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Stories of Hope

It is Possible to get Stronger!!!!  YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!


bulletAuthor:    Autumn Free
bulletAge:        15


 was 11 when I first heard of self-mutilating in a magazine article.  I thought the idea preposterous—how could someone get so much relief from pain, but I had to learn the hard way, because 6 or so months later, I cut for the first time.

When I am asked when did my depression start, I honestly have to say it was about the time I learned about cutting.  The article reeled in my mind for that long time, because when I didn't get any relief, I started to prick myself with a sewing needle.  After awhile, that didn't give me any relief, so I cut myself with a scalpel I found in a snakebite kit.  What turned out to be small cuts once a week, turned to be bigger cuts almost everyday. 

About 3 or so months later, I was thinking of suicide, and thankfully, I was "found out."  I started to go to a therapist, Pat Abbarno.  I learned that I was depressed because I was teased at school, and I was down on myself because of that because I felt like a failure.  I got better, and after about a month in therapy, I quit cutting, and I didn't feel suicidal anymore.  That blissfulness didn't last for long, however.

About 9 months later, I was depressed, and suicidal, and I was cutting again.  The cuts were larger than the last time, and I "upgraded" to using a utility knife.  I was down on myself again, and I was still getting teased at school.  I also seriously doubted myself with performance at school, in terms of grades.  But after about 7 months of therapy, I improved greatly.  I wasn't depressed, I didn't cut anymore after the first month, and I wasn't suicidal.  But all that changed with the change of a new school.

I started high school in August, and my world crashed down around me.  My sister, whom I dearly love, moved herself and my 6-year-old niece in my piano room.  Now I love them, but the change truly tore my world apart.  Not only was Brittany a handful, after a month or so, my sister was in a DUI (she was the offender).  She broke her arm, and found out that she was pregnant.  While she was in the hospital, I had to take care of Brittany:  you know the whole routine…  give baths, get her ready for bed, help with homework, fix meals, make sure she has plenty of clothes.  All of this responsibility came when I didn't need it.

 I was getting even more depressed, and I was cutting again.  Some of the cuts probably needed stitches, but I didn't go to the hospital.  I didn't want to be found out.  But I did get the courage to ask my mom to take me back to Pat.  But I acted like I was just overwhelmed by the marching schedule, and that was getting me depressed.  I lied about the cutting, and about feeling suicidal. 

A month later, on October 25, I overdosed.  I meant to go to sleep, and just die, but after about 5 minutes after I took the pills, I panicked, and I called both of my parents, but they still hadn't come from picking my sister from Anderson County Detention Center (for the DUI).  I finally thought of my brother, and thankfully, I found his phone number, and I called him, and what was probably my first true call for help, I told him that I swallowed a lot of pills, and he told me he'd be right over.  Those few minutes that took him to come over felt like a lifetime, but he did come, and I have to say, I never was more relieved to see someone's face.  He called 911, and they sent an ambulance over.  I was taken to the hospital, where I had my stomach pumped, and I spent the night there.

The next day, a psychologist consulted me, and we both decided that I needed to spend some time at a mental hospital for short-term crisis control, so I was shipped of to Peninsula for 5 days.  I learned a lot; that I don’t need to feel like I need to be perfect, that I don't have to hide my feelings, and that I don't ever need to be ashamed what I went through.  I went through something that probably no one has gone through.  Or maybe you are reading this now and are saying, "Oh, my God.  That is just like me!!!"  OR you may be saying, "You haven't gone through anything."  And who knows, in your terms, I haven't gone through anything as big as you have, but I have fought my battles, and I am still alive.  And I am a stronger person.