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When I was 7, my dad got a job overseas, in a country I had never even heard of. I had to leave behind my childhood and move to a town where I didn’t speak the language. It was tough starting school. It was a small school with only about 60 students. Soon after I settled in I began to love this new place. I loved all my classmates and they all loved me!!

When I turned 13 my parents told me the news. I was moving back home. I didn’t want to leave!! This place was my new home. I didn’t want to go!

We moved back and that’s and I started to fall apart. When I began 7th grade I was never happy. I was bullied and teased. Even though I still had a group of close friends who cared about me, I never truly felt I belonged. I felt I wasn’t meant to be here!

In 8th grade I read a story in a magazine about a girl who “self-harmed”. I started to think it wasn’t such a bad idea, so I tried it. I didn’t even fully knowing what I was doing. After that first time, whenever I was upset, or my parents were fighting, or my brother would fight with me, I went to my room and locked the door and found a way to hurt myself.

9th grade was the worst year. It didn’t start off too well. My cousin sexually abused me during his week-long visit. To this day, I have not told anybody about that. Things really began to get worse and I went down hill. I didn’t feel I could talk to anybody. I felt un-loved. It felt like that if I died, nobody would even notice I was gone.

When I entered 10th grade, a friend noticed some old scars from when I had hurt myself. She approached me and we started talking. She told me she had hurt herself too. From then on we were both supporting each other. I hated the fact that she was hurting herself, but the fact I was hurting myself didn’t seem to bother me for some reason. Halfway through 10th grade, things just got too tough. I didn’t want to go on.

One night, I sent an e-mail to a close friend saying goodbye. I was planning on ending my whole life right then. I had written notes to all the people I loved saying goodbye. That same night, a policeman turned up at my door. My friend had called the cops. The police went to my school and spoke to my teachers. Then they came over to my house. I was hospitalized for 2 weeks. 

That friend saved my life.

That 2 weeks was so tough. Everything I could use to hurt myself was taken away from me. I didn’t know how I was going to cope without hurting myself.

I came through though! I made it! With a lot of support from my friends. I am now seeing a counselor and no longer hurt myself. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I can’t help thinking about it, but I’m getting there. I don’t have a very supportive family but my friends have been amazing! My friends have always told me they care about me and they are always there for me. I have a friend who I know I can trust 100% and no matter what time of day or night it is, I know I can give her a call. It’s been great to have her in the back of my mind when I feel those desperate urges again.

At first it was so hard to feel better. I looked all over the internet and found Reach Out where I found heaps of strategies to help me get better. I tried lots of things that helped like keeping a diary, or listening to some happy music, holding an ice cube and flicking myself with a rubber band. And really slowly I stopped relying on pain to make me feel better. It’s also great to know that there are many other people out there and that I’m not the only one.

Now I know that when I get the thought in my head that hurting myself is the answer, I think about all the things I have to live for and all the people who love me and who would miss me. That never seemed to occur to me before. I can now honestly say that I’m proud of myself, even though it’s taken me 8 years to realize it! All the teachers at school know so it’s been great to have their support as well. I’ve learned that no matter how tough things get, there is always the light at the end of tunnel…You just have to work towards it!

Read more stories about overcoming self-harming behavior