The day I made a PROMISE to myself
Before I begin I want first make a statement to everyone as I am promoting positive improvement in mental health and NOT harmful ways of coping. If you or someone you know is self-harming, please talk to them about it. Communication is the only way to not only know what's going on, but also get better! Urge them to and do what you can to get them the help they may need. Show that you care, as we truly are all in life together. Self-harm is something I struggled with in early teen-hood, and it took a relapse for me to realize I needed to start taking better care of my mental health.
The date is Thursday February 8th, 2018. It was the day of the Eagles Super Bowl victory parade. It was supposed to be a good day. At the time, not much was going right in my head. I had recently left a job I was both unhappy with and in retrospect, should not have taken in the first place. I was also having no luck finding something else, and draining my finances in the meantime. A month earlier, I had experienced my first hospital visit for an anxiety/drug induced fall (but that's a story for another day). To top it all off, I was still holding onto a very unhealthy and selfish relationship in which I was the problem. With everything going on, of course I thought, "There was no way this couldn't be a good day." So naturally here's how it went:
I made it up to the art museum from my place in grad hospital and met some close friends. Things were great we walked around, enjoyed the parade and some drinks. It didn't seem too bad, right? Here's the thing though, not only did I not eat that morning, I also should not have been drinking with where my mental state was at, period. One thing led to another, and the girl "whom I could not let go" ended up spending the day with us. This was a huge mistake. By the time everything was over and it was time for us all to go our separate ways, we had gotten into a drunken fight (as usual). I was drunk, sad, and angry. This is never a good combination. What I did after, is what led to my wake up call.
Thanks to my friends, and rightly so on their part, we all split up. Although I wasn't in a state of my mind to be alone (they had no clue), I walked about half of the walk back to my place alone with my thoughts. I called the girl multiple times along the way as I couldn't let it go. I exclaimed how I was going to do something to myself. Basically I was drunk, and felt beyond hopeless after another bad day that could've been avoided if I had controlled myself and avoided my triggers. When I walked in the door I went straight up to my room. One of my roommates had company, but it was like no one was there to me. From there I sat on my bed with my thoughts for a few minutes. That's all it took in my head. The razor blade from my straight razor was already in my hand. I felt helpless, numb, basically just nothing at all. I had no release and felt like I needed to feel the pain I had caused (and in no way is or was this healthy). I took it to my wrist three times, blood gushing everywhere down my arm, on the carpet. Lightheaded, I felt the rush leave me through my now open wounds. Immediately after, I came to.
What had I just done? Why did I feel the need to do this? Especially after not even thinking about self-harm for years. I just did, plain and simple. I could not answer these questions for myself at the time. That's okay, it takes time to heal and figure ourselves out. One thing I did think about afterwards is what I would do to better myself to make sure this was not a habit, and just a one time relapse. First, I made a promise to myself moving forward to never self-harm again and to do whatever I possibly can to help others feeling similar emotions. For me it was simple: I did not have any solution where I couldn't resolve the emotions I was feeling through communication rather than self-harm. So in the year it has been after, I've made it a responsibility to make my mental health the most important part of my life. It hasn't been easy (my scars are still there), but I'm at a point that even when I'm at my lowest on a given day, I know life moves on, I know I'll be okay (I'll talk about how I've gotten there next post).
I hope sharing this experience explains why being an advocate for mental health is so important to me. Many times, as it was with me, the emotions underneath are not what is apparent on the surface. It's our job as people to come together and be there for each other (we're social creatures after all). If there is even the slightest warning sign with anyone in your life, just communicate to them that you care. Who knows, they might just open up and you'll be able to help! With that all I can say is:
It is more
than possible to improve our mental state and be happy.
Mental Illness may not be a choice, but how we combat it is!
Thanks for reading everyone.
Love you all,