Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cuts and Scratches Run Deeper Than the Surface

This entry is based on my journey with cutting or self-harm which is something I did on and off from the age of 17 to 19. While my case was minor compared to some I have heard of, I still have a scar on my wrist and a few discolorations on my arm since stopping over seven years ago. The discolorations are much more obvious during the summer when the sun lightly tans my pale skin. I mostly scratched myself and occasionally cut or scratched hard enough to make me bleed. Here is my self harm journey and how I got out of this life threatening habit.

I remember starting this practice my junior year of high school. I had went through a lot that year. I involuntarily lost my viginity that year and went through hell with trying to get this guy prosecuted for raping me. He ended up getting a year probation for this and that only happened because I was under 18. He also was given a restraining order to stay away from me for two years. I will remember that day forever and how so few believed that I really was raped. I was forced to take the morning after pill since I was told if I did not and ended up pregnant, they would make me get an abortion. Keep in mind this order came from my christian conservative parents who were pro life. While I was not against abortion, I did not want to abort any babies if it came to that. I hated having those decisions made for me as most of mine were at that time.

The lost of control of my life that resulted from the rape which I barely controlled at all to begin with caused me to seek a way to releave stress and tension. While I did other things at the time to make me feel better, this was one I could do at home in my bedroom. I could hide it in the winter on my arms and during the summer I did it less, but could do my upper legs if I absolutely needed to. I was not going to wear long sleeves all year. The safety pins would scratch the surface of my skin, making pink marks that would sting and hurt.

These safety pins were more than just an instrument to deface my skin with. Safety pins at the time became one of my fashion statements as a punk/metal/goth type of teenager. While I was not allowed to get much from stores like hot topic, I did put my own spin on regular clothes and wore a lot of darker colors. These safety pins that I fastened to clothes and even wore them as bracelets and earrings, were also my main instrument of choice. I could scratch and prick myself on purpose with this small tool and focus on that pain instead of the pain I was going through. Occasionally I would make a small cut if this was not enough for me that day. For the longest time I thought I had complete control of this practice. I had scratches and marks, but they were well hidden and very few left scars.

Then a few years later, I almost went too far. I was on an anti depressant and was feeling manic during my freshman year of college. I was experimenting with who I could be and was making poor choices. One day, this led me to want to die and I started to scratch and cut myself as I had done before. It was not enough this time, so I got a pair of scissors to use on my wrist. This was the only instrument I could find to do some bigger damage. I felt I had messed up my life so much, there was no reason to live. I had unstable relationships, very few real friends, and was using drinking, smoking, and other things to get through the day. I also was gaining weight and hated myself for it. Mentally I felt like my present and my past were pushing me to the edge. I got lucky this day, my friend knocked on my door as I was getting ready to make a cut that probably would have been fatal. I tried to hide everything and answered the door. He came in and saw my arms. There were scratches and cuts all over them and he figured out what I was doing. He was the first person to ever notice this. I felt so ashamed, that I brought this up during my next session with the psychiatrist and I got myself into recovery.

Ever since that day, I have stayed away from causing myself self harm. One of the things that keeps me from doing this is looking at my scar on my wrist and remembering how close I came to possibly ending my life. The curiousity of what is to come in my future keeps me going and away from the sharp objects. I also try to treat my body as a temple now instead of something I hate and don't care about. I now have been clean of this for over seven years and I feel confident that I will never do this again. While it was a stress relever in the short run, it also made me mutilate myself and feel dirty for what I did.

Somehow my mom and stepdad never found out that I ever did this. It was better for them not to know. Especially since I often received threats from them to be institutionalized if I didn't stop being so wierd. At times they would wonder why I was in my room all the time when I was home and did not tell them much. I think it was pretty obvious why, they did not accept me for what I was and always wanted me to be someone else. Now I just accept that I am who I am and I try to be positive about life each and every day.

If any of you have ever done this to yourselves or know someone who has, share that with us if you are comfortable doing that. If you know someone who does this now, I hope you can somehow get them the help they need to stop. This is a real issue, especially among teenagers and young adults.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

One Ex Smoker's Tale

* This is my real life story about one of my former addictions and the hardest one I have broken to date, cigarettes. This will be the first of two posts about things I have overcome. I believe they are all things many people out there have dealt with or are dealing with in their lives. Sorry for the long post, but this has been a long journey. I am glad I came out of it without an illness or death.

My Journey From Smoker to Ex Smoker

My journey with cigarettes started when I was 15. I remember it was St. Patrick's Day and I was at my step sibling's house with their mom and step dad. My stepsister had some friends over and I immediately was interested in the one guy. We went to the mall to hang out and I realized that this guy was a smoker. I had never smoked before and even turned down cigarettes a few times before this. Unfortunately, I decided to impress him by smoking in front of him. I had my stepsister give me one of her cigarettes and I smoked one in front of him while we were waiting to go into Denny's for dinner. Immediately, I loved the high of the cigarette and I ended up buying my own pack of Marlboro menthol light 100's that night at the local 7 eleven.

In the end, this guy turned out to be a drugged up loser and we never ended up dating. However I was left with a companion I would be hot and cold with for the next several years. For the rest of my high school career I smoked on and off, mostly on. Since I turned 18 during my 11th grade year and laws were passed where you had to be 18 to buy cigarettes, I ended up buying my "friends" cigarettes if they gave me money later on.

Senior year is when my smoking became a bigger problem and my mom found out I was smoking. While she was very upset and tried to stop me, I just became even sneakier about it. If anything, I smoked more and more as that school year went on. I was dealing with big issues at home involving my sexuality and other things that are a story in itself. There also was stress at school, I was in a few relationships with females that weren't healthy, and had "friends" around me who smoked, cut classes frequently, and did various drugs. While I did not do drugs with them and I rarely cut class with them, I did smoke at the smoker tree and in the back of the school with them. It was one way I could belong with them since I was an outcast that had nowhere else to go at the time. Smoking gave me relief from this stress and also gave me a place to go to at the time.

I managed to quit smoking after graduation since I was working at a summer camp for the summer that was smoke free. I needed to earn money for college textbooks and it was the only job I could find and get for that summer. The withdrawal was tough, but I managed to quit and even stay smoke free when I went home on the weekends. It had seemed like I was an ex-smoker for good, but that was not to be the case.

That fall, I started my freshman year of college and was going to school 1.5 hours away from home. Quickly stress from the coursework and finding my way in the social order had me turn back to smoking. Now that no parents were around, I smoked more than ever before. I found a few friends and started drinking on the weekends as well. I was on the outside having the time of my life, but deep inside things from the past were eating me alive. Smoking, drinking, and at one point smoking pot were how I dealt with these things. I saw a psychiatrist for a few months, but the antidepressants made me go manic and I felt worse rather than better. After a dismal second semester, I dropped out of college and moved in with my boyfriend and his friends. I needed a new beginning and was not ready to deal with anymore school for the time being. I also needed to assert my independence and live my life as an adult. I practically was one at college anyways. I worked 15-20 hours a week and took care of any needs I had that financial aid did not cover.

After I moved away, I smoked on and off but never chain smoked again. I also gave up smoking pot, but that was easy for me. The next few years I focused on building a career in business and had a few different jobs before getting my current job at the university. During that time I became an irregular smoker and mostly smoked when I drank or was stressed. I also tended to smoke when others around me were smoking. Then, in 2007 my boyfriend at the time who is now my husband and I got engaged. A few months into the engagement I began smoking everyday once again. One night, I woke up with my chest hurting. The next day I decided it was time to quit for good and I said goodbye to my cigarettes. My fiancee ended up helping me quit and I suffered terrible withdraw, but got through it.

Now I have been smoke free for a few years and it has not been an easy journey. Out of all the things I have given up and overcome, this was the hardest one to give up. If it weren't for that chest pain that night, I am not so sure I would have stayed smoke free for this long. I still miss it every now and then, but I know that I want to live a long and healthy life. My health is what keeps me from going back to being a smoker. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments. I am interested in reading what my readers have to say.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

10 Things You May Not Know About Me

Hi everyone, I see a lot of new people visiting my blog these days. So glad you all had enough interest to read my writing. Most of the increased traffic is thanks to my first blog follower Leah who has an excellent blog that I follow, read, and comment on. Here is her blog below and thanks Leah for mentioning me:

Since there are many new people visiting my blog, here are 10 things that many of you may not know about me:

10 Things About Me

1. My favorite colors are Blue, Purple, and Black.
2. I have been married for almost three years.
3. My mom recently got married for the third time.
4. I had to overcome a few inner demons in my teen and early adult years. Still a work of progress on some of these things. This will be the topic of my next few posts.
5. I used to play Viola and Oboe in high school. I almost majored in music in college.
6. I enjoy listening to music and singing, especially rock music of varying types.
7. My best friend is younger than me and we talk to each other all the time and hang out regularly.
8. I love dyeing my hair and have been since I was 19.
9. I play the Wii and the Sims 3 sometimes.
10. I enjoy cooking and baking. Most of the time I try to make and eat healthy food that I enjoy. That being said, I do occasionally bake or make some treats.

If there is something about me you would like to know or have questions about, please comment on this post or email me at

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Me, Myself, and I, a Response to Those Who Want Me To Be Like Them

Me: Why is this girl yelling at me to stop being so wierd and giving me the death stare?
Myself: Maybe I did something that made her mad.
I: She must be a brainwashed conformist who only likes people who are exactly like her.

Me: Hmm, good point I. Not everyone appeciates my point of view.
Myself: Maybe I should apologize to her and say that I am sorry that I offended them.
I: Who cares what she thinks. What does she know about me and who is she to judge me?

Me: Myself needs to be more sure of themselves. I don't expect her much less most people to understand or accept me.
Myself: I just don't want to offend her or anyone else.
I: Being different means some are going to be offended when you are simply being yourself. Personally I think she is a brainless moron who does not like anyone who is not like exactly like her.

Me: No kidding, some are just offended by anything that they do not understand. Honestly I don't care what she thinks, I just wonder why she has to yell at me rather than talk rationally to me.
Myself: This is getting too confrontational, I am going to get going now. See you all in another part of the mind.
I: Me, lets just tell her what we think of her shallow, drone-like ways and then never speak to her again. We don't need negativity and nasty words from these fools.

Me: I, that sounds like a plan. She can go somewhere where darkness lurks around her and causes her to get lost. I hope someone does this to her one day, so that she can understand what it feels like to not be accepted.
I: Lets go grab a snack and hang out with those who get who we are, the few that exist.

Me: Okay, I will call myself and see if she wants to tag along.
I: That would be fantastic.

* PLEASE comment, even if you are giving constructive criticism. Thank you all for reading my blog.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Stopping the Shallow Judgements

Many people are walking around our neighborhoods.
They come in different colors, shapes, and sizes.
Most of them are perfectly decent, caring people,
Yet we judge many of them based on their appearance.

Often we hear people call someone fat, anorexic, tall,
short, weird, a freak, crazy, and all sorts of other insults.
We also judge individuals for simply being themselves
Honestly, we are all to be unique and not like anyone.
We are not clones manufactured in a factory by machines,
We are creatures handcrafted by the universe’s creator.
So tired of these petty, shallow judgments made by others.

One should not be made fun of for being who they are.
Teasing one for their differences is like being in denial,
Denying that we are not the same as the person on TV.

Lets go back to looking at others based on how they act,
And the deeds they do for themselves as well as other people.
Appearances should not be a factor when choosing friends,
It matters how people treat us everyday, not how they look.