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Sarah s Story

Chapel Hill, NC USA


“How do you explain to people, that you care about, that you are sick with an illness whose only signs are the scars etched in your wrist and ribcage?

My story begins during my junior year of high school. I discovered what cutting was and found it to be a release from the pressures and stresses in my life.

It wasn’t always easy to hide these scars in a bathing suit, as I am a competitive swimmer. While I knew something wasn’t right about what I was doing, it was a coping mechanism that I used.

Throughout my first year of college at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I realized how bad my depression had gotten and how I began to develop social anxiety.

I had tried overdosing on pills and thought ‘this was it.’ But, it wasn’t. I spent the next six days in a psych ward after being deemed ‘unsafe for society.’ While in the hospital, I didn’t fit in- I didn’t have a serious drug problem, I’m fortunate to not be homeless, I simply just didn’t fit in.

I thought that if I acted calm I would be released sooner, and I was, but I wasn’t ready. For the next three years I made several other suicide attempts, talked to many different therapists at school and at home, as well as learned new and more effective coping mechanisms. For example, instead of cutting, hold ice cubes in your hands. You will get the same sensation of release, yet minus the scars.

Some days are bad, and some days are good. But you don’t owe anyone an explanation and you should never feel embarrassed. If you had an awful stomach pain, you would go to the doctors, right? Not because you can see the stomach pain, but because deep down you know something is wrong.

Get help for all illnesses that you encounter, especially those relating to mental health. While asking for help may seem impossible, think how impossible it will be for all of those who do love you to say goodbye. Tell someone you love them, it’s never too late. And remember that you are a warrior.”

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