November 14, 2013
Yet More About "My Friend"
"She was slender, dainty, refined. The sight her filled me with calm, regret, and a sense of freedom. She was sharp, but not to sharp. She gleamed in the dark, cold but present. She hurt me, and I wanted her to. She was the four inch gravity knife I kept in my pocket."
By now, I hope you've read my post for this week's Blogger Idol challenge- "My Friend."
(And yes, voting is still open, so there's still time to cast your vote for me.)
The response I've received has been incredible. I haven't even begun to find ways to respond to the dozens of people who have reached out to me through all manner of channels to talk not just about the post, but about the issues it discusses.
About depression, and suicide, and especially self harm.
Stories from strangers about their own ongoing struggles. Stories from loved ones about dark chapters in their lives. Stories from long-time readers who crave the freedom of confession.
Keep sending them, please. Don't hesitate.
Here's the thing about opening your heart and baring your soul- it heals. It genuinely heals. It's what talk therapy is fundamentally based on- expressing, acknowledging the emotions inside of you. The experiences you've endured- internally or otherwise.
Keep sending me your stories.
But don't stop there.
There are a few things that didn't make it into that post. I remember at the time, some people close to me accused me of cutting for attention. (I considered this ludicrous, as when I wanted attention I stepped up to the mic at a poetry reading, signed on for a play, or danced onstage in my underwear for the Rocky Horror Picture Show.) And some people asked me if it was a cry for help.
What I understood then and still understand now is that it was neither. Self harm is an intrinsically personal act. Whether it's done somewhere visible, as mine, or somewhere hidden, as so many do. And that is what I tried to convey with my story.
And that is what I hope that all of you could take away from it. That really, when you get down to it, depression becomes as much an entity in your life as any person. You have a relationship with it. You almost worry about it when it's not there. Perverse, but true.
And what I did not include in my story, and wish more than anything that I had, is this:
Help is out there.
In so many more forms, both public and private, than it was when I was that depressed girl.
It can be as simple as contacting the Crisis Text Line. Just text “CTL” to 741741. It's a toll-free text-line, connecting you to trained people who want to help. They're there around the clock, every day.
There's SiOS- Self-injury Outreach and Support. They're an online organization dedicated to providing help specifically to those people dealing with issues of self-harm.
And as always, there's the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 24/7, access to local trained therapists. 1-800-273-TALK
And I am here. I read every email, even if I don't answer right away. I am listening.
Don't be afraid to open up. It heals. Truly.
You're going to be just fine.
To vote for Becoming SuperMommy, click here.