Tuesday, September 15, 2015

This Week

Tuesdays Slice of Life














This week is such a big week for me. It holds a lot of awful memories but also on Friday a beautiful milestone will be met.

I try to think of where I was last year at this time... I was about to get some awful news that led me to shred by arms like they were incriminating files. But that was just the beginning of the pain I would feel this week. My friend group almost lost a friend to suicide and I was convinced it was my fault. That day I shredded what was left of my arms and then turned to burning them. For one of the burns I used a spiraled instrument, don't ask me why, it was just in my kitchen, in front of me. This was the last time I harmed myself.

Over the last year I have had, thanks to the spiraled utensil, a "G" scarred on my arm. It was so painful when my little girl, barely 2 years old asked me what the "G" meant. Friends and family were all curious and I was as patient as I could be with them. I hated being asked, I never tried to come up with an answer that was clever but I always just said it was a self-harm wound, the "G" was accidental.

Now if you asked me I would probably say it was "G" for Guilt. That's what I was feeling when I did it. I'm trying to convince myself it's "G" for God because he's the one in control but I really just want it to fade. But it won't. It feels like I have some lesson to learn first...

This is what mental illness and suicide can do. It becomes a hurricane of guilt, pain, and sadness. It doesn't care where it hits. It is senseless and dangerous. This is why we need to end the stigma and open up the conversation. We can save lives.

Friday is my 1 year free of self-harm. Sometimes it was hell and sometimes it was heaven. But I'm so glad I have made it so far because I know now that I can go on, even on the worst days, I can make it through anything.

10 comments:

  1. You are so very brave! Thank you for sharing your story here.

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  2. What incredible bravery you have for sharing this and starting this conversation. Thank you, thank you, thank you

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  3. Congratulations on reaching this milestone. I'm sure your story has helped many others. Thank you.

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  4. Your post is heart breaking. I hope that writing helps you.

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  5. Thank you for opening up a space for such raw and painful truth. Even though we are teachers we struggle with human issues that are dark and it takes courage to share. In sharing we let others know they aren't alone. (((Hugs)))

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  6. Thanks for the support! Sorry for being a bit of a downer. :P We really need to get the conversation out there. Best wishes to you all

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  7. How about "G" for good...that you seem to be a GOOD person, mom, friend from what I learn about you through your words. CELEBRATE each day . . . each day you are stronger. And yes we need to break the stigma... hopefully one day soon! Good luck Raeily!

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  8. I am scared. My daughter cut with a razor a few weeks ago. I don't why, but she said she was stressed. I tried to reassure her of her beauty, smartness, and of how much I love her. She promises it will never happen again. I hope not. She said it hurt and she didn't understand how bad it hurts. That is why she will not cut again. Is that reason enough. She turns 13 in a month. I thought counseling but she begged me not to.

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    1. It does happen sometimes that someone will attempt self-harming but end up deciding it's not for them because it hurt more than they expected or it didn't give them anything.

      I would recommend encouraging an open conversation with her about why she did it. Don't be judgmental or get angry. After you guys discuss why she did it, it's a good idea to sit down together and write up a list of things she could do instead of self-harm if she ever feels those feelings again. Things like taking a walk or run, painting or coloring, reading, watching a funny show or movie, prayer or meditation, or listening to uplifting music and dancing around.
      Once you have a list she can post it in her room where she will see it if she has urges to self-harm again.
      Then you can just look out for the signs. Wearing long sleeved shirts to hide her arms used to be a big one but most kids know now to self-harm where it can't be found. Shoulders and thighs are big spots because they are usually almost always covered.
      Keep an open conversation about her feelings. Check up on her. Just asking "Are you doing better?" or "Are you ok?" occasionally. Let her know she can talk to you and you aren't going to get mad. Concerned not angry.
      Counseling is great but only if SHE is ready. I lied through my teeth for almost 15 years about self-harm and suicidal thoughts and attempts. It's not hard to convince a therapist or even a psychologist or psychiatrist that you are perfectly fine. If you think that the feelings and thoughts she is having that brought her to self harm warrant counseling you will have to warm her up to the idea. Let her know there is nothing wrong with seeing a counselor and that a lot of kids do it these days. Tell her how a counselor can help her work through these thoughts she had and teach her tools to fight them.
      Just make sure she knows that you're not angry but you are concerned and you just want her happy and healthy.

      I'm sorry you and your daughter are going through this. You or she can always email me ([email protected]) if you have any questions or anything. Wishing you both the best.

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  9. You are lovely, pretty, and good. I celebrate with you that you made it to a one year anniversary without harming yourself. It is so brave to share your struggles to help others.

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