Warning : if you have experienced self-harm, this article could trigger you

As I write this, I am still healing. Still growing. Still learning. I’ve come a long way since I threw away my blades, but the road to recovery is a long and tough one.

I still remember what it felt like.

I didn’t hurt myself because I enjoyed it. I still remember how much it hurt, the pain that I felt. The scars I had to hide from everyone. The fear that if people knew, they would never look at me the same way again.

But the thing is, hurting myself this way was still less painful than the unhappiness I felt inside. I hurt myself because I didn’t have a choice, it was the only coping option I had. When I felt completely and utterly alone, it felt as if physical pain was the only thing that could make me feel better. It hurt less to have cuts on my wrists and legs than to feel completely miserable all the time. At least, at first.

Because the blades are only your friends for so long before the pain starts again, and this time, worse than ever. The immediate relief is eventually followed by regret, guilt and self-hatred. Blades are toxic friends : at first, they relieve you and make you think they’re your ally, but then reveal their true nature, as they leave you even more destroyed than before.

So I threw them away.

I threw them away and never picked them up again. I would lie if I said it was easy. Sometimes, when I feel sad again, I get the urge to do it again. I figure it would be easier, after all, I’ve done it for years, so why not start again ? But the important thing is, I never do. They’ve done nothing but cause me more pain, both physically and mentally. They’re n0t a good coping mechanism, and they only made my mental health worse than it already was. So instead, I try to turn to people that can truly help me : my friends, my doctor, people that care about me. Because despite what I often think, I am not alone in this. 

It’s still hard, I cannot lie. Recovery is a long process, and sometimes I still feel ashamed of what I’ve done to my body, of the scars that get so visible when I wear shorts. But I know it will get easier with time. This was not my fault, and I should not blame myself for being a former addict. 

Because I am more than that. I am more than the pain I inflicted myself for years, more than the marks on my wrists. I’m learning to love myself again, with my flaws and my scars. 

It’s tough to love yourself when all you’ve ever known is fear and hatred of your own person. But I’m taking it slow, and I am learning that I’m worthy of love and happiness. And I will heal, I will recover and I will get stronger.

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