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Proof of Hope
I didn’t used to understand. Whenever I saw someone with the tell-tale marks I always wondered how anyone could hate themselves so much that they’d hurt themselves. That is, until I turned into one of those people. It started small. I think it always does.
My friends left me standing in the doorway to Applebee’s, left me to sit with the moms. I dug my nails into my thumb to keep myself from crying. I was standing backstage waiting to go onstage and watching him smile while I hurt inside. I dug my prop weapon into my hand until
there was a dark red line across my palm.
Weeks passed and things happened. Things that made me angry and sad. I got to where there were times when I felt like I would never be happy again. To distract myself from anger or tears I’d dig my nails into my thumb or palm or some other part of my body. Then came the night
when all I felt was an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. There was no escape and I seemed to have already used up all my tears. So I took a push pin off my cork board and dragged it across my wrist. I repeated the motion over the exact same spot until there was a slight line of blood. The next morning it was more noticeable and it hurt more. I practiced keeping my wrist facing myself.
The nights that followed were the same. Every night I felt that feeling and I ripped another part of myself open. I decided my wrists were too noticeable so I started on my legs and feet. Every line scarred. I knew I was a hypocrite, but that was because before I hadn’t understood. And no matter what I couldn’t stop.
Soon I was trapped in that feeling. I gave it the name “Midnight Madness” because when it happened I went a little mad. What else could you call the urge to hurt yourself, just to shed the awful pain inside? That, plus the feeling was black as midnight. Then, when it started to intrude on my days, I shortened it to just “Madness”. The scars from the pins got worse and the things I
carved got deeper. I was never happy, always on the edge. Anything could push me. Some of my friends found out and told me to stop. Some of them found out and told me they were the
same. I found I wasn’t nearly as alone as you would think. I look at my friends and more than half
of them have indulged in some sort of self-mutilation. Some had stopped or have since and some haven’t.
Then I pin-pointed what created the feeling. Stress. Sorrow. Anger. Feeling like you didn’t matter, like you weren’t worth anything. I pin-pointed the people who made me feel that way and why. I tried to distance myself from them. At first it was hard, but then I started talking to other friends. It took time but I started to realize that I didn’t need the friends who left me behind and forgot me. I didn’t need the people who made me feel like I wasn’t worth anything. The gaps between the “Madness” grew.
Now I can be happy. I’m still healing but I’m better. I still have scars but that’s okay. I don’t want to forget this, it’s who I am. I’m almost afraid of losing the scars because I’m afraid that if I did I’d forget my lesson. I don’t want history to repeat itself.
I wrote this because I want the people like me to know that they aren’t alone. I want them to know that healing is possible. One day you’ll no longer be a slave to the “Madness”. I also want others to understand. I never listened to friends who told me to stop because no matter who they were and whether or not they did it I didn’t think they understood. I want to help others
understand so they can help their friends. They can cut this out and give it to them as proof. Proof that they can understand and so can other people. Proof of hope.