A letter to my 17 year old self

There are so many things to say. I want to tell you that hurting yourself is not the answer. I know that it feels as if it is; believe me I know. You’re not thinking about the consequences of your actions, about the future, I don’t blame you for that. All you care about is taking the pain away – replacing that ache inside with a physical pain that you can see. I want to explain where this will lead. Right now you think that you’re in control of it, that you get to choose when you do it, that you can stop any time you want. God how I wish tha were true but it’s not. If you don’t face the emotional distress you’re feeling now; if you hide from it by hurting yourself, you will never learn how to deal with it. You won’t be able to tolerate the pain in your heart and all too soon the day will come when those small cuts that you convince yourself aren’t a problem – are suddenly a huge problem. Suddenly it’s not just small cuts here and there. That’s no longer enough to negate the emotional pain. Before you know it the cuts are deeper. You’ll tell yourself that it’s ok because it’s only a few of them. When your arms are covered in cuts you’ll convince yourself that it’s not THAT bad because they’re not deep enough to need stitches, to warrant medical attention. At that point you’ll start to feel like a failure as a self harmer because you never do any real damage. I wish I could convince you to stop there. You will build up a resistance to the physical pain which will lead to you upping the ante. You’ll spend your time dreaming up new ways of hurting yourself, of causing pain. You won’t be able to understand why nothing hurts enough. I want to scream at you and tell you that enough is enough. I want to make you understand that this has to stop.

Most importantly, if I could tell you anything I’d tell you to give up now. I’d tell you that it’s never going to get any better so your best option is to die before it’s all too late. Because I know. I’m living in a hell of my own creation.

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