My junior year of high school, I started trying to use healthy skills to help me cope with the things that were triggering me to cut myself. My friends threw cute little parties for me every 100 days that I went without cutting. They made cupcakes, decorated with streamers and signs, and wrote sweet notes to me. On day 298 (I was in my senior year at that point – 17 years old), I wrote in my journal about how everything seemed so good on the outside; on the outside, I was keeping it together. I then wrote that on the inside, I was a complete mess; I was falling apart; I was losing it. And I did.
Roughly 11 years ago, I went 319 days without cutting before losing it. I cut my entire arm. Over 50 something cuts. 11 years later, some of those scars are still the most visible.
Today is day 319.
It is only the second time I’ve reached this day in the almost 15 years I’ve been cutting myself.
I am in such a different place this time than I was 11 years ago. This time, I don’t feel like “I’m losing it.” I feel like I’m mostly together, on the outside and on the inside. I have so many more healthy coping skills today than I had 11 years ago. This time, I’ve spent the last 319 days working on the real problems – the abuse, my marriage, and self-love. This time, I know what it means to keep myself safe and show myself compassion. Today, I am not afraid that I won’t make it to 320. I know that I will.
I can’t tell you that I’ll never cut again, because I don’t know if I will or not. I can tell you that right now, I am proud of being at day 319 again. Today feels so incredibly different than it did 11 years ago.