15 years

I started to write this post back in March, before things with Covid got crazy. Two months later I’m finally taking a look back at the draft and hopefully I’ll finish it before lockdown ends…

March 2020: 15 years ago I made a decision. It was a decision I’d made probably 4 or 5 times before over the years. This time was different, I was more determined but more than that I had had enough. I made a conscious decision to change for the better and start looking after myself. To start trying to see myself in a different light. I decided to fight.

So many people told me I couldn’t do it. Not all of them said it out loud, they didn’t have to. Well, next month it will be 15 years. 15 years since I last took a blade and sliced through my own skin. 15 years since I last watched as the gap in my skin filled with blood and spilled over, running down my arm/leg. 15 years since I last cleaned up my own blood from a self inflicted wound and wrapped it until it stopped pumping.

15 years.

“You’ll never keep it up” was from my wonderful ex. She looked me straight in the eyes and told me I’d fail.

A psychiatrist sat there and told me “You will self harm again” and then went on to tell me that I have Borderline Personality Disorder and that “This is what people like you do, it’s a cycle.” She told me that anything could trigger it, I could go through really stressful situations without relapsing but that eventually I will and it could be something really minor which triggers it. She too looked me straight in the eyes and told me I’d fail. That delightful human being was assessing me, she was to make the decision on whether or not I should be put in for scar cover up through the NHS. She was the one who would say whether or not I’d be likely to relapse which would make the scar cover up pointless. I left there utterly gutted, convinced she would tell them that I wasn’t worth helping. She approved me for camouflage which is basically make up.

Then there’s the eye rolls. The look on a face which says “yeah right”. The people silently judging me. I don’t think one person said anything encouraging. Not a single person. I had to tell myself “you can do this”. My head was a complete mess and I had no one to talk to. There were people around but they weren’t there. There was no one there when I cried uncontrollably, when my head was telling me I wasn’t worth the shit I was standing in. No one to tell me I was going to be ok. No one to tell me not to give in when I reached for something sharp and sat with it against my skin, hands shaking, my head screaming at me to make it stop. The anger and frustration, the sadness and pain. The feeling of hopelessness seemed infinite. Despair enveloped me to the point I thought it would swallow me whole. It was nothing I hadn’t felt before but It seemed all the more intense because I wouldn’t allow myself to cut.

May 2020: So, here I am, April has been and gone. And there are more important things that have been going on, and are still going on, than my 15 year milestone.

But it is a milestone nonetheless. It’s not that I want a medal or a sodding gold star, I would just like someone to acknowledge how far I’ve come. Someone to actually be proud of me. But no one is and that makes it really hard to feel proud of myself. I bet not one person who has known me for all those years could tell you when I stopped self harming, only that I did it in the first place. Why is that? Are they all secretly ashamed of me? Do they think it doesn’t deserve recognition? Do they think it was easy to drag myself out of the hole I was in?

It wasn’t.

Is it wrong to feel a little robbed? Robbed of pride. Am I stupid to expect anyone to give a crap about my achievements in the mental health department? Am I being ridiculous in wishing for someone I love to acknowledge, just for a second, how hard it was for me?

15 years! 15 days was hard! Hell, 15 hours was hard! But I made it. Me. That’s right;

ME.

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