This post here will be dealing with self-harm, which I know is a highly sensitive issue for some. It’s up to you if you want to continue reading or rather skip. I won’t hate you if you do the latter! It’s for your own safety.
The various BLOOD YOUTH references, starting with the very headline, are, obviously, intentional.
Okay, now that we got all that out of the way, let’s get to the whole story, shall we?
This face right here is the face of a SURVIVOR.
And no, I am not being too overly dramatic here, but it’s the fucking TRUTH, y’all. I’ve been through a whole lot, maybe even too much. While I don’t really want to elaborate on everything that happened, let’s just say – I’ve been through Hell and back. Multiple times. I’ve hit rock bottom. I’ve had relapses and setbacks, but also comebacks. I’ve had abuse hurled at me. I’ve felt hopeless. Wanted to throw in the towel once and for all. I’m broken, and I don’t know if I will ever be fixed again. Or healed. The hurricane in my head never really calms down. There are days when it’s a bit more quiet, yes, but overall, it’s exhausting when you have to fight against your inner demons on a daily basis and have had to do so for many years. That being said – one of the biggest misconceptions I come across often is that when you’re dealing with a mental illness of whichever kind, you’re either crazy, weak or just looking for attention. Well …
But back to the original topic of this.
Yes, the BLOOD YOUTH obsession is starting to get a bit out of hand, but as you know, if I can relate to the lyrics of a song, I am sold. Which is the case with a whole bunch of theirs, and I actually find myself thinking, “Why the fuck is Kaya Tarsus writing about my fucked up life??”
And sometimes, some lyrics hit home, some more than others. There’s this line in their song “Keep You Alive”:
When I needed help, suffering to feel.
That? Was me back in 2010. I remember the exact date as well: the morning after my 30th birthday. I woke up that day and felt …dead… inside. Nothing. Just a void which was eating me alive. I couldn’t FEEL anymore. No sadness, no anger, let alone joy. Hell, I wasn’t even feeling depressed! There was just NOTHING anymore.
Has this world given up on me?
In order to at least feel something, I started to dig the fingernails of my right hand into my left forearm (I’m right-handed). I kept doing that for a bit, all while I put on that mask and pretended to be okay. When in reality, the façade already had started to break and crack some months ago. I do not wish to elaborate on all the events that led up to there and my eventual complete breakdown, but let’s just say – I was on autopilot more and more. Playing the role I was assigned. And the pressure kept building.
Feels like the weight of the universe
Is hanging over me
I felt like I was in a room full of people, but nobody noticed me and my cries for help.
Made to feel like I never existed
And then, at some point, digging fingernails into my arm wasn’t enough anymore. I had to find something more drastic, something that would result in pain, but at the same time, keep me alive for the time being. Therefore, a knife or a scalpel were probably not exactly the weapon of choice for assaulting myself. Instead, I grabbed nail scissors and scratched them across my left arm. Several times. Never deep, just to scratch on the surface, but still deep enough for some blood. At first, it was only maybe four tiny cuts across that arm. But soon, it got worse.
An aggravated state of mind
Forever only passing by
And no one ever listened
Feeling that sharp end of the scissors scratching my arm became something like a refuge. I actually started to like the pain much better than feeling this goddamn emptiness inside me. I felt like something inside me was leaving my body through those cuts. It was an almost cleansing effect.
The pain will set me free
Was I addicted to cutting? I can’t confirm or deny for sure. But I know that I at least could FEEL again while hurting myself. At times, I’d cut myself on several occasions within only a short amount of time, as in, within maybe three days. No, that arm wasn’t a pretty sight with up to I think 15 red streams across. Sometimes, when the light falls in at a certain angle, you can still see thin white scars on that arm. The scars will remain with me forever.
Am I proud of what I did to myself? No. But for some reason, I felt I NEEDED to do this in order to feel at least something, and even if it was pain. It also disconnected my mind for a bit.
I’m someone who can’t be saved
At least, that’s also what I felt and thought at times. I was beyond repair, in a way. But fortunately, with a lot of patience, a safe space (aka a psychosomatic clinic where I spent a total of 13 weeks), I pulled myself back out of this mess. And that? Is what I am proud of.
Did I cut again after that ordeal? Yes, unfortunately. Twice (2012 and 2014). When I lost control over myself. But other than that? Nope. I have found other mechanisms to cope, which is good news.
This whole episode of my life also makes me super mad when I read about some folks out there who kind of romanticize self-harm. Are y’all nuts? There is NOTHING romantic about this shit in the very least. At all.
I’ll end this now with another BLOOD YOUTH lyrics quote which sums it up perfectly:
I’ve never felt this low before
But the world outside holds so much more
Stay safe, everyone. And please, whenever you feel you’re at the breaking point – do reach out. Make a phonecall with a suicide prevention hotline. Or whatever you fancy. Just know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE in this.