I have SI’d for over 5 years, and I’m only 16. SI’ing was practically hard-wired into my coping system. I HAD to do it. It made me feel better, at least for a little while. Three months ago my parents announced they were getting a divorce. This nearly sent me spiraling out of control. My entire life I had maintained a careful balance, never letting myself SI to the point where someone might notice. I simply couldn’t keep that balance anymore. I got worse and worse, until finally a friend of mine stepped in. She had noticed the marks and threatened to tell my mother or the crisis counselor at school. She gave me two weeks to stop until she would take action. At the time, I felt this was none of her business, and I was absolutely furious. She didn’t understand how bad things were at home; she didn’t get the kind of stress and pressure I was under; she didn’t get that SI’ing provided the release I so desperately needed and made me forget it all, at least just for a little while. Two weeks was simply not enough time to undo the damage done over 5 years.
However, I am proud to say that today marks one day that I have not SI’d. Although I’ve come close to relapsing several times, I’ve stayed strong. I just wanted to let you know that there IS hope. There are people out there who care and want to help, even if you don’t see or appreciate it. It’s ok to reach out to people and accept the help they offer you. If they’re a true friend they’ll want to help. They won’t get scared and run away, or think you’re weak and not deserving of you’re time. As long as you’re open to helping them understand and to listen to their advice and put some effort into changing, things can get better.
I know I’m not at all out of the woods yet, and I’m sure I’ll face many more instances where the need to SI becomes so strong I almost can’t resist. However, I now know what it feels like to not have to hide my scars and put on an act for everyone, and I don’t want to give it up.