think about it – is it ever referred to as an addiction?
We turn to it in the most desperate moments because it offers a relief, if only for a moment. A relief that’s always temporary. And then you always crave it. Even years later into recovery, it’s there in the back of your mind. Every day is a fight to do the right thing and stay clean or sober.
If we talked about self-harm as an addiction, maybe it would help people understand it better, understand those who struggle with it better.
“We couldn’t imagine the emptiness of a creature who put a razor to her wrists and opened her veins; the emptiness and the calm.”
This quote, in one of my art journals, is from one of my favourite books – The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. It’s a beautifully tragic story and the words have resonated with me in a way not many things have.
Self-harm is a part of who I am, whether I like it or not. I will always be in recovery. I have to make peace with that.
I took this photo of my medications at the time when I’d been first diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.
To say this diagnosis changed my life would be an understatement. I have others, but this one is different. Bigger.
Sometimes, when I think about what all comes with living with BPD, I get so overwhelmed at how hopeless it all seems, that recovery was never a road meant for me. But more often than not, I know that’s just the disorder talking. And they all do it – my disorders, of which I’ll delve into one post at a time.
For now, I’ll give you the gist:
Besides BPD, I have been living with severe depression and anxiety for over half of my life, and as a result I turned to self-harming when I was 12 years old. ADHD diagnosis in 2014, PTSD diagnosis at the beginning of 2016.
I need my life to change. I’m ready for it. I can’t let any of these disorders control me anymore. One way I’m changing is through my writing. I’ve been writing all my life and back in December 2015, I decided to really do (or try, rather) something with my talent. I’m writing a book about my mental health journey in the Prose and Poetry genre, and being mentored by one of my favourite authors. As much as it is for me since it’s my story, I want to help others like my mentor has helped me. Give others hope, prove they are not alone no matter how dark or distant they feel.
I hope to connect to others struggling or who can relate. Please feel free to comment or contact me. Because I know I can’t do this alone – no one can.