I decided to write this piece as the last few weeks have been very difficult for me emotionally and mentally and lately I have been told of so many people who have committed suicide or ended up in a psychiatric unit for depression and other disorders.
As I have said before I suffer from depression I was also a cutter through the majority of my teen years and early adult hood, this is the first time I am saying this openly it is not something I have ever admitted to or spoken openly about, but I finally have accepted that is not something to be ashamed about and talking about it can only help me and others who may be going through the same thing.
I cannot remember what made me pick up a blade for the first time, I can’t even say that I had any issues that really warranted such a severe outlet, I just remember that I was angry, frustrated and pretty much that I hated myself, in other words I was a typical teenager.
However at the time it was the only way for me, and once I started it became my solution for pretty much every situation, it was also something I managed to hide from all my friends and family, only a few of my partners and close friends ever figured it out or knew because I wanted them to and could talk to them, I had partners who encouraged it as they also did it and even then I knew that it was a very unhealthy and frankly unstable thing to do but I did it anyway, the point was for me that it was something I did for myself no one knew about it and I like it, and the more I learnt to rely on it the easier it became to use as a crutch for everything.
It pretty much got me through my teen years and I found another outlet in the form of my diet, society and people are cruel and in my eyes I was the very epitomy of what society termed as unattractive- I had been overweight my whole life and at the end of grade 11 decided that enough was enough, I started gyming and eating well, which was great however it was never good enough and soon I was gyming for up to 6 hours a day and eating virtually nothing besides apples, salad and the odd cracker, I hid this well under baggy clothes and was only spurred on by my mother’s encouragement, who bless her heart only saw her daughter becoming what the public perceived as more attractive, the more weight I lost the more attention I got and I loved it so I just kept on losing until I dropped to around 50kg, no one really realised how much I had lost until my matric dance, when I look at the photos it actually makes me feel ill, my bones were protruding and I looked like a lollipop girl, I looked sick and I was I just didn’t want to admit it, every time I looked in the mirror I saw a fat unattractive girl looking back at me and I developed what my councillor termed as body dismorphic disorder.
When my ex and I started dating I was happy really happy, I started to relax with my diet and stopped cutting and then I fell pregnant with my son and I completely let go of everything, I was happy and I was pregnant there was no need for me to have that control anymore, everything was great until my son was born and my ex cheated I was heartbroken and once again needed an outlet and I found my way back to old ways and this is what I want to bring to point.
I was a mom I had an innocent baby in my life whom I should have been thinking of, people always say how could that person have left their family behind how could they have been so selfish and it is the truth, cutting, depression those things can be a very selfish outlet to find one’s self in, at the time you are only seeking a solution to your pain, anger and frustration it is very easy when it is something that you have used for so long to tell yourself that it is the only way to help, to make things better and that everyone would be better off without you, it is selfish but at the time you don’t feel that way and are in a space where you frankly are not thinking very logically you just want to make it better, you don’t want to feel that way anymore and the problem or whatever you are facing can just build up where it becomes too much to bear and that safe space allows you to just free yourself from everything.
Over the years it has become easier for me to push those feelings aside with therapy I have taught myself to think before I do anything ‘stupid’ and have managed to stay away from any form of self-mutilation since the birth of my 2nd son with the help of my husband who is amazing, it isn’t easy we don’t keep blades in our home and my husband is very diligent of my moods my highs and lows, there are good days and bad days but I force myself to think of those around me my children, my husband what will happen if I leave them, how could I bear never seeing them again or letting them see their mom/ wife go through this.
Life today is hard, for everyone, some of us handle it better than others or healthier than others, some of us are strong in certain areas and not as strong in others, my advice to anyone who is going through this is to ask for help or to find someone to confide in, there is always something to live for you maybe just haven’t found it yet or are just not able to see it at the time, if you know someone who is going through this, they don’t need to be told they are selfish or a bad person, they just need someone to understand, even if you don’t like it just listen it may be the difference between a good or bad ending, they are who they are and are not bad or purposely doing for the sake of hurting others they are simply trying to get by in same and most cases the only way they know how.
It has taken me many years to come to terms with my issues and to be ok with myself, I still look at myself in the mirror and critisize but now I am more mindful of being healthy and comfortable in my own shoes instead of the preception of others, I still struggle on a daily basis but I am lucky to have the support structure that I have I know not everyone is so lucky, I dont know if this piece will do any good for anyone but I think everyone feels somewhat lost and out of place at some time or another and thats ok, we are all different we all have our issues and it is those differences that set us apart and make us who we are noone is perfect there are some who may think they are and it is great to love yourself and be happy with yourself but not to the detriment of others or to make people feel low in order to raise yourself up, if someone asks you for help it is not your place to judge but to help even if you just lend an ear it can do so much more than you realise, it is probably why I am still here today and I am so grateful for it.