Have you ever found yourself at the edge of the knife? A maddening dilemma? The pain of feeling as if someone has seized your heart with self-hatred? I have. Depression is an ugly monster and self-hatred its companion. Being in school, standing at a height of a measly 5 feet, I gained weight and soon became the butt of short jokes and fat-shaming which eventually turned into bullying in its worst form. The emotional abuse pushed me into the veil of darkness. I was literally staring into the edge of the knife. Self-harming became my best friend and self-hatred and loneliness, my identity. Now, a lot of people have conjured up myths and judgements on self-harm. Some call it an act of gaining attention, others, a form of psychological disorder or suicidal tendency.
Self-harming is not suicidal, people indulging in self-harming want to turn their emotional pain into physical pain. They do not harm to kill, they harm to survive. As for gaining attention, I do not deny that a lot of people do harm themselves to seem “cool” to others. They proudly show off their scars and when asked about it they display their bravado by saying they cut themselves in anger or just for the heck of it. However, people indulging in self-harm do so secretly and hide it as much as possible; either by bandages in visible places, cooking up a constant lie to hide it or by wearing full sleeves or cutting altogether in a place where it cannot be seen by other people. Every individual’s story is different for self-harm. The people who self-harm feel hated, unaccepted, bullied, mentally tortured, mocked, untrusted, untrusting, unloved, unattractive, and mostly suffer from low self-esteem. People who cut are not crazy they are just trying to keep their sanity. Self-harm is of many types ranging from slapping, pinching oneself, punching to starving and self-mutilation by burning, cutting, cutting hair, etc.
People who harm themselves hide it with lies, bandages and full sleeves because they feel guilty and disappointed. Hearing this, a question which will be commonly posed will be “if you feel guilty and if you feel pain later, why don’t you stop?” Self-harm can become an addiction just like smoking, alcohol or drugs, it’s not easy to go cold turkey and stop all of a sudden. I, for one, did not stop cutting myself till about a few years ago, owing to my depression resulting from low self-esteem.
By some miracle and yes, I do believe in miracles, I was able to come out of my depression. Finally, I was able to stare into the edge of the knife and not jump off of it. Finally, I felt brave but that ugly monster from the past still lurks within me and every time I feel it gripping at my heart, I take a deep breath and try to think of all the good things that made me grow to remind myself just how strong I really am. Finally, I don’t feel guilty anymore. Finally, I can talk about my phase of depression with a little smile of comfort that I am not there anymore. Every day I live, I recover, I heal…. So, if you too relate to this, don’t be afraid to talk to someone about this and you may find a companion in what you perceive to be a never-ending abyss of self-loathing.
I want to conclude with a little tip which helped me a lot, when you feel the urge to harm, draw a butterfly on your arm and don’t harm yourself till it wears off on its own. If you harm yourself in that time that means the butterfly has died. A butterfly lives for only about a month still it makes the most of its life; what is it that prevents humans from living despite having a life span of a 100 years?


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