Self harm, for most, might seem like an extreme path. You might find it nauseating, stomach curling and just plain uncalled for.

For me it has been an escape route. A fight for control.

I first turned to self harm when I was 14.

I remember the day vividly. I got home from work, the sun was bouncing through my bedroom window. I was meeting a friend later and I was quite excited. The memories of the previous nights disco dancing were still fresh on my mind. I called him from outside the club. I thought he too might be out chasing the night.

Back to that day, the bedroom.

The phone rang and I took the call.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

He’s dead.

Bobby is dead.

Bobby was a friend of mine. We had romantic feelings for each other but I was taking my time. Just the other day he was on the phone asking me over to his house for dinner with his family. I was scared of things moving too fast, so I made an excuse.

The caller continued telling me the reality that hovered over that day.

I had a glass candle holder. It generally sat looking out the window but through the course of the conversation I found it grasped in my hand. My grip growing tighter.

I could see the blood trickling down my hand but I felt nothing.

That’s where it began.

When the pain set in I wasn’t in control. When the pain from the glass set in, I was.

And it continued. Every time I found myself loosing control of my emotions I turned to self harm. Glass, razors, keys, paper.. anything that would bring the release, the comfort.

I wore long sleeve shirts and lied about falling into stock cages at work.

I hid it well but they found out eventually.

I’m not proud of my coping mechanisms but they were exactly that, they helped me cope. I can only hope I never go back to that place. If self harm is the pit stop before a suicide attempt, then I’ll take that pit stop. Regaining control, or what it felt like at the time, gave me enough space to not want to proceed to a suicide attempt.

If you are struggling with self harm please reach out. Talk to anyone, talk to me. There are better ways of coping.

love xo

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