I’m just an average 15 year-old female; well… at least I thought I was. A few years back, I was one of the many unfortunate people to lose a close friend in the September 11 tragedy.
When that occurred, my whole life went down. I felt so helpless, so alone and so depressed. I told no one about myself losing a close friend. I pretended to be happy around people; family, friends and anyone who I came in contact with. No one saw through the mask of happiness I was wearing.
I didn’t feel happy; in fact, I felt far from it. I sat in my room each night, crying and most of all, wanting my friend back. I knew she wasn’t coming back, and that alone was hard to bare with. But knowing the fact that no one knew how I was really feeling, hurt the most. So I turned to self-harming. I did it every night, each time somewhere different on my body. It gradually got worse and I was becoming dependent on self-harm to relieve emotions. I was in pain, and I was covering my body in scars from self-harm.
I got to the stage where I couldn’t move from bed, because my stomach and chest were so sore from all the self-harm I had inflicted on myself. My parents didn’t know about it which in my eyes was good at the time. I didn’t want them to know about it. They believed that I had bruised my ribs in soccer and that’s why I was so sore. I stuck with that excuse as well.
After not going to school for a week, my friends knew something was wrong. They called me and I told them what had happened; that I had bruised my ribs. I didn’t want anyone to know that I was a self-harmer.
After that experience, my life got better. I started to realize that dwelling in my sorrows of my friend being gone, wasn’t going to help anyone. I stopped the self-harm and continued my life as always, remembering that my friend was like a guardian angel to me.
2 years went past and my life was normal. I didn’t self-harm and I felt better than anything. Little did I know that was going to change? Then, 2 days before Christmas, my mom was involved in a robbery at work. That hit me really hard. She was down and distraught about the whole incident and I knew that it was my job to stay strong and to be there for her. So I did. Even though I was really hurting inside, I stayed strong and helped out my mom.
On the nights though, it was a different story. When everyone was asleep, I would be awake. I would sit in my room and cry, and wonder why it had to happen to my mom, especially so close to Christmas. The self-harming started again. Christmas day wasn’t a happy time for me. I was hurting from the pain that I had caused physically on myself, but also about the pain that was inside me emotionally and mentally. Still, I told no one about how I was feeling. I lived with the pain, fighting it, and of course, the self-harming.
It took me two years to realize that self-harming wasn’t the answer to anything. I had to see someone, or at least, tell someone about my feelings. After arguing with myself I decided that telling someone would be the best option. So I did. I went and saw my school counselor. I told her everything; and I felt good about it too. I knew she would help me and she did. She told me ways to stop the self-harming and that telling my parents would be a good thing to do.
After months of counseling with her, I decided to finally tell my parents everything. When I told them that I was a self-harmer, they cried. They didn’t know that I was so emotional. Why? Because I had done such a good job at hiding it. They didn’t expect to hear that I had been harming myself.
Telling my parents that I was a self-harmer was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. I had so much doubt in me about doing it, but after fighting that doubt I had the strength to do it. Since I told them, they have become more aware of my problems. I have told my doctor and he has diagnosed me with depression and anxiety.
I now see a counselor both in school and out of school. I have opened up a lot more to my family and friends, and made them more aware of myself and my condition. Throughout this experience I have realized that self-harming doesn’t solve things in the long run.
My sister was the biggest help for me during these hard times. She stayed there for me, no matter what happened, and supported me throughout the whole time. She was the one I looked to for support before anyone else and she helped me understand different feelings and emotions and ways to solve them.
I’m the luckiest person alive to have a sister like her. I occasionally have anxiety attacks and get depressed, but I have learned that… everything seems hopeless in the middle of a storm, but once the storm clears, its smooth sailing ahead.