"The story started when I was younger. I've always had issues with anxiety, and worrying about everything. Well as I grew older this anxiety just kept on getting worse and worse. I was never well liked by any of the kids in my school, it was a small private school, so it made people in general hard to avoid. I only ever made three good friends coming out of there, and two of them were in the grade below me.
But that's besides the point.
I've always had problems with defending myself. Against words, people, insults-both verbal and physical, I just couldn't do it. Maybe I was smart, but it didn't matter, not to these kids. All that mattered to them was that they found satisfaction in making you cry. So, I guess you could say I had a bit of a bullying problem. That on it's own would've been manageable, if it wasn't for eight years, with the same people, who knew everything about you and how to make you tick.
By eighth-grade I was depressed. I would come home from school, and sometimes I would cry, but the majority of the time I would just lay in my bed and feel numb to everything. Which couldn't be normal, right? So I would lay there, and to get myself to feel something, anything, that was when I began self harm. By itself, I probably would've been alright. I would say that there was a pretty high chance that I would've stopped on my own. I had a high pain tolerance, it didn't do much for me anyways, I didn't go deep enough, whatever my excuse, I was fine. Until I got to high school.
I had never been to a public school before, you have to understand. So going from a grade of 23 to a class size of 27, and a grade size of 682 was a bit of an adjustment to make. Worse still, I didn't know anyone. So being my natural self, I decided to try out or volleyball, and somehow I managed to make our freshman team.
I made a two good friends through that-or so I thought- and we became close and hung out a bit, until one night at a team sleepover, the three of us were alone in a room. We began to talk about our lives and somehow the topic of self harm came up. I had wanted to say something to these girls for so long about my problem, but I had always been afraid that they would judge me, but once one of my friends shared, I caved. To be honest, this is one of the things that I regret the most at this point, because of all of the damage it causes in the future. Needless to say, the third girl, who hadn't spoken yet, was shocked by our statements, and she vowed to try and help us through the year.
So the year went on. And for a while, I was fine. That is, until I started paying attention. I started seeing the people around me and I started comparing myself to them. Why was she so tall and I so short? Why was I SO fat? Ewwww I looked so gross in comparison to that girl... The list was endless, and almost all of it came back to physical beauty, because I didn't know any of them well enough to know their personalities.
That's when I stopped eating. I looked at myself, didn't like what I saw, and figured I should change. But then... I didn't know what to do, so I went with the most logical step - not eating. Which all seemed fine until I started getting easily dehydrated at volleyball practices and getting migraines and hunger pains so often throughout the day that I couldn't focus. Plus, after all of my effort -I still hadn't lost much weight! So I went back to eating and feeling miserable, but still eating, so that wasn't as much of a concern. Looking back, it was a dangerous plan, and I'm lucky I stopped with it when I did- I can see that now, but at the time, it certainly seemed feasible.
But then, things started happening. I found out that my family thought that I had been raped as a child. Now, I understand why they didn't want me to know that they thought that, but... As a 15 year old, what was I supposed to do with that information? I was scared and hurt, and I felt ashamed and dirty and broken. I had known that it happened to people, but I had never once imagined that I would've been put in that position, to try and wrestle with the feelings inside of me.
That was when I started to self harm again, but this time, I was serious. It wasn't anything juvenile or insignificant, now I was working for scars. It was an awful idea, really, but I kept at it throughout the year. Plus, being a girl, there was drama surrounding my life, which just added to the stress. I was so confused and upset and torn that I didn't know what to do with myself. I began to seriously think about killing myself. Not just fleeting thoughts, like "I'll kill myself if we have to take a test" more like "I can't handle what I'm going through anymore, I'd rather die than be here". Also around this time, in one of my club volleyball team's tournament, I had obtained a concussion, which was not helping the confusion. So I talked to my friend, (the third girl, if you were wondering) and she was a bit worried, but she promised not to say anything. But then, I started getting called down to the office. Once a week, sometimes twice a week, but I never got to know why. And then one day, after a particularly long and upsetting conversation with my friend, I was called in to talk to my social worker. "A friend of mine was worried," she said, "that I had a plan to kill myself. That I was ready, I had a date, and I had a plan thought out already". Hearing this, I adamantly denied the claims and of course, was allowed to leave for the time being, but I walked out furious. There was only one person who could have known about that, and it was that third girl.
I was so bitter about that incident that I refused to talk to her for the rest of the year. (It happened in April, so it wasn't too long, but it was long enough) We stopped chatting via Facebook, in school, interacting; nothing at all. I would never have told her, but it killed me. To see us like that. To not have anyone left. It was brutal.
But then summer happened, with an amazing experience at my summer camp that forever changed my life. And all of a sudden, school was back, and church, and slowly but surely, my anxiety started creeping back in.
Now, I was living in fear of different things. My friend and I had made up, so now my only problem was being at home. At this point, I've realized there's no delicate way to say that someone is abusive, and for me, it's my mother. In her defense, she actually has some sort of problem in her brain that originated after my sister's birth, but she hasn't done anything to address it- which is entirely on her. I had lived for 16 years at this point, and I had always thought that I was the perfectionist. I could sit at a piano for hours, lose track of time because I needed to play my song perfectly. I was ADD, OCD, and crazy; it just made sense. But then I realized how much I depended on what my parents thought. Because I had always been so much of a perfectionist, my parents had always been proud of me and my grades. And then all of a sudden this year, my grades slipped in some of my classes and all of a sudden, they weren't proud, they were ashamed of me. So much so that they told me I wouldn't have a future and that I didn't belong in their family and that I was wasting the time in my life.
And so the self harm cycle started again. I had been clean for 354 days, and then I screwed it all up because I got emotional. I felt so stupid and worthless and pathetic. And then, yet again, I turned back to suicide. First I tried medicine, but that just wasn't working. I was too tolerant to what I would've used for it to work, so I gave up there. And then one day, after a particularly brutal round of self harm, I realized I could just do that. I had read up on it statistically. Most people fail when they try to slit their wrists. But I knew how, and I could finally control it. So I went for it, and instantly regretted it. I had narrowly avoided missing a major artery, and so all I've got is a scar to remind me. No one knew, not my sister, or my family, or my friends. They just assumed that I was fine. And I was, in their eyes. But I learned, which is the important part.
Here's what I've figured out. I'm never going to have everything under my control. But, what I can't control I can entrust to God, because I know that He'll do what's best for me, and He'll only give me as much as I can handle. Is it going to be a long road? Sure. Am I going to have more difficulties along the way? Definitely. But I can say with the utmost certainty, that my God will be with me every step of the way. So, although my recovery may not be perfect- I may still fall into a temptation of the devil, or think about suicide again- God will always be there to pick me back up when I fall. He is my support- He will always be the cornerstone of my life, patiently waiting for me to build off of Him, even when I get distracted or I stray from his plan.
You may ask, if all of this happened, then how do you know God is real? And good?
God is real because it's proven. If for no other reason than the archaeological and historical evidence, God is real. But he's also real because I've read about Him in the Bible-the most important book of my life, and everything that is in the Bible is the truth, it's His word.
He's good because He says that He will make all things work together for the good of those who love Him and follow according to his word. I do love Him, and He knows that I'm going to face struggles, and I'm going to fall down, and I'm going to stray from him sometimes, and while that's not an excuse, He readily forgives me every time I turn away. He's given me this life for a reason, and if the reason is to become bolder about telling people my story so I can finally help someone, then here I am. That's the point isn't it?
After I take into account the things I've been through, the people I've met, who have influenced and shaped me, the place I've been; I can say that I'm still standing. Have I been beaten down a few times? Sure, but you know what? It's just made me a better fighter. In the bible, we are called to put on the armor of God, and finally I've realized how. Let the world come at you, embrace it- God has a plan for you, and He's ready to see it happen as soon as you open yourself up to it. So why wait? The more time you spend away from Him, on your own path, the longer it will be for you to leave your wide path, and venture onto His narrow road. But let me tell you, it's certainly worth it."