Part 2

Wow, I just read over that and all the other poems and stuff I've posted here. Very depressing…Well, now I finally have something happy to write! *Smiles* A loooot has happened since I wrote the first part of this so now here's part 2 of the story of my life.

I started cutting classes shortly after I became friends with Brittany. I went to maybe, like, 2 classes a day at the most so that's when the school finally caught on that something was going on with me (I can't believe they didn't realize before that, guess they just weren't looking). They talked to me and my parents and decided to send me to an outpatient program at the hospital for 30 days and to see what happened from there. Not much happened. I complied with there rules and they liked me because I didn't cause trouble like all the other kids there. But since it was only an outpatient program they couldn't do very much to keep me from cutting or "dieting." They actually didn't know I even still did it. But one of my friends from the program found out when we went on a trip to the mall and found a razor in my bag. She knew I was a cutter but she didn't know I was still doing it and she got really upset and made me promise to flush it down the toilet so I went in the bathroom and said I flushed it but I didn't. Two days later she noticed a scratch on my hand and knew I did it to myself so she got really upset and told the staff what happened. They all got together and called me into a room where they talked to me about it and made me show them my arms, thighs, ankles, etc. Since the weather was still pretty warm there wasn't much on my arms or thighs but for the whole time I was in the program I had been cutting my ankles almost every day. But, amazingly, they believed me when I told them the scars on my ankles were all old so they pretty much let the matter drop after that.

During my last week there they had a meeting to review how I had done in the program and to determine where I should go after there. They all said I did really good and got my academic grades up but they wanted to send me to this special school (less intense than a normal school setting where you see a therapist and psychiatrist several times a week) just to make sure I would keep doing well. So I started there and it was like hell from day one.

I didn't know anyone at first but apparently some of the people from my old school went there and started spreading all these rumors about me that weren't true. They called me dyke and a bitch every day and cursed at me when I was walking down the hall. I was so shocked at first because usually I get along pretty well with people but I'm kinda used to it by now. I know it's them and not me that's fucked up. The people that go there are really messed up, most of them get suspended every other day (yeah, great place to send someone like me…) for doing stuff that at my old school would've gotten them expelled.

That's when I started cutting myself a lot again and throwing up because I couldn't take what they said to me every day. I still can't but at least now I don't take it out on myself.

For the past year me and my parents had been trying to get me into this program in Chicago that specialized in self injury (SAFE: Self Abuse Finally Ends). It was the only program in the nation like that so it was kind of like either I got into that or go nowhere. Up until that point my insurance company had been refusing to cover my treatment there. My doctors and parents were fighting them but it looked pretty hopeless. But amazingly they finally did give in so in 2 weeks I was inpatient at a hospital in Chicago.

The program was voluntary so the rules were so much more strict than they would have been in any other program. It was basically like, if you mess up and cut yourself, you're out. But that also meant that there was so much more trust in us to keep ourselves safe. Basically, you were allowed to do pretty much whatever you wanted in your free time. I was really surprised at first, I felt bad whenever I went into my room alone because I was so used to everyone following me around everywhere I go. In everywhere I had been previously the rules were that you had to be supervised at all time or you got put on restriction. There were 4 patient phones that we were allowed to use for as long as we wanted at any time, as long as there wasn't a group going on. Our rooms had doors that we were actually allowed to closes and the bathroom in the rooms had doors too. They trusted us, we were allowed to use scissors and razors and stuff without supervision, but if we broke that trust we knew we ran a high risk of getting kicked out. That's what made the program work so much for me. If it had been at any other place, I would have been trying to sneak razors and scissors in and using them whenever possible. But at SAFE I knew if I couldn't resist the temptation there, what would be stopping me from doing it at home? So a few times I found myself holding a scissor to my wrist but every time I ended up throwing it down and running out of the room to avoid the temptation, and talking to someone about what was upsetting me.

The thing I liked about SAFE was that since every single one of us there were cutters I didn't feel uncomfortable talking about it in group, or elsewhere. Usually I hated talking about it with anyone because I always felt like they wouldn't understand, and even with doctors, I always got the impression that they were uncomfortable discussing the topic.

The doctors there understood about the connection between SI and eating disorders so they weighed us every Monday to make sure we weren't losing any weight. The deal was that they wouldn't monitor our eating as long as long as we didn't lose more than a few pounds a week. Controlling my eating habits were a lot harder than controlling my impulses to cut myself, even though the latter has always been my biggest problem. I guess that since I wasn't cutting I turned to my other problems as a way to get my emotions out. I threw up in the bathroom once but felt so guilty about it that I told my counselor and got put on probation for 3 days. (Which meant I couldn't leave the unit except to go to school and had to stay behind when everyone else went to the cafeteria and eat on the unit). But after that I was good and didn't do anything else for the rest of the time I was there.

So now, here I am 3 months later, still self injury free. I haven't cut myself for 92 days, since the first day I went into the program and am confident that I never will again.

So anyway, now my message goes not to the people that are thinking about cutting or dieting but to the ones who already are and trying to stop. These problems took over my life for the past 5 years and after years of promising myself that I would stop doing it, I finally have. So don't give up on yourself, don't let pain take control of your life. However long it may take, you will be free from your illness.