I’ve refrained from S.I. for thirteen months now. My stint was short lived, and as a direct result, I feel almost cheated of what I could have been capable of.

I have a great life. I’m set to graduate early from high school, I have an amazing boyfriend of eighteen months, and I have a job and family I love. Yet, I still can’t seem to silence the nagging whisper that tells me everything would be better if I self-injured. I continue to suffer from compulsive self-harm, and am continually working with my sponsor to unlock my motives behind it.

The compulsivity is merely a reminder, every injury like a sticky-note that reads “Don’t forget! You’ll always be who you are.” I see the glamorization of SI everywhere, and it puts me on edge.

I began to self-injure at fourteen, and it began in response to my mother’s alcoholism. It lasted all of three and a half weeks until she found out. I had been searching for recovery in twelve-step groups, but without the support of my friends or family, it was unstable. I met a man shortly after I had attempted to stop the first time.

I treated him poorly. I cheated on him repeatedly, and after the third time, he ended our relationship. I was devastated, but I refrained from S.I. It was when I found out that he had cheated on me, that he had planned to break up with me, yet continued to use me, that threw me over the edge. I was so angry, and I had never learned how to express anger. I was always so busy being depressed, the idea of anger was foreign. With that, I relapsed.

After that episode, my last episode, I was put into a rehabilitation institution, where I learned the tools to help myself. I got back together with my now boyfriend, and we have an extrememly healthy relationship despite our history. Things go much better with my family, and I’ve inspired my mom to quit drinking. I don’t go a day without using my tools.

I can’t afford to interrupt my life again. I work for an amazing woman, who helps me every day with the curveballs life throws. But no one can stop my S.I. but my higher power and me.

These days, I see self-harm glamorized in song, in movies, in television. Usually, I can brush it off. Still, I obsess, and I scare myself.

Lately I’ve been suffering from memory problems, forgetting entire conversations. A week ago I had a dissociative episode where I found myself on the verge of relapse without realizing how I’d gotten there.  I’m afraid. I know I have to be strong, but I only have so much left.

Maybe I can find some odd hope in the people here, those who struggle with the same battle every day. I usually don’t convene with other self-injurers, because I don’t feel I relate, but I need to set aside the contest now before I end up dead or worse–alive and self-injuring.

Thanks for reading all 528 words of this. A few of yours may make all the difference.