Me and My Mental Health Story

Hi... I'm Chloe, I'm 18 years old and I'm from the UK

I used to love playing football and multiple sports. I say used too... When I was 13 or 14, everything changed for me, but life went on as normal. Well from the outside it would have seemed normal, but for me, it was far from it.

Mental Health is something that is extremely stigmatised in the UK and across the world. This is my ongoing battle with mental health and what my experience of being in the UK mental health system is like. Everyone's experiences are different... but here's my story.

**TRIGGER WARNING**

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2. Me and Self Harm

I first self harmed when I was 13 or 14. It started with the odd wall punch here and there, with the occasional banging of my head against walls. This didn't take long to become more frequent. I started to get more angry, more agitated and more frustrated with myself and other people. It didn't (and still doesn't) take much to piss me off and make me angry, but when I get angry, I get violent. As I got more angry, my self harm increased. It didn't take long before I started to pick and scratch at my skin until it started bleeding. At the time, I didn't even realise what I was doing was classed as self harm.


When I was 15, things got that bit more serious. With my brother being older and in college, he was getting hold of lighters. Now and again he would give one to me, unaware of what I would use it for. I started to burn my body in areas it wouldn't be visible, all whilst still acting happy at school so everyone was unaware. This went on for a year or so before I did my GCSE exams... this was when the cutting started. I first cut on the 11th June 2015, the day before one of my psychology or chemistry exams, the ones I wanted to do well in. I have always put a lot of pressure on myself but this was when it really hit. The pressure got too much and I needed a way to release it. I found one of my brothers disposable razors and broke it to take the blade out. Not going to lie, the pain shocked me as I pulled it across my arm but it was relief. I forgot about everything for a while. That was my release. I didn't do it again for a while after that, especially as we had prom coming up and I didn't want people to know. The burns scars were easy to hide.


However, after prom, the stress and anxiety of leaving the place I had spent my last 5 years was starting to hit, and once again I needed the release. After that, cutting became more frequent and has been ever since. Since then, I haven't gone a week clean, and worse, suicide has also become a big part of my life. Suicide always has been a taboo subject for people, being unable to open up about experiences and heartbreak down to - what is - an illness.

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