Serious trigger warning!!!
The following post contains details and images regarding self harm, abuse, and hospitalisation. Please be cautious when reading.
I never thought I’d be able to write this post. It seemed like too big a challenge. How could I break a habit I’ve had for most of my life?
No, I’m not talking about my recent adventure in quitting smoking. That was easy compared to this.
I’m talking about self harm.
As I write this, I’m two YEARS clean.
No more steri-strips, bandages, making sure no one is awake. No more dismantling sharp objects. No more temptation with medication.
I can now listen to My Immortal by Evanescence, or Circles by Hollywood Undead, without feeling panic or like I’m being triggered.
Two years ago today I ended up in hospital after a fairly serious OD caused by some financial issues. I don’t remember all that much. I just wanted everything to stop. Twenty-four hours of drips later, I was incredibly lucky that my liver and kidneys were clear. I could go home.
That was the last straw. It was too close, too dangerous. All I could think was what if I’ve done real damage? Would I be leaving Feena motherless?
Granted, the lack of support from many in my circle at the time was unhelpful. Two years ago, I was surrounded by people who were more acquaintances than friends. People I talked to online more to pass the time. These were quick to remind me of how selfish I was. How stupid.
Thankfully, I am free of those now. I still speak to some people from my old life, but not many.
It is here, two years on, that I wish to address a few people who need to hear some truths.
To 12 Year Old Me
You’re just a kid. It’s okay. How they treat you is not fair, and it’s not your fault. You are worth so much more than you believe. You are loved. You are special. You do not need to take your clothes off on webcam for strangers on the internet. You do not need to do that to be worth something. Don’t you see? You already are! You intelligent, brave girl, I promise that it will get better. You are stronger than all of them.
To 16 Year Old Me
You’ve come so far. I’m so proud of you. Look at your GCSEs. You did all that despite all that was going on. Not everyone can say that. Please, please try and find self worth. You are not your peers or your half sisters. You are you, and that is okay. You are enough just as you are.
To 17 Year Old Me
This year, you will meet someone amazing. Remember this moment. It will come back later. One day.
Also, don’t worry about it getting too much. If you need a few months, that’s fine. It’s no big deal. It’s them that’s the problem. Granted, you’ve got a bit of a temper, but these people are dirt. Please, stop caring about the words and thoughts of insignificant people.
To 18 Year Old Me
Again, you do not need to take your clothes off for validation, but if you enjoy it then it’s fine. You might not be a stereotypical model, but you do you. If it gives you confidence then maybe it’s a necessary evil. At least then you can say you tried something new. But you never ever have to do anything to try to feel like you’re worthwhile.
To 19 Year Old Me
See! You got into Uni. Well done. You have really come so far. You won’t fit in, but where’s the fun in that? Make the most of your time. It passes really quickly from here.
To 21 Year Old Me
Congratulations! You’re going to have a girl by the way. She will be the first step towards your healing. You won’t be a perfect Mama, but you’ll do your best.
To 24 Year Old Me
I know it hurts. A lot. I won’t lie to you. You won’t deal with this pain for a long time. In my present, it’s still not properly dealt with. You will cope with it though. It feels like you’re drowning, and you’ll succumb to the desire to self harm so many times, but you’ll make it through.
You still don’t need to do things to feel wanted. This will be the year that webcams return, as well as telephone lines. Yes, it’s easy money, but do you really need that to feel like you’re attractive or good enough? You aren’t this person. You’re so much more.
To 28 Year Old Me
Please, please stop getting in so many bad relationships. The people you’re interacting with are part of your problem. You’re liaising with those who take, those who can’t deal with your mental health. Enough of people who run at the first sign of trouble. You need to find someone who can appreciate you for who you are, not despite it.
Some financial problems will come your way. Please, try not to panic. Do not turn to the medicine cabinet. You are so much better than that. You deserve so much better. Come on, there’s a good girl. Come away from that edge and talk about it.
You may not have any visitors. You might be sat there alone watching others have loved ones doting on them, but you are still amazing. Look at you. Sat in that bed spending your time looking after the others on your ward who need support, rather than wallowing. You are a fighter. You are strong. You may have made a bad choice but you also helped a woman in distress. You are amazing.
Remember I told you when you were 17 about meeting someone? You’ll re-meet him. He will be just as brilliant as you remember. He will also be amazing with Feena. It will end with you moving across the country to live with him, but that’s okay, as Feena will truly excel at her new school.
To 31 Year Old Me
I’ll be seeing you in just over 6 months. You best still be working ahead. I’ve put in a lot of work to become you. You need to shine. I hope I’ve lost that excess weight. That would be nice as the belly pouch does not feel attractive in the slightest.
I hope you are still writing too. Right now, I love my writing. Bordering Bears is a small blog, but the writing business is starting to take off. How many clients do you have?
Are you happy? I hope that you are. You deserve it.
The images are below the following section.
Looking back, I feel like I was far too hard on myself as a child. I tried so much to fight something that was beyond me and out of my control. I also made so many toxic choices in the hopes of being liked or feeling like I was worth something.
In actual fact, I always was, but I was in too low a place to see it. There has been so much progress made over these years. Some days, I wish that my arms were free of scars. Others, I like to look at them and remember all those times I thought I couldn’t get by, yet here I am living and excelling.
For any person, beating self harm can be difficult and challenging. If you take just two things away from this article, let it be that people can recover from their demons, and to always treat people with kindness.
Below are the images that show just how different things can be.
Main Image: Ver in 2020, happy and healthy.
Left Image: Ver on 31st July 2018, after admittance to hospital after the last OD. This picture was taken after five hours of vomiting from the antidote.
Right Image: A side-by-side of the OD IV on 31st July 2018 and the last self harm bout before that, on approximately 24th July 2018. Since these, there have been no more relapses.