Beating an addiction that took away years of my life

I just want to say firstly if you ever get the urge to hurt yourself for the first time please muster up every bit of strength inside you to resist. If that means getting rid of the temptation, asking someone to stay with you until your okay or even spending hours watching funny cat clips on YouTube. Anything at all. Just don’t hurt yourself 

If I could turn back time I would do anything and everything to stop myself making that first cut. It’s so long ago I’ve forgotten how it started, when it started and what started it. Whether I just can’t remember or I’ve blocked it out I couldn’t tell you. Something traumatic happened in Easter of 2011 and after that I spiralled internally and emotionally out of control. I was barely getting three hours of sleep a night and had conpletely disassociated from reality. So much so that I had the most absurd delusions and no one could convince me of any different. 

How accurate the following accounts are I can’t say for certain. It’s the best of my knowledge to what went on. I had came in from school one day in a lot of distress. I paced my room for a long time and then locked myself in my walk-in wardrobe. I saw my full size mirror but I don’t remember seeing my reflection. Next thing I know I had put my whole fist through it. As you can imagine it went from there. From that it became a regular occurrence. Externally I was doing everything my peers were doing. I’d go to discos, I flirted with guys and still continued horseriding. The only thing that was different was that my thighs were starting to build up a collection of marks. Old and new. If I was going to a disco the following weekend I made sure not to go below the bottom of the dress. I stayed away from the beach and the girls p.e changing room became my biggest fear. 

There had been a time when I wasn’t eating before this. A lot of people felt the need to comment on this. That I was looking for attention, I think one may have went as far to say I was a “wannabe anorexic” . Nobody questioned what was so wrong inside that my stomach was in a complete knot most moments of everyday. Or why my eyes flickered with torment and why I struggled to even swallow my own saliva never mind food. Surely you must know at this stage that every behaviour has a trigger? Apparently not. I was critiqued for something beyond my control. It always annoyed my how big a world school was. Teachers expected good grades and essays while my peers expected excuses. I could have told you any excuse and my reason still wouldn’t be accepted. The joys of teenage years eh. So I hid it and I hid it very well. I didn’t think I’d keep hurting myself. I intended to hold it all in till the day came to walk away from everything. I never once imagined that five years later I’d still be destructions arms. 

I walked out of a suicide attempt that should have killed me me completely untouched and unscathed. I couldn’t even describe how much this angered me. I’d woken up alive and my attitude couldn’t have been fouler. The crisis team searched for the answers with concern. I threw every question blatantly and rudely back in their face. My file was in front of me, the stickers from the heart monitor was still stuck to me, bandages on my wrist and my parents beside me talking through tears. I continued to deny it. Coldly replying “I have no idea what your talking about” to every question. 

Looking back now I wish I could have woke up with regret and gratitude that I was alive. I’d more than likely be in my second year in college now studying forensic science and trying to plan my future. That didn’t happen. It obviously wasn’t the path or journey meant for me at that time. 

My journey didn’t begin there. The fact that I actually made it till there suprises me. It had begun long before that. That was just when it came to light. When the people around me started to notice just how much I was struggling and how unwell I really had been. People had asked my friends if I was taking drugs. Everyone knew deep down I wouldn’t touch drugs but I guess it just seemed the most likely explanation for my bizarre behaviour at the time. Mental health in young people definetly wasn’t talked about back then. My granny would forever be saying “sure ah young one like you, what have you to be depressed about” . Little did she know how much society had changed. 

I got admitted into psychiatric care which wasn’t the best idea. But it was the safest. So they felt. 

The self harm got more obvious along with more violent. A lot of the time I wasn’t allowed leave the ward. I stopped caring. I had detached from reality, from my family but more importantly all hope disappeared. As my intent became more known more restrictions got put into place. I pushed against the boundaries and began to realise I was unstoppable. It was just a matter of time. I didn’t want to stop so it never occurred to me that I actually couldn’t. The addiction was taking over and I didn’t even realise. I was becoming more manipulate and more secretive, higher risk with everyday. I just thought I was gathering new information and was more knowledgable of the task that preoccupied my days and stole each night. It was nothing to do with anyone else and they had no right to stop me. This was the attitude I had consumed. 

The sneakiness crept up on me and the lies became second nature. The truth was too dangerous. Everything and anything within my reach was used. I didn’t use what was just mine. It was everything. If that meant climbing through the office window to get a scissors that’s what I would do. It meant stealing blades from boots and pencil sharpness from school. So bad as to searching for a compact mirror in my room mates make up bag while she was off the ward. I would literally do anything, find anything to hurt myself. I could have glass segments in my pocket and a knife in my bra band while looking the staff in the eye and promising them I didn’t have anything on me. Laughing and joking for goes so they couldn’t read the determination in my eyes or the well thought out plan in my head. It meant room searches and strip searches. Plastic cutlery and sterile rooms. The ward being stripped and a never ending list of new contraband items each week. 

It must have been constant turmoil for the other patients who were there to try deal with their own problems. Some many of them suffered over the restrictions in place from my doing. If I got my hands on it it would be used. PlayStation games broke, cups smashed and shoes missing. Guilt or remorse never occurred to me. I had a ignorant view of if I succeed I won’t have to deal with it. I was determined, angry and detached from everything else. 

I remember waking up on the bathroom floor. I was after doing something and I couldn’t open my eyes or lift my head. I could hear the nurses and doctor talking.     “We heard the bang from the kitchen”   “I honestly had no idea she would do this, I had just checked on her” “she was sitting in the kitchen five minutes ago having tea with us” I opened my eyes and tried to sit up. I looked at their pained faces. I saw shock, hurt, guilt and horror but all I could think of was “fuck them anyway. Why the hell did they have to put me through the constant agony of yet another day. Why couldn’t they just let me go. Assholes” 

I resented the staff for constantly interrupting my plans. I detested the doctor for looking into my eyes rather than believing the facade of bullshit that flowed from my mouth. I dispised the girls who would rat out my hiding places and  confirm the nurses suspicions. Funnily enough them two gals are my best friends now but I wanted to punch them at the time for butting in and ruining my intentions. 

I was addicted to the pain. It had destroyed my once caring personality. I was bitter with hate. It sabotaged every relationship. It replaced trust with allegations and constant suspicions. It robbed my siblings of the attention they needed. It undid any bit of rest my mother got and consumed those around me with constant fear.

It took away my education, my friends, my hobbies. It demolished any bit of joy I ever had. With each wound I lost another part of myself. My conscience was non existent. I thought I was getting rid of the pain. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Somehow in my mind I thought when I bled the hurt inside was leaving with it. There was times I passed out in a pool of my own blood. When I woke up I wouldn’t feel anything inside. I thought this was due to the maladaptive release. It was because I was distracted by a pounding headache from hitting my head on the way down. Not because self harm had been proven to work. Can I just point out it doesn’t. Don’t believe them fucked up tumblr posts or the lyrics Eminem raps about it. Take it from an account of someone who knows how dangerously addictive it really is. 

I’ve made unbelievable progress in the past nine months. I see a future and I want to live my life. I don’t have as many urges as I used to but don’t get me wrong when I have the urges to hurt myself it’s still intense as it always was. I’m still gripped by the addiction. I may not act on it anymore but I’m still effected by it. There are still times when I sit in my room with tears streaming down my face and my head in my hands violently shaking in the bed because self harm is running through my mind and my body is doing everything to fight it. Anything to stop the temptation. Head phones blaring and my hands shaking. The times I find it hardest to resist I avoid everything. The bathroom is a no go zone, no matter how much I need to pee. I will not go in until I’m certain the urge has subsided a little if not fully. 

I don’t want to self harm but it’s been something I’ve struggled with for a very long time. Before I didn’t care. Now I’m fighting it. I wish it made it easier but it doesn’t. Atleast though when I’ve come out of the darkness again I’m so glad I didn’t act on it. I may have six bad days out of seven but I know on the seventh day I got through it. I was stronger than the urges.

I had a consultation with a tattoo artist two weeks ago. People always told me I could get them covered. The harsh reality of it is that I can’t. The scar tissue is too damaged. I can tattoo around them but I can’t cover them up. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m only nineteen but I have to live with the evidence of my self destruction for the rest of my life. I always hoped one day I’d wake up and they would have disappeared. I’ve to remind myself that fairytales don’t always exist. There not as noticeable as they once were but it’s obvious what I done. The past few weeks have been mentally exhausting. Now I have to deal with all the trauma and emotions of my chaotic past with out the comfort of blades. What I thought was a coping skill was in actual fact just a way of blocking everything out. I never dealt with what was bothering me. I just took it out on myself and hoped for the best or in my case worst. 

I’ve only recently started to feel what’s inside. I have to deal with everything I went through with out resorting back to an addiction I had for years. That in itself is much harder than it ever was to take a sharp object to my skin. I fight the urge most days. I have to teach myself new ways of thinking and I have to learn to feel everything I bottled inside for so long. I never want to give into myself like that again. I have begun the rollercoaster of emotions. The highs and lows. I’m slowly boarding that train back to normality. I’m trying to find myself and just be Katie. Not the suicidal Katie you have all heard about. I’m becoming myself and not the diagnosis I was given. I am not what happened to me nor am I the person you think you knew. 

I am a teenager indesicive with ambitions who constantly changes her hair and talks too much. I’m falling in love and then falling all over again with what could be or what can be. I’m comforted by the birds chirping in the early mornings and awoken by the rising sun. I will struggle and I will fall down again and again but I’m going to get up and I’m not going to let you tell me who to be. Self harm and sucidal thoughts took my teenage years, it’s not going to take my life and I won’t let it take yours either. Our past will only define us if it ruled out present and shades or future. If we can let it go it will stay in the past. I’m hormonal, I’m strange and I may have a few anger issues but if you can’t accept me for who I’ve become that doesn’t bother me. I’ve made mistake and I’ve seriously fucked up but I finally see that doesn’t make me a bad person or the person you want me to be. 

I have survived against all odds and nothing is going to break me. Don’t let anything break you. 

We’re far too precious all of us and we all deserve the best chance in life. Even though I think your an asshole and I’m suprised by how much you agitate me I still wish you well because at the end of the day we’re all kinda in the same boat. As the psychologist always says to me “Katie no baby is born bad remember that, it’s nature or nurture” . So I guess I got to let it go and wish you well because that’s what humanity is about. 

Once an addiction gets a hold of you, you life changes. If you are harming yourself or thinking about it please reach out and take the help before you cause your self permanent damage that you can’t undo. I wish I had someone blunt enough to point that out to me. If these thoughts have never crossed your mind I’m probably speaking in a different language so just take it with a pinch of salt like most the rants I go on.

If you take anything from this dramatic blog entry please take the word HOPE . Some day you will look back and all the little problems won’t matter. What’s stressing you out right now will probably be irrelevant in a years time. Take it as it comes and don’t stress yourself too much. Your here for a reason and you have a purpose. Make it great

Make it yours

Lots of love xx

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4 thoughts on “Beating an addiction that took away years of my life

    1. Thank you so much. Sometimes I think I’m too naive or too immature to think at nineteen years of age with no profession or education that I could help someone or help change some bit of what’s going on for many but then I receive comments and feedback like yours and it really does inside make me smile because it shows I can do something even if it’s not much. I really appreciate that though honestly. I’m truly grateful xx

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