Discover A Recovery: Spencer’s Story

This blog was created to help those better deal with issues plaguing them and to achieve an overall better state of mind. What better way to do that than to share stories? The hardest part of overcoming obstacles is thinking that you’re all alone, and hopefully these stories of a road to recovery will help you realize that others are going through the same things you are, and that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s Spencer’s about her steps towards recovery :

“I started cutting back in 8th grade (at age 13), right after my grandpa died. My whole family kind of fell apart at that point, which was really hard to deal with because we used to be really close. Everything was changing and there was so much negativity everywhere. I really had no one to talk to about anything. Middle school is a hard time to begin with, and on top of that, I felt like there wasn’t anything good in my life at that point. This eventually led to addictions in other areas like drinking, not eating, smoking a lot, and insomnia.

“Middle school is a time when people constantly try and make you feel bad about yourself, especially if you’re a girl. I was constantly seeing all of this imagery of girls that were considered to be thinner and prettier than me. Everyone wanted to date them. I was just me. Then of course the constant fear of social networking. There are a fair share of “keyboard warriors” in my town the love to just make people feel terrible about themselves and their images online. It was rough. Media also factors into what can trigger me now. Some sites glorify cutting, self harm, anorexia, depression, etc. If I ever come across a picture of self harm, it makes me want to do it, especially if I’m already in an off mood. It needs to stop being glorified online.

“I starting getting professional help last year. During my freshman year of college, my self-harm got really bad to the point where I was basically suicidal all the time. I had a close call and decided that I needed help. I started seeing a counselor who really helped me a lot. I went to her twice a week and she’s what ultimately helped me tell my parents about the ordeal. It was like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. She gave me new ways to cope, one of them being trying a new hobby. I decided to take up skateboarding and to teach myself how to skate, so all my energy went into that. It gave me a skill I can use when I want to just get my mind off things. Her help was probably the biggest thing that factored into me staying clean. She also put me on medication to help my depression which has helped take the edge off a lot.

“I’ve been clean for about two years now. It feels so surreal but I’m happy about it. I have a lot of days when it’s hard to cope with and when I just want to go back to it but I just try and find other ways to occupy my mind. Venting to friends helped me the most. I think that keeping it bottled up for so long was ultimately the worst thing I could do. I also made a promise to myself that once I got the tattoo I wanted, I had to stop–which I did. The tattoo actually covers a giant scar from cutting so thinking about it makes me not want to cut as much. It’s an everyday struggle because self-harm in any aspect, is a form of an addiction. It’s never going to fully go away, but it is a lot easier to manage and it took a lot of work for me to get to this stage.

“For those who are struggling with depression or self-harm, I would say don’t wait too long to get help.  Surround yourself with people who don’t suck the life from you. Learn self discipline. Learn to respect yourself. Find ways to get your mind off of or stay away from triggers. don’t keep things bottled up.”

*My friend wished to have her name changed to avoid identification. “Spencer” is an alias.

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