The day I took this picture, October 27 2016, was the day I decided I wanted to stop cutting. The uncontrollable losses I'd gone through, finally seemed to be mending themselves. I thought my battle with depression was finally over. I walked along that path, my last razor in hand, staring at the long sleeves covering my secret and all my pain along with it. The autumn leaves were scattered around me. And there was water. Not a lot of water, but enough. It was clear, running, water. As I stood there staring at the water, I decided to do the craziest thing I had ever done -- I threw it away. In doing so, I threw away a piece of myself that I had grown to love. I remember a compulsive feeling to dive in after it. Apologize profusely to it for turning my back. I wanted to return it to its home, but instead, I left it behind. I thought that would be all I had to do, but it was only the first step of a million more.
Within the next few days, I lost someone who meant the world to me. I had distanced myself from my family, believing things about them that were not true. I had only school as my safe haven. I remember being furious at the water that claimed my razor. I walked the familiar path, hoping it would still be there, it wasn't. The razor was symbolic of all the burdens and secrets that I once carried--and the physical object was gone, yet the pain was getting worse. Of course, I found other ways to hurt myself, but it wasn't the same release it once had been. Each time I added a mark to my body, I became enraged with myself, for being unable to stop as I had once promised myself. It wasn't enough, I was not ready to take the next steps to healing. That rage led me to blame others, it was never "my fault" that I "had to" hurt myself-- it was always someone else.
December 2016 became January 2017, at that time I had been clean for almost three weeks... Then I experienced another loss...it felt the things that were keeping me alive were falling away. This time, I lost something I had known my entire life. The loneliness was destroying me. I was leading a life of complete isolation. despite the razor that had long since been carried away, my self harm got worse than it ever had been, but worse than that was the ever increasing desire for death. My home was tense 24/7, I was not allowed to be in the bathroom for long periods of time, I wasn't allowed to be in my room alone, I would scream at my parents daily for ruining my life. I didn't realize they had saved me.
Then, I finally chose to take the second step-- I didn't realize I was doing it at the time, but it was this moment that my life changed. As I lay at the foot of their bed, I asked my parents if they even knew how much I wanted to die. I was fully expecting them to scoff and turn out their light, but they didn't. They came to me, responded to my call, and saved my life. In a single action, my reasons to die became my reasons to live.
Over time, I finally stopped self harming. It took a while, but I got there using a clean sheet of reasons. I was finally happy again. Once upon a time, October 27 2016, I thought my life was finally going to mend. That life would stop driving me to my self harm. Today, October 27 2017, I realize my life was not going to mend itself, I had the ability to stand up and say ENOUGH. I had the choice to change, to stop blaming others for my problems and face my demons. You can too. Say goodbye to your pain, talk about it with a mentor you trust, find your real Reasons, and take the first few steps to recovery.