Self-Harm: A Hidden Addiction, Part II

Brittany Carlton2.jpg

This two-part article was written by Brittany Carlton, a 20-year-old who has been in a long-term battle with depression and self-harm.

Click here to read Part I.

Eleventh grade started off okay, but soon enough my parents started fighting and I couldn’t handle it. I had good relationships with my teachers, and some knew about me. They all supported me to the best of their abilities.

Acting Out

Despite the support from my teachers, I started acting out in school. I would skip classes and sit in the halls and do nothing, or I’d sit on the stairs waiting for someone to find me. Whenever I did go to class, I'd just sit there. I refused to do assignments. I left school when I knew people were looking for me. It was mess, and I acted like a complete bitch.

I would sneak lighters in because I couldn’t make it through the day without burning myself. On Jan. 14, 2011, I took a bunch of Tylenol and overdosed at school. I thought that if my parents almost lost me they would stop fighting. I felt so horrible for doing that to my teachers. I ended up leaving my school because I felt like I couldn’t walk down the halls anymore. I needed a fresh start where no one knew who I was.

Getting Better

My senior year was not like most people’s. I barely talked to any of the students at my school and felt horrible. I wanted to have a great senior experience, like every other teen does, but I didn’t get to. I met some awesome people at my new school, and they may have saved my life at the time. Now they are just part of my story.

I graduated on June 26, 2012. I was class valedictorian, and I had an amazing time at my prom. I don’t know how I made such progress with so many problems hovering in the background. I’d been hurting myself for six years. Would it ever stop?

Struggling Again

As a college student in September of 2012, I struggled with depression and self-harm on almost a daily basis. I had tried my best to stop and would sometimes go for months without it, but other times I only made it a few days.

It is now April of 2013, and I am not currently in college. I let my depression get the best of me and had to stop going or else I would have failed every class. I plan to go back in the fall.

I have to live every day with the scars, with the word "hate" on my wrist. I have to live with them. I want everyone to see the pain on the inside, so I put it on the outside.

Most people think self-harm is outrageous and crazy, but they should take a closer look. It's more common than many people think it is, but not everyone shows their injuries.

I once saw a girl lift up her shirt, and it was just cut after cut after cut - there were about 20 of them. And someone touched them and said, “Cool.” NO! There is nothing cool about it. But I felt like I couldn’t say anything because I was doing the same thing.

Staying Self-Harm Free

I recently got switched from 10mg of Prozac to 20mg. I have had my ups and downs, but I've made it to three months self-harm free. I recently got a dog named Gypsy Rose, and I already love her with all of my heart! I also have a job now at a store close to my house. I will be working part-time as a cashier.

I am really excited and happy that my life seems to be falling into place. It seems like everything is just too good to be true, but I am enjoying it while it lasts!


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