A Painful Lesson Learnt

Copyright, Shayla

It all began around the 6th grade. I believe I was about 11 at the time. I was far more academically advanced than most of my peers, and all of my friends. On the outside, I held it all together so well. I was smart, pretty, and popular. On the inside, I felt like a monster. I was tired of having to be so perfect all the time and I was so lonely. Regardless of all the friends I had, I kept these feelings in. I felt I couldn’t tell any of them how much I was hurting in fear that they would judge me, or even like me less, and that was something I felt I couldn’t handle. Unfortunately, telling my parents how I felt was also completely out of the question. To them, I was perfect, and nothing less was acceptable. I was in advanced classes, and was involved in all kinds of sports and extra curricular activities. Being depressed would be completely unreasonable to them, because in their eyes, I had no reason to be.

In 7th grade, things began to get harder. I constantly fought with my parents and I had distanced myself from a lot of close friends. I also cried constantly for no reason, but it was always behind closed doors. Although I still maintained my image on the outside, inside I was dying. Unfortunately, I was still keeping all my anguish to myself, which was making things even worse. Eventually, I was hurting so bad emotionally, that I began to hurt myself physically. At this time I knew things weren’t ok anymore, but I was so ashamed of myself that I decided, once again, not to tell anyone. I can’t say that I ever actually wanted to die, but there were times where I wished I could go somewhere and never come back. At 12, no child should think about things like that.

The cutting continued all through 7th grade and lasted until almost the end of 8th. Actually, I remember the day I finally broke down just like it was yesterday. It was the springtime, almost the summer, and I think we had about a month left of school. The guidance counselors had decided to meet with all of the girls in my grade to discuss depression and suicide during their English period. I was anxious going into this meeting and sat quietly and listened while Mr. Duffy, the guidance counselor, spoke. From the very beginning of that meeting everything that man said flicked a switch inside of me. He talked about feeling certain ways and having no idea why, he talked about wanting to hurt yourself but not wanting to die. Everything he said made me realize I wasn’t alone, and at that meeting, after almost 3 years of pain, I cried in front of other people and I told them how much I hurt. Mr. Duffy asked me to call my mom and have her come down to the school. I didn’t have to tell her over the phone but I had to tell her once she got there. He sent me back to class to wait for her arrival and gave me permission to bring someone with me when I returned. Basically, I could bring a friend to support me.

I had already become aware of the fact that all my friends were “shallow”. Like me, they were all popular and pretty. Unlike me, the only thing they cared about were themselves and how many guys liked them. This was when I realized that I could not count on them at all. I approached one of my best friends, or so I thought, and explained to her, in tears, what had been happening for so long. I asked her to escort me to Mr. Duffy’s office the period after the one we were currently in. She agreed and after class I went to meet her. When I got to where we were meeting, she had actually invited someone to come with us. It wasn’t bad enough that she had asked someone to such a private meeting with out my permission, but I wasn’t even friends with the girl she wanted to bring along. She didn’t care about my feelings or me; all she was interested in was getting out of class. There was a girl standing across the hall that had been in the room when I had broken down and she approached me after I had walked away from my supposed “friend”. She wasn’t cool and I was sure I had made fun of her so why she did what she did next still shocks me. She walked up and said, “hey, if you want I’ll go with you to tell your mom.” I don’t remember what I said, next or if I said anything at all, but I really needed that.

It was then I realized I didn’t need to be popular or have popular friends. I needed to be happy and have friends who actually cared. From that day on, I have treated everyone equally, no matter what they look like or how they dress, I have made friends who I can trust and rely on, and I have learned how to deal with my imbalance. The whole time I was unhappy it was because I was sick and needed medication. Unfortunately, I have learned that I do have bipolar disorder. Although the cutting did become an addiction and took another two years to stop, I am doing great now and see no relapses in my future. Although the lesson I learnt was difficult and has literally scarred me for life, the outcome was well worth it. Today, I don’t cut, I am a good person, and I love who I am and how I treat others.


Copyright, Shayla

My first time cutting was when I was severely depressed. I wanted this guy who didn I t want me back and he told me this straight to my face. My parents were fighting and yelling at me calling me and ingrateful little brat so I went downstairs and I found a boxcutter that my brother had from work. I took it and ran it along my lower arm and I saw the blood and I suddenly felt in control. Like I could control the hurt that I was going through. For the next few days I wore long sleeves so that no one would notice. The next few days things kept going wrong so I kept cutting and cutting. It went on like this for about 4 months then I decided to start cutting at the tops of my legs but I only did that there a few times becuase I couldn I t control it as much as when I cut on my arms. A guy that really cared about me noticed it and told me that it scared him. So I stopped for about a week or 2 and I gave him my box cutter. But after a few weeks went by I had the urge to cut again so I did this time making more and more cuts. I would wear 100 I s of bracelets to try and cover some of my scars. But when people asked me what happened I just told them it was the cat all the meanwhile that guy just sat there knowing the truth of why they were there. Me and thie guy started dating and i thought everything would be alright but there was still things wrong so I would still cut until I promised him I wouldn I t cut anymore I gave him all the boxcutters I had (4) and told my brother not to bring anymore home. And since then it has been 17 days since I last cut. I have had the urge but I fight it and just cry instead.


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