old china cup eyes
He just kind of stood there like he was waiting for something to happen but nothing ever did. Hours passed but he thought it had just been a couple of minutes. Flames started to dance behind his eyes as the sun started to set and he started walking towards it, as if it made it feel more lively. The rich, autumn colours fell from trees creating a thick path of leaves. Walking by strangers, he flashed a quick, fake smile that was too forced to be anything but artificial.
Daniel sat on a tree trunk overlooking the river, got out a pen and paper and began writing. He closed his eyes and felt nature sweep against his skin. The softness of the wind touched his cheeks. He wrote four painful words down.
I want to die.
I know what you are going to say
Just put that blade away,
put the scissors back in the drawer
where you found them.
Dont let this relapse define you
Dont let your demons define you.
I know what you are going to say.
Forgive your hands for what they have done
to your crumpled paper skin.
Forgive Her for what she has done.
Let your tears fall onto your favourite baby blanket
and hug yourself like you wish
she would and
A recovery story is a messy thing. It has a lot of beginnings and middles. There is no end to a journey such as this one. The story continues. Sometimes it restarts or rewinds back to the start again. It is mostly an internal battle, a war with oneself.
I knew that I had depression before any doctor diagnosed me. It was the beginning of grade 10. I have snapshots of the beginning. A quiet girl hiding beneath layers of clothing, looking down with no ounce of confidence. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I couldn’t shake off this feeling of not belonging not only with my friends, at my school but also in this world. As the days grew more hazy and cloudy, I started missing school and skipping classes. My anxiety kept me in bed for days and days. Being a shy person before the storm hit, i went unnoticed in school – sitting in the back of class, rarely.. in fact, never raising my hand to answer a question (even if i knew it). I perfected the act of pretending to be fine. My smile turned into a straight line of grief that i did not know what to do with. As my illness worsened, I dug myself deeper into my grave. I began self harming later that year to get relief from my emotions and intrusive thoughts. Little did i know, i had some friends who saw the cuts on my arms and legs and told a councillor. Little time passed before my school got involved and notified my parents. I continued struggling even more with harming myself. I didn’t know then, but that was the best thing i could do at the time. Letting someone know that i wasn’t fine is what helped me.
I sat in children’s Emergency for a mental health evaluation, it wasn’t until the next morning when i finally was given a diagnoses of depression and prescribed medication. Months went by very slowly and very fast. I felt like a ghost with a beating heart. My name was put on waiting lists and programs i wasn’t sure i wanted to be on. I went through the programs and courses. I saw countless therapists and counselors but nothing really seemed to fit for me. I tackled each day, forcing myself to leave my bed, going from class to class. I lived as my diagnoses, it became my only identity as i lost myself in a very dark and never ending place i wasn’t sure i could escape from. I didn’t notice the medication helping me or the therapy. At this time i felt hopeless and helpless. I acted inwards, taking out all of my frustration on myself. My friends stopped talking to me and I stopped trying to talk to them, my family tried to talk to me – and they did their best. I started bingeing and purging, starving and restricting. There was no middle ground. It was one extreme or the other. Negativity sunk into my pores as exhaustion took over me. Of the many times I’ve tried to commit suicide, something always took over. A desire to live again. Some people find it helpful to get in touch with religious beliefs, like prayer or another higher power. For me, writing became my religion. Writing poetry or simply writing stories was the one thing keeping me alive.
I started an intensive outpatient program, i was able to connect with a therapist and that alone made a difference in me. This therapy has been very beneficial for me. Throughout this year, I have become a strong and even more passionate individual. It took me a very long time to realize that this was the right thing to do for myself. I couldn’t of come to this decision without the help of a very special friend who helped me along. Through my struggles I’ve been able to achieve awards and graduate from high school on time. I am now learning that i do not need to act on my thoughts, emotions, intrusive suicidal ideations. I have gone through so much already in my short life, more than your everyday teenager could comprehend.
My story is still being written, day by day i flip another page. As a mental health sufferer, survivor and advocate I want to help others that are in my place, I want to help erase the stigma surrounding mental illness. I wish for my life to be filled with more smiles and less tears. I understand now, that there will always be positive and negative aspects to life – now i have learned the skills i need to deal with any triggering events that come up. My journey has been long and painful but it has been hopeful and it has offered opportunities. My journey has not ended and it will continue on. I’ve met many amazing people that have been helpful to me and it is because of their support, i have been able to see myself as they’ve always been able to see me. I have found purpose in pain. I believe that with immense struggle, comes strength.
I am determined to win, to keep pushing through the hard days because even though it doesn’t always seem like it- there is some good in everyday. I have committed myself to learning how to live opposed to just existing. The only thing I ever really needed was the “right” support to get me back on track. I wanted to feel like I was worthy and deserved a better and fulfilling life. I’ve learned that i dont need to be “fixed”, there was nothing wrong with me in the first place.
Self Harm is the act of deliberately harming your body. Self harm is commonly misunderstood in our society. There can be many reasons why someone self harms. It could be that they feel that they deserve the pain, so they use the act of self harming to punish themselves. Others may self harm to get relief from the pain and distress that they are in.
On a hot summer day I wore a blue sweatshirt and jeans. It’s the time of year when most teenage girls would be wearing tank tops and shorts but i wore the complete opposite. I grew to hate the summer months knowing i’d be spending most of my time figuring out how to cover/hide my self harm scars that took over my arms and legs. That day I felt sick to my stomach with heat stroke so I decide to take off my sweater, my arms revealed. Then, an 11 year old boy asked me what happened to your arms? Are you Emo?, Do you cut yourself because your Emo? I froze. My lips wouldn’t move. Everything after that was an uncomfortable blur.
1) Self Harm is a suicide attempt.
Self Harm is not an act of suicide. Most people who are self harming in fact, use it as a way to stay alive. People who self harm view it as a way of coping with life. Also, Self harm can cause changes in brain chemistry, which gives the effects of a “rush” and can easily become addictive and highly dangerous. A lot of people think that self harm and suicide are the same thing, when they are most definitely not.
2) Only Teenagers self harm
It is true that self harm is very common in teenagers, but people of all ages self harm. it is not just a teenage phase or trend.
3) Self Harm is just attention seeking
For some people they do self harm for attention. But, the majority do not. Those who self harm go to great lengths to try and hide their cuts and scars.
4) People who self harm enjoy the pain
Self harm hurts. Sometimes feeling the pain is the point. Feeling something tangible can help the inner turmoil that no words can do justice.
5) People who self harm can stop if they want to
Self harm can be very addicting and once you start it becomes self medicating to the point where you feel like you need it to survive. People can learn how to cope differently using more effective skills through therapy but for some people it is very difficult to stop self harming.
Bulimia’s hair is tangled
like a six year old
who wont take no
for an answer
Lips coated in
sugar and shame
and teeth bleached by the
crawling stomach acid.
her body hides
long sleeves, cardigans
she has been here
since the very beginning
held my hand as i
crossed the street
to the corner store
wiped the tears
from my cheeks
she stays by my side
a childhood friend
that never went away
with every calorie missed
every dinner I skipped
is a pat on the back
a job well done
that only caused
more pain to try
To lose another is to
wallow in self pity
all there is
another catastrophe of
Facing the fear
of pushing away and letting go
I don’t know
what to do now with you
the furthest away.
crave and crushing
there is nothing but immense
mistrust found beneath the dirt
laid amongst the bones.
set in stone. Lost and not
found. A desire of destruction.
only to be heard in the silence
sung by metal sharpness.