Recovery is one of the hardest things in the world. It’s hard enough often times to even admit there’s a problem let alone that you need to stop. But as a recovering self-harmer*, I know that admitting the problem is the first and most important step.
I started self-harming when I was in 8th grade. Everything for me was going downhill, I felt lost and I felt like my mind was so troubled I couldn’t do anything. When I moved to high school it became even more unbearable. So I chose an escape route. It wasn’t the right one but for awhile I thought it was. I left regular high school and went into independent study. My grades improved, but it did nothing for my mental health. I felt as though had no one to turn too. Though my parents are very supportive of me, there were certain things I couldn’t tell them. I couldn’t tell them all the things in my head and how hard functioning everyday was. I didn’t know what else to do.
Eventually I began to rely heavily on cutting. I would do it, not as an escape method all the time, but just because. I realized that, even though I felt like it was a security blanket, I had to stop. I sought professional help. I saw a therapist and talked over what triggered my moods and habits. I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder.
Despite the diagnosis and doctor visits, it wasn’t helping and I knew I had to stop myself. So I started hiding the things I used or putting them out of reach, leaving them places I knew when I got really upset I wouldn’t bother going too. Little by little I started weening myself from the habit.
I’ve been in recovery for months now. It’s not long and I still have days where I almost relapse or days where I continually think about it. But I’m getting better. By not considering it an option, I’m not giving myself the chance to use it anymore. It’s what best for me and I know that. It’s definitely not easy, but I know I have too and I will continue to push as long and hard as I can.
We’re very grateful to Agape_Eternal for sharing their personal views from The Tempest in a Teacup with us here on the FirstSigns blog; if you’d like us to publish your views and experiences, check out our guidance.
*Some people prefer to avoid the term ‘self-harmer’, but other people don’t focus on the label.