“I am not my scars”

I started cutting myself in 7th grade, on the fourth floor bathroom, because my friend handed me a pair of scissors and told me it felt good. I had gotten a particularly bad grade on a math test that week, so I figured I could use a pick-me-up.
Skipping class to go to the bathroom became a routine after that. Originally, I only went with her, because she was popular and I wanted her to like me. But then I started going without her, more frequently, because it just felt good. I started doing it at home. I started slipping into a deep depression over the next few years I used self-harm to avoid dealing with, because what does an eighth grader or a freshman in high school have to be upset about? I talked to my scissors instead of talking to anyone about what was going on.

I was caught a few times and sent to therapy, but I’d always weasel my way out because I didn’t think anything was wrong. But I was so sick of the cycle I figured it would be easier just to hide the cuts. So I started wearing long sleeves everywhere and keeping my arms tucked to my chest. I thought I’d never wear a tank top again for the rest of my life.

After a tumultuous past two years, I’ve been clean for 9 months. Recovery is tricky, but every time I look at my bare arms in the mirror after the shower, I know it’s worth it.