Warning: the information contained from here on is to be viewed at your own risk. To some, it may contain disturbing and/or graphic material.

Disclaimer: I am not crazy. If you knew me, you would think I was the world's perfect example of a normal (if one can define normal) teenager. Until you got to know me too well, at least. I just have bad ways I use to cope with life. Almost anyone can relate to that; whether you yell at people, break things, hurt others, lock all your feelings inside until you explode... you get the picture I hope. It's just that my way of dealing with stuff has me ending up in the emergency room on occasion. Just as people can't handle a broken leg by themselves, others can't handle their feelings alone. I know I needed help. And maybe I still do sometimes. But that does not make someone who self injures any less than who he or she is without that distinction. And with that out of the way, I will continue.

The madness started in March of 1998; feelings of self-disgust mixed with the numbness of depression, both feeding on my mind. While my body slowly but surely wasted away, I turned to pain to distract myself. Seeing the blood and experiencing all too brief moments of something was what kept me sane for all those months I was locked in one hospital after another, being forced to sacrifice my dream. I went from having complete control over my life to having no say in anything, not even what to wear. I couldn't handle it.

As I sat staring at a plate of food which had been sitting in front of me for hours, I realized I deserved worse than this. Sitting and waiting for the doctors to ship me off to another hospital they hoped would deal with me more efficiently was too easy. That is when I made up my mind. I stopped taking my medication, and a week or so later, during one of the first few nights I spent in a room alone, I got the urge to punish myself. I sat straight up in the darkness, my thin blanket falling to the floor as I pushed it aside and climbed out of bed. Without turning on a light, I searched through the few things the nurses had alowed me to keep in my room. Most of it was clothes. But finally I found a packet of papers a therapist had given me. It was held together by a staple, which my hands were drawn to of their own accord. Before I knew what was happening, I had quickly taken the tiny piece of metal back to my bed, and got under the covers just as a nurse walked by on her hourly checks of the patients. As soon as all was clear, I slowly and deliberatly scratched the word "FAT" into the back of my left hand. It was just deep enough to bleed, but I still have the scar today.

After that first time, I didn't do it again for quite a while. Maybe three weeks. The funny thing was, no one noticed. I made feeble attempts to cover it up, but deep down I wanted someone to see. No one did.

When I started gaining weight, the cutting really took off. It got to the point I did it every day - I depended on doing it every day. I began to think that if I ever skipped a day and went without punishing myself, something horrible would happen. I wasn't sure what, but I just knew that it would.

In mid April, I think, I was allowed to visit home for a three day weekend. I ended up seeing my local doctor to get my cuts looked at, and then I was sent to the local medical hospital due to other complications. Something about dehydration. I hadn't eaten in days. I wasn't allowed to go anywhere by myself, and had to lay still as a nurse spent an hour trying to find a vein somewhere, anywhere, in my arm. I went back to the other hospital as soon as I was stable enough to travel, and was soon sent to yet another hospital. I was put on SH warning, the SH standing for Self Harm. I slept on a mattress in a hallway, the only place they could put me where I'd stay safe. And even then, I wasn't always.

After I was home for good, which happened in mid July, things cooled off for maybe a month. And I had been behaving myself remarkably well in the hospital, which is why they let me go. But towards the end of the year things got going again. I put myself in the emergency room with 36 stitches at one point. I stayed until three in the morning, and still got up to go to school the next day, covering the bandages so no one would know.

That was the time I noticed my reasons for hurting myself had changed slightly. It was no longer really a punishment, because I enjoyed doing it. It was more like a way to avoid the hurt, to make myself numb to my emotions by concentrating on something else. And even later still, I cut to actually feel something. Over the period of years, I have cut for too many reasons to count. But deep down, they all point to the same fear and belief. I do not like who I am, and until that changes, I will continue to find ways of expressing my hate.

I have not cut myself in over eight months now, and I don't ever plan on doing it again. If I can recover, anyone can.