When I was in the seventh grade I read a book that was about a young girl who had entered rehab for self injury. I had never encountered self injury before, but long story short my young, impressionable, anxiety ridden little mind thought it sounded like a good way to cope. Thus began my messy, painful, brilliant journey for peace inside a hurricane of a mind. As I grew things only got worse. I can remember countless nights of feeling like the sky was falling, my pillowcase soaked with salty tears. Self injury seemed like the only way out. The only way to make my frantic mind quiet. To stop it from running in circles, from replaying every single thing that could go wrong. To be quite honest I didn’t see the harm in it, it was an immediate release and it made me feel better. I wasn’t trying to kill myself so I remember thinking that it didn’t “count.” I thought I could stop. I would go months without it, but as soon as something bad happened the cycle would repeat itself. This went on for five years. When I was in the twelfth grade a friend I had confided in was having a hard time. She said she would see someone if I did, and because she held my heart in her hands, I reluctantly agreed. I hated seeing a counsellor, I thought I could do it on my own, I thought because I came from a good home that I didn’t have a right to feel the way I did. I resisted her help, I wanted to sit in my sadness and be left alone, until one day she said to me, “you’re going to be okay you know. It’s just getting through right now that’s the hard part.” Something about that little sentence made a world of difference to me. It didn’t fix me, I continued to have bad days and relapses. But I always kept that tender moment in my back pocket. Because the sun will always come up tomorrow, and nothing you are feeling now will last forever even if it feels like the sky is falling and you are feeling every human emotion all at once. I have now gone six months without self harming. I have scars now, and on bad days they serve as reminders of every time I thought my soul would crawl it’s way out of my body. But I know those days are temporary. On good days I embrace them, they are a part of my story now, a reminder of where I’ve been and how much I have overcome. A reminder that my body healed itself every time I tried to destroy it. I am still on my own journey for peace. Parts of me still feel broken and old feelings slip through the backdoor when I’m not looking, but I’m better than I was.
I hope you remember that even on days that you do not feel like it, you are such a beautiful human being. Take a deep breath and remember that you are capable of love and compassion and empathy and how amazing that is. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you love yourself even if it’s not true quite yet. Don’t resist help, embrace it, ask for it, there is no shame in that. You will be okay. There are a million other human beings rooting for you if you look for them.
I wish every one of you luck and love on your journey to find your peace.