Suffering In Silence
As most people know on my blog I have struggled with depression, it is something that I am very open about talking about, however when it comes to what happened during that time I haven’t opened up very much. I was so depressed, about so many different things, things that had happened to me during my childhood which were hidden, things that happened that I didn’t tell anyone and also the people that I had lost throughout my life.
What hurt the most is the fact that I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone how I felt but not only that I didn’t know how to say it, so instead I would bottle it up and sweep it under the rug for a later date when in realise, all I did was try to forget about it. When it comes to talking about mental health, there is a lot of stigma related to it and that is another reason I was very scared that people would look at me differently.
During my early childhood I was very close to my grandmother, I have previously spoken about her here, and she was my absolute life, she meant the world to me, and I honestly could never say a bad word against her. She was the light of my childhood, all my memories relate to her, I know that sounds sad but it is because I don’t remember much. People will probably say oh you had an amazing childhood, it was an incredible time for you, you had 2 loving parents, 2 step parents, but I’d turn round and say you didn’t know what happened behind closed doors. My mum and dad are 2 of my best friends, I don’t blame them for anything, they were amazing parents but there were lots of things that happened that they couldn’t do anything about. You might be reading this and thinking I was self centered and I only cared about what was happening to me, I can understand why, and I know that during my depression journey I was quite selfish, I knew what could happen if I had caught a vein, and I knew the risk I was taking but I still carried on.
The First Time
I remember the first moment it happened, I hadn’t stopped crying, I hadn’t slept in so long and I was so upset I couldn’t get these feelings out of me, I was hurting so much, I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t sleeping, I wanted to be at peace, and the way I was thinking, I didn’t want to live any more. I remember the feeling that I felt when I first did it, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, I felt calm and it was like I couldn’t get enough of that feeling every time I did it. The thing was every time that I did it, it felt like an out of body experience, something I couldn’t control but I could remember the feeling and I think the feeling and adrenaline rush was something that controlled me.
I remember thinking after, what am I gaining from this, is this actually solving any of my problems? And looking back on it, I can 100% say that it does not and will never ever work, no matter how much you might want it to, or you think it will, self harm isn’t your answer. When I’d see the marks and cuts I’d made I’d have to sit there and think, how am I going to be able to hide this from the people I loved? How will I hide this from Paul? I knew I could never hide anything from Paul, he was the one I was going to marry (at the time we were only engaged) I needed to be honest with him. I sat him down, told him how I felt, what was going on and what I’d been doing.
I knew that nothing would change between Paul & I, I knew he would never look at me differently and would support me through absolutely everything because we had a special kind of love. Paul was my absolute rock through everything, he would come home from work, cuddle me, hold me close, dry my tears & make sure that I hadn’t self harmed and if I had he would make sure that it didn’t happen again.
Self harm is difficult to understand, it is something that comes with such stigma, and those who have never experienced self harm usually think oh that person is attention seeking, and I think the way those words come across can be wrong, and I will explain why. People who look in from the outside about self harm and then getting help, people automatically think that that you’re attention seeking, When someone is struggling with self harm, they’re crying out for help, or at least I was, because they need support, they are going through absolute hell, they need an outlet and right now they can’t find an outlet and they feel that is the only way they can achieve it.
We want people to understand what we’re going through, we want people to see what we’re trying so hard to hide from people, and I believe that at the start I wanted people to understand what I was going through, I wanted people to help me understand what I’d been through.
The next logical step for me was getting help, my dad saw the pain that I was in and decided I would get help, he wanted me to live, he wanted me to realise that I had so much to live for, and I did, I just couldn’t see it. My dad booked me an appointment with a private doctor and waiting in that hospital waiting room was one of the most terrifying moments of my life. I was scared that the doctor would misjudge me, or think that there was no reason I wanted to die, or even that he would say that there was nothing wrong with me, yet I knew that there was something going on that wasn’t right, I wasn’t me anymore every moment I wanted to break down and cry. Time seemed to go so slowly, waiting for the doctor to come around the corner and call my name, I had never held my dad’s hand so tight, my name was called and he just said I promise I will be here when you get out.
When I got in there, the doctor made me feel some comfortable, which was perfect, he understood me, he helped me to break down everything that was going on with a time line. It was the first moment I actually said those 3 immortal words “I self harm” I completely burst into tears, it was like I had built up that wall and all of a sudden the water had overflown and it just constantly flowed and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
Over an hour later and I had finally spoken about almost everything that had happened, I remember that there had been some things that I had forgotten not on purpose, but because there was just so much I needed to speak about, and Paul came up with the most amazing idea to write everything down that I needed to say. I continue to do that to this day because it is one of the best ideas I’ve heard, and it helps me to remember everything that has happened since my last appointment.
3 years later, I’m still battling depression, however, I’ve been clean from self harm for over 2 years, I’m married to the love of my entire life Paul, I still have bad days but I don’t self harm any more, I workout, or I listen to music, I write down my feelings, either way I have seen that surviving self harm has been the best thing to happen to me. I am stronger, I am not going to give up on my journey to beating my depression.
My name is Amie and I am a survivor of self harm.